Always do early. I'd rather get there, sort ourselves out and the children can go to bed at a reasonable time. Yes, they will be tired but not as much as going on a late flight. And you will lose the whole day if ypu go later. Our flight this summer goes at 6.20am and we purposely chose that! So I think you've made the right choice!
Have had experience of both - you made the right choice. Late night flights are hellish, the day drags and you waste it packing because you have time to everyone is ratty when you get there and we invariably get lost in the car trying to find the place in the dark. Oh and its always hit or miss if you are going to get something to eat that night or not.
Early is fine. DCs will be excited about going on holiday and its great to get settled in and get the lay of the land on the first day.
Make sure you have everything done the night before and wake the DCs up as late as you can get away with.
Always opt for the early flight - you'll be there by lunch, people can sleep on the plane if they wish and you can have an early night on your first day out there knowing you've unpacked, done any shopping, had a swim / play on the beach etc.
We used to do a lot of early morning flights when DD1 was between 2 & 4.
Don't bother dressing kids - lift them into car/taxi straight from bed. Sometimes DD would go back to sleep in the car (or not even wake up). Have clothes to hand - dress them at airport & throw pyjamas into case/hand luggage.
Definitely breakfast at the airport.
I would have everything packed the night before so the only thing I needed to do was put my pyjamas & toothbrush in my case.
Be prepared for impromptu naps - DD would often fall alseep in car on the other side.
Taking 6 and 2 yr old to Spain in Many. Flights were either 6.40am or 4.45 pm.
Opted for early flight on basis that later flight will mean we won't get to accommodation until 8 pm and our 2 yr old is a nightmare if he isn't i bed by 7ish. However have now realised I have made a mistake.......a 6.40 flight will mean getting to airport at 5 ish and though we are not far from aiport I can see we will have to get up at about 3.30!
Aaaaaagh! Feel really stupid now. I have made the wrong decision haven't I?
Do't want to rearrange times as will cost £35 per flight so stuck with it.
Can any more seasoned travellers give me suggestions about dealing with little ones on early starts.