Sending your kid to preschool is not something you do without a lot of thought, consideration, and research. Even if the school crosses everything off your checklist, there are some things you may not learn until you're actually in it. Even then, you have to be "on the ground" to really know what's going on in the classroom. Sadly, and even at the best preschool around, you may be surprised to learn about the subtle subtle ways your toddler is shamed at preschool.
The decision to send our second child to preschool was easy, only because my partner and I had done the same with our first son. We sent him to the same one his brother went to, because he had been very happy there, so we knew what to expect. I didn't spend a lot of time in the classroom with my first, though, mostly because he wasn't as attached to me as my second. With my second son, though, I had more opportunities to hang out in his classroom (for better or worse) and got to see first-hand how my toddler and his classmates get shamed in small ways that can, eventually, add up.
I know this sounds like I'm being all "my kid is a precious, precious snowflake" but, well, my kid is a precious, precious snowflake. He is. He is my precious boy, and I don't want him feeling one ounce of sadness and shame if I am not there to help mitigate the situation and make him feel better in the process. So while I am grateful for the institutions of daycare and preschools, I am aware that they're not perfect. Ideally, if I could work from home and engage my child in enriched play with at least five pals his age, I would.
My 3 year old absolutely loves preschool, and has been rarin' to go since he was a 1 year old tagging along while I dropped his older brother off at preschool. He used to toddle into the classroom and make himself at home and be like, "bye guys, see you in three hours!" He has been delighted to have been in a classroom of his own all year long, and is proud of his school experience. He adores his teachers and his friends. So, even with it's imperfections, I will continue to send my child to preschool. At the same time, though, I am aware that there are times when my child might experience moments of shame, even if they're not intended by the well-meaning teachers to be as such. It is my job to be as informed about these moments as possible, and to try to reinforce his confidence at home in our daily life. As much growth and learning that happens at school, I know that his dad and I are his most influential teachers.