As an educator, parent, as well as someone who has interviewed several Ital schools, I can't help but want to give a little input for those of you who are interested in preschool options. First, I checked out 9 schools in my area (Casal) as well as Froebel, tried out 2 and found that Froebel's program far exceeded the others. (Affordability and locality were the issues...)
Big helps to have a positive experience with an Italian school are to know that:
More aggressive behaviors with children interacting are usually allowed
Teachers can be much louder than what we're used to
Teaching styles are very different--sometimes lots of "wait time" and other things that are termed "developmentally inappropriate" by American standards
Kids and parents would greatly benefit from having some immersion/ability to express basic wants and needs (via hiring a lang teacher, computer games, playing with other Italian kids, etc for both lang and culture education) before taking the plunge
If your child is shy, it may take longer to get them prepared or this may not be a good move...only you know your child well enough to make that call.
Studies show that lang acquisition begins waning at around age 7. Children need to hear those sounds of other languages when they are young in order to develop them.(Rolling the r's, throat sounds, etc)
Yes, it can be very stressful on a child--and the parent. Depending on your situation, background, etc, it can be a very rewarding experience for all concerned!