Looking for the right preschool program can be arduous, especially if you’re working with limited options. But, even if you have some options, choosing the right one can be tricky. Given that there is a lot to consider, you need to trust that you’re leaving your child in safe hands.
Plus, in addition to legitimate concerns such as child safety, you need to consider your budget and whether you have to look for government-funded programs. As well as the different curriculums offered. Mind you, different cities and regions have an array of programs available which you need to understand before blindly sending your child to any school.
Preschool standards differ across many levels. Therefore, as a parent, you need to do some little research if you want to find the right preschool for your little one. Perhaps the first place to start seeking referrals is from close friends and family. But, beyond that, you will have to get into more detail to help you make an informed decision. For more information and insights regarding how preschool programs work, visit: https://www.loloschildcare.com/ to understand more.
That said, here are some tips you must consider when choosing a preschool program for your child.
1. Staff Quality
The teachers who will interact with your children are perhaps the most important consideration you will have to make. You need to pay attention to teaching styles and approaches. However, your child’s first encounter with a teacher may affect how they’ll perceive other teachers in the future.
Teachers must communicate with the students encouragingly, without raising their voices at them. You should be able to see that they are putting your child’s interests ahead of their own and perform their role as a teacher with compassion for the children. Moreover, an excellent teacher needs to put a concerted effort into developing a trusting relationship with the child. This isn’t always easy because kids are going to test your patience repeatedly. But trust is important in building strong social relationships. In addition, you’d also want a teacher that facilitates peer-to-peer interaction, too.
Also, be sure to watch how the staff deals with children who misbehave. A good teacher should approach the situation with patience and understanding because children will make mistakes. This is not to say that children would never do wrong and that they’re always right, but, when a child behaves inappropriately, the teacher has to correct the child and speak to them in a constructive way.
Perhaps you also need to research whether the school has training and development programs for its teachers. A school that values its teachers reflects how they also care for their students. Always keep in mind that a motivated teacher is a happy teacher. That’s exactly what your child needs because their positive energy will certainly be handed over to their students. Teaching is not as straightforward as it seems, which is why teachers must receive constant support to stay motivated.
2. Environmental Considerations
Remember that when you leave your child at school, their environment matters. The child not only needs to feel safe, but the environment has to be tailored to the needs of the children. So, you need to be to check whether they put a concerted effort into designing and building facilities to make your child’s life more comfortable and safer. The classroom needs to feel like a haven for your child. For example, the classroom surroundings need to be filled with colorful walls or child-sized furniture that’s appropriate for their age. You certainly don’t want your kids to be using inappropriately sized furniture because it will hamper their ability to learn in class.
Also, realize that space matters in the classroom. Remember that they will probably move around quite a lot, as they usually have lots of time to play and interact in and outside the classroom. So, the classroom has to have ample space for toddlers to move around freely. Now, it’s not a must for classroom space to be huge. But the classroom size has to be commensurate with the number of pupils per class.
Moreover, since you’re dealing with kids whose imaginations are still brimming with creativity, the classrooms should be colorful. Check if any decals or colorful books are on display in the class. Also, consider whether the school has appropriate books and stationery for children. After all, this is a learning environment. You should also ensure that the classroom setting can appeal to a child’s artistic ability and creativity by providing painting boards and coloring books. According to studies, you can determine the special abilities of a child even at an early age through experience, thus having them uncover this through exposure would really help.
3. Safety Considerations
The safety of your child is important. Before taking your child through any preschool program, you need to have peace of mind regarding their safety. Consult with the director of the preschool to inquire about the security measures in place designed to ensure that your kids are safe. There are many safety and precautionary things you can enquire about. Here are some examples:
- Medication policies—What’s their medical policy towards immunization programs and health assessments? Does the school implement strict measures to protect the students and teachers from contracting diseases?
- First aid availability—In case of emergencies, are your staff trained to give first aid, or are there any health professionals on-site? This is especially important if your child has a delicate condition, such as asthma.
- Fire safety—In the event of a fire breakout, what are the precautions or measures put in place to ensure that children come out safe? Are your premises fireproof in any way? Is there an evacuation plan in place?
- Monitored entrance security—Is there a check-in and check-out procedure in place? How do they handle unauthorized persons, especially if they claim to be fetching a student? Are there policies regarding that?
Furthermore, observe the general safety of the premises and the environment around the school. Perhaps you also need to consider the safety profile of the neighborhood within the vicinity. If you feel it’s safe enough, then you can enroll right away. But if you are skeptical about the safety profile of the area, perhaps you need to look for alternatives.
4. Communication Efficiency
Now, it should be quite clear that communication between the parents and the school must be proactive and efficient. Be reminded that you’re leaving these teachers and directors to take care of your child. So, you need to communicate with them freely, especially if it’s regarding your child’s wellbeing or behavior.
Communication should be on two levels: the individual level and the school level. Individual communication concerns updates concerning your child’s problems, strengths, and achievements. Also, there are some suggestions from the teachers to help them thrive. It’s advisable that you work with the teacher to achieve this. Therefore, communication regarding your child’s progress and development is crucial during this time.
Communication at the school level means receiving updates about the school itself, its achievements, and other relevant activities since you’re technically a stakeholder. Most schools nowadays communicate digitally through e-mails and text messages. But some still do monthly newsletters and calendars. Accordingly, since you’re going to be part of the community even for a short period, you need to be in the know regarding what’s going on in the school community. This will only be possible if their communications are intact.
So, before choosing a preschool, consider enquiring from the principal about how they handle their communications. If possible, you could even request a communication handbook if they have one.
Ideally, every preschool needs to have a teaching plan in place with details regarding its goals and targets for each age group within its care. This is what you need to get more clarity on by asking the teachers and the director. You don’t want your child in a place where they teach them uninteresting and non-educational information. Kids need to have a curriculum that allows them to be kids. That means there needs to be a lot of playtimes, and interesting physical and mental activities that’ll help them learn valuable attributes such as teamwork and patience.
The curriculum should also include the books, topics, and games that kids will engage in at school. They have to be beneficial but not too strenuous because their minds are still developing. The classroom should be a place of fun, not a place where they would be anxious to go every day. Therefore, you want the activities to be fun and doable, but also slightly challenging. Balance is key in accomplishing this perfectly.
At this stage, kids are being prepared for life. So, the basic skills of socializing and playing games are crucial. For that reason, they should spend more time playing and connecting with their classmates.
When it comes to choosing a preschool, among the many things that you should research and establish, you should prioritize checking the competencies of the teachers and the safety of the environment.
Furthermore, try to give yourself enough time to do adequate research to establish the right fit for you and your child. There are plenty of preschool programs out there, but finding the right one requires time and effort. Keep the list mentioned above to help you find the right preschool that can nurture and develop your child to be responsible and good people as they grow.