Preschool with extended care vs. a full-time daycare

Hi BPN folks! I am starting to research the world of preschools and quickly discovering that many of them (esp. the co-ops) are part-time hours! I naively thought that pre-school would end up being cheaper than full-time in-home daycare, but this is obviously not necessarily the case. If you are in a co-op, or a more affordable preschool and also working full-time, I gather you are still supplementing with other modes of childcare. How are you making it work? Are extended hours of care at a preschool basically babysitting, or do they make it a little more structured (in your experience)? Also, our in-home daycare doesn't do partial hours, so while I could reduce the # of full days, I couldn't do half-day afternoon at the daycare, after pre-school ends. Have you found that pre-school+supplement childcare works out to be cheaper/same/more expensive than full-time daycare? This matters to me, as I weigh whether or not to put my children in preschool when they turn 3 or 4, or not at all... thanks in advance!

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I didn't do the cost comparison you are looking for because frankly it never occurred to me to look at part-time preschools when I needed full-time care. I doubt you will find that part-time preschools will work for you, because they aren't designed to work for you.

I don't know what your expectations are for structure, but an all-day preschool spends a minority of its time on structured class time. My daughter's (play-based) preschool had play time (outdoor, weather permitting), circle time, class time, lunch time, more play, nap, more play, story time, indoor play. That's structure, but maybe not the kind you meant.