There’s a lot to consider when choosing a preschool for your child. As a parent, you want to ensure that the program you choose is the best fit for your child. Here are 8 things to consider when choosing a preschool for your kid.
When to begin searching for a preschool depends on where you reside. Suppose you don’t live in a city where preschools are fiercely competitive, like New York City or Los Angeles. In that case, you’ll have plenty of time to consider your alternatives and find a school that fits your parenting style and expectations for a preschool.
It’s a good idea to start looking into alternative schools for your child 9 to 12 months before the anticipated start date. Consider these questions and concerns as you begin your search for a preschool for your child.
What is the preschool’s pedagogical philosophy?
It’s essential to look for a curriculum that emphasizes discovery rather than drill and practice. Parents should opt for a preschool that allows their children to make their own decisions regarding their education.
Parents should examine the level of openness between the school and the family when selecting a preschool program for their child. When a kid is in the care of a child care center, the child’s parents and caregivers must be invited and encouraged to visit at any time. You and your child’s teachers must keep open lines of communication by holding regular parent conferences and providing input on your child’s daily routines and progress.
Teachers’ and staff members’ educational backgrounds and experiences are essential to know.
You are concerned about your child’s preschool teacher’s credentials. Ideally, the teacher will hold at least a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification. Her training and experience working with small children should be inquired about. Teachers who know how children grow and develop are essential in the early years. Teachers and other classroom staff members should also be trained in CPR/first aid.
It’s critical to observe the faculty and students in action. The personalities of each center are distinct. How committed, caring, and dedicated staff is more important than a good curriculum.
Is there a way to strengthen gross and fine motor skills through active play?
Preschools must provide many opportunities for children to engage in physical activity and play. A child’s gross motor abilities and overall health and well-being can only be achieved via regular physical activity. Having a place to sit down and relax is also essential.
Pre-writing activities like scribbling in shaving cream and threading beads help develop fine motor skills in children. A child’s hand-eye coordination improves when they are regularly exposed to these activities.
Is it common for the kids to take a nap?
Don’t forget to ask the instructor when naptime is scheduled for growing tots on a busy preschool day. There should be no more than a two-hour window between the time you schedule a nap as well as the time you put your youngster to bed at night. The availability of a nap mat, sheet, or cushion is something you’ll want to confirm with the school ahead of time.
Request to know if these items will be washed at the school or returned home each week if you are responsible for providing them. Your child’s name should be written on all school items that you send.
Is it possible to get a meal or a snack here?
Inquire about the available food options if the school provides them. Is a healthy diet being provided? Is the food nutritious or not? Pre-meal preparation, such as going to the bathroom and washing one’s hands, is anticipated.
Are you going to expect your child to exhibit proper table etiquette and eat everything on her plate? Do the children get along as they eat? Children should be able to interact with one another over meals and snacks.
Is potty training necessary for a child’s development?
You’ll need to find out if potty training is required if your child isn’t able to relieve himself or herself on his or her own. Potty-trained children are required by some schools, while other schools will aid in the process. Ask about the school’s policy on accidents if they expect your child to be fully potty-trained. If nothing else, pack an extra set of clothes for your child to wear to school in case something happens.
Discipline is handled in what way?
The rules should be laid out in detail for your child to know what to expect in the classroom. Ask the instructor how she promotes positive behavior in the classroom regularly. For example, is there a treasure chest or a chart of rewards in the classroom?
Knowing how the teacher deals with disagreements and troublesome behaviors is also critical. A cool-down period or positive redirection should follow if the redirection fails, and these tactics should be used if redirection is unsuccessful. Respect should permeate all interactions between students and educators. As students go through the ups and downs of a typical day, teachers should exhibit compassion and understanding.
Do you have any recommendations for the school?
Parents should check the preschool’s licensing agency for any complaints or infractions before visiting. When you get to the school, make sure you ask the director or the teacher if they can give you any referrals. Inquire about previous employers without hesitation, as most preschools are delighted to provide them. Before calling, prepare a list of questions.
The reference, so you don’t forget anything. Inquire as to what the parent dislikes and what the parent likes most about the program and how communication is handled, and how the child likes preschool. There is a wealth of information to be gleaned by talking to other parents at the school.
Meaningful articles you might like: Preschoolers 5 Reasons to Love Them, Understanding the Development of Preschoolers, A Progress Report for Your Preschooler’s Milestones