How to Choose a Preschool for Your Child
Your budding preschooler has been on a journey of discovery from birth, which may seem so insatiable at times. You’d like their creativity to continue to flourish as they develop and as their cognitive learning blossoms. You want a preschool that understands these needs and so much more.
Want to know how to choose a preschool for your child? Here are a few tips to help guide the process of choosing a preschool that best caters to your child’s needs and also ticks of most of the boxes for you.
Basic Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Preschool
When searching for a preschool for your child, there are a few basic, but crucial facts that you should try to obtain to help shortlist the relevant preschools. Here are some examples:
- What is the fee per term? What other ad hoc expenses may arise during the term?
- Do you offer a sibling’s discount?
- Does my child need to be fully potty-trained?
- From what age do you accept children and what age would they leave?
- What time does the school commence and how early can I drop off my child?
- Is there an early work program?
- Are breakfast and lunch offered? If so, what’s the cost and typical menu?
- What is the average class size for my child’s age and teacher to student ratio?
- What is the curriculum for my child’s year group?
- Is aftercare provided at the school? If so, what’s the cost and timeframe?
- What extracurricular activities are provided and their associated costs?
- What level of security is provided?
- What’s the school’s policy on illness?
- What is done in a medical emergency situation if I am unreachable?
- Is summer school provided? If so, when and what’s the cost?
There are a few things that you expect to see as a bare minimum from the outset when choosing the best preschool for your child.
The overall hygiene of the school, for instance, should not be poor and the state of the classroom and bathrooms should be reasonably clean and regularly cleaned. The play area and outdoor spaces should be somewhat visually stimulating and inviting to the mind of a child, for all the right reasons.
Also, observe how the school engages with your child during the pre-orientation stage or if they even communicate with your child at all! The overall rapport of the teachers and the principal should also give you a good idea of the work environment at the school.
You may find that many parents are adamant about the credentials of teachers at your prospective preschool. Although this is important, it’s even better to investigate the education philosophy of the school, in terms of their view on early childhood development.
Furthermore, ensure that it’s in line with what you think is best for your child’s development and uniqueness. A child’s development during these formative years is so crucial, so this point should not be taken lightly. Different schools will place varying emphasis on learning through play, literacy, numeracy and other academic and non-academic areas.
So ask about the school’s philosophy and policy on early childhood development and where possible, find out:
- The level of attention given to each child’s performance.
- The line of communication between teachers and parents (whether direct or indirect).
To Be or Not to Be That Parent
Try not to be that helicopter parent or that parent-zilla at your child’s school. Be open-minded and understand that there is no perfect preschool that ticks all your boxes of requirements.
For a peaceful life, try to find one that best suits your child’s physical, social, mental and developmental needs. For some schools, you may be able to pick up from the outset that it won’t work. While there you may that one school that has an inexplicable, je ne sais quoi, X-Factor which just sits well with you.
Whatever the case may be, do your due diligence as a parent and read the fine print before signing on that dotted line. This is a big step for you and for your child, so follow through and stay actively involved throughout your child’s development.