Looking for a preschool can be time-consuming, but it’s worth the investment. There are numerous things to consider, and you should carefully consider them before choosing.
The environment at the preschool is an important consideration for many parents. Children spend a lot of time in this setting, and it should be a safe, comfortable place where they feel at home.
Teachers should be able to respond to each child’s needs and interests. The school should provide engaging learning experiences and separate areas for quiet interests and loud, active play.
Preschools often promote their education philosophy and encourage parents to choose the school based on it. However, it’s more important for parents to consider the quality of the teachers, classroom environment, and policies enforced by the preschool Director than a particular educational method. Ideally, the teachers should also like working with kids. This is usually apparent when touring a facility; they should regularly smile, hug, and pat the kids on the back. Searching online about the best preschool near me is the right way to ensure your child’s welfare.
Age of the Children
Parents should look for signs that their child is ready to attend preschool, such as being able to follow two- to three-step instructions. Even if they have trouble speaking correctly, kids should still be able to interact with their teachers. Children in daycare or cared for by babysitters are usually better prepared for the transition to preschool. However, some children still have trouble leaving their parents. This can be helped by having them spend time with a relative or visiting a friend’s house before starting school.
Your child’s teachers are vitally important to your child’s future development and should be qualified. Find out whether they have specialized training in early-childhood education or have at least a bachelor’s degree. Also, ask about staff turnover; a high turnover is a red flag. Pay special attention to how the teacher talks to the children and whether she gets down on their eye level. She should also have a clear and well-defined teaching plan to help the kids learn and explore in a structured way. Find out whether the staff follows state-recommended guidelines on immunization and sick children and how they handle fires and other emergencies. Also, see if the school has a safe play area. You should also ask about the school’s discipline and safety policies.
Preschool fees can add up quickly. It is best to start saving early to prepare for this significant expense. Ensure you understand the school’s operating hours, tuition rates, and registration fees. Ask about the sick and vacation policies as well. Parents should also look for small class sizes and a teacher/child ratio appropriate for the child’s age group. Two- and three-year-olds should be in groups of no more than eight children, with a maximum of one teacher and one aide. It is a big decision to leave your child with someone else. Talk to other parents and get their recommendations, but visit the preschool and meet the staff. You want to be comfortable with the preschool’s philosophy, approach, and policies.
Children need to be well-nourished for optimal learning. During your visit, ask to see the meals that are provided. Look for healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy, and protein. Limit salty, fatty, and sugary foods and beverages. A good preschool should have a plan for teaching your child intellectually (cognitively), socially, and physically. Ask teachers to explain how they teach those skills.
Watch how the school handles discipline. Teachers should never use corporal punishment or place a child in time-out for long periods. This can be traumatic for young children. Ensure the school is close to your home so your child doesn’t spend hours traveling and commuting daily.