Nursery schools and mother's day out programs offer a part time childcare option. Many of these programs operate half-days, or a limited number of days a week. They're great for introducing children to a classroom environment, and for peer interaction. Many states require these businesses to be licensed, so check with your state's department of Health and Human Services division to confirm the center is operating according to law. Most nursery schools introduce children to academic concepts through object lessons, supplemented with formal academics as the child approaches kindergarten age. During pre-school years, learning through discovery is very effective for children, and shouldn't be viewed as less useful than memorizing facts or writing legibly. Some nursery schools offer a Montessori program, which has a self-paced, informal curriculum. These schools usually group children of various ages together, rather than separating them according to their birth dates. When choosing a nursery school, visit the facility several times, at varying times of the day. This will allow you to witness the workers' interaction with the children, and examine the rooms for cleanliness. While cost may be a consideration, don't assume the most expensive school is the best, but remember your child's welfare may be worth more money than the least expensive facility.