It’s preschool registration time where I am. Since we don’t home school, there was the question of preschool. I’ve started all of mine at 3. Some of it was because I did as a kid and, therefore, I guess I expected to. Some of it was also that my oldest had been in daycare until the twins were born and it seemed better to transition directly from daycare to preschool vs taking a year off; then I just did the same thing with the younger ones.
It’s nice to have those few hours to oneself; we just did twice a week. For me, its not so much self time as focused time to get everything done that’s so much easier to do without them in tow.
Overall, I would recommend one year of preschool to anyone in my general area. (It may well be different in other parts of the country.) In kindergarten, it is easy to spot the kids who didn’t and it can make it harder for them the first few months. I know a few families who skipped preschool entirely and they were dealing with separation anxiety big time and regretting having not taken the step sooner. That being said, 2-3 half days a week would accomplish this, vs 4-5 like many preschools seem to be set up for pre-K.