Preschool is a very important step for children both educationally and socially. It will help your child to feel more comfortable in an educational setting, introduce them to other kids, and get them used to being away from you. However, choosing the right preschool is a major decision, and many parents debate for a long time about where to send their child. Trust me, I’ve been there!
The good news is that with the right research, you will be able to assess every aspect of potential preschools until you find the perfect fit for your little one.
To help all the other parents out there with this massive decision, here are 6 essential tips for finding a quality preschool for your children’s needs.
1) Think About Any Special Requirements Your Child Has
All children are special and unique in their own ways, so if your child has any special requirements, it is important that you make sure your chosen preschool can cater to them. Whether your child has learning difficulties or needs extra help with mobility, the fact that your child is without your help for possibly the first time in their life, it is vital that the preschool has the necessary facilities and that the staff have the right knowledge and training. There are specialty preschools for children who require a lot of help so make sure you do all the necessary research to find the best one for your child.
2) Check the Curriculums of Different Preschools
We all have different ideas as parents and educators about what should go into preschool learning. The folks at Early Learning Children’s Academy explain that some parents are more interested in their children improving their social skills and making that adjustment to being away from their families while others want their children’s academic education to get started as early as possible. We, as parents, all have our desires as parents so it’s important to plan accordingly. There are preschools with various curriculums and teaching styles such as Montessori schools and religious schools, so you will need to think about what you want for your child and find the preschool that offers this curriculum.
3) Compare the Facilities of the Options Available
It is very important that you compare different preschool facilities because that will tell you whether your child will be comfortable and stimulated during their time at school. Check the bathrooms, playground, dining areas, classroom facilities, and everything else that will contribute to your child’s experience. In these times of Covid-19, you should also check what, if any, safety protocols are in place to prevent the spread of the virus and keep all the children and staff safe. Make sure that there is a nurse’s room or that at least multiple staff are first aid trained and know what to do if your child gets hurt.
4) Check the Records of all the Staff
Your child’s safety should be your first priority so check the records of all the staff for any criminal history or anything else which might potentially put your child in danger. Once you are confident there is nothing questionable from their past, request information about their qualifications and teaching experience. The preschool should be proud and willing to give you this information and if they refuse or are reluctant to do so, then this could be a warning sign.
5) Talk to Other Parents
Speaking to other parents who currently have, or previously had, children attend your chosen preschool is a great way to get a better understanding of the experience your children are likely to have. Ask them about all the things discussed in this guide and check whether they would recommend the playschool. This may also serve as a good way to meet other parents with whom you can arrange playdates for your children, so both you and your child will feel more comfortable in the social environment, as well.
6) Look Out for Preschools with Links to Elementary Schools
Some parents choose a particular preschool because it has links and a natural gateway to a desirable elementary school. We all know how competitive schools can be these days, so anything which can give your chances a boost is worth it. In this case, you should follow this guide to learn more about both the preschool and the elementary school to ensure, to the best of your ability, that they are suitable for your child.
Choosing the best preschool for your children can make a huge difference in their lives and the early stages of their education. From finding out about the education curriculum to checking the history and records of the teachers and support staff, it is very important that you cover all the bases. Make sure you follow these six essential tips and you will be able to find a great preschool to give your children the best start in life.