Starting preschool is an undeniably important milestone in your child's life. While preschool puts a lot of emphasis on fun and games, the skills your child learns at preschool will help throughout their lives, from following instructions to socialising with others. This means that there can be a lot of pressure on parents to pick the perfect preschool, with the options and considerations seemingly endless. However, there are a few simple things to think about when looking at a preschool that will help you make the decision that is best for your child.
Consider the Curriculum
You might not have your heart set on any particular educational philosophy or curriculum. However, as Babycenter points out, it is still a good idea to choose a preschool with an ideological foundation, as you will at least know that they have some sort of coherent plan in place. You should also try to choose a preschool that offers a range of activities for your children to take part in, from outdoor activities to crafts. Some even offer lessons in music or languages, which will benefit children in later life.
Take a Tour of the Facilities
It isn't the case that newer facilities are always better, but there are a few things you should be looking out for when it comes to preschool facilities. You should make sure that they can provide good meals, that the toilets are clean and well-maintained and that there is an outdoor area for children to play. The Pre-School Learning Alliance also suggests that you look at how welcoming the space is, as well as how attractive and diverse wall displays are.
Look At the Staff
You can learn a lot about a preschool by taking notice of the staff and how they interact with the children. Look at how friendly and welcoming they seem and how they deal with misbehaviour. Try asking about what they would do in certain situations, such as if a child is too shy to interact with others. Ask about their qualifications and previous experiences. Mumsnet also recommends you ask about the preschool's turnover rate, as a low rate is a sign that the preschool is well-managed and that your child will have a chance to bond with staff.
Consider Whether It's Convenient
A school might be perfect in every other way, but you're setting yourself up for trouble if the day-to-day running of the preschool is inconvenient to you. Is the preschool close to your home and work? Do you have a viable plan for if your child needs to be picked up due to illness or injury? You should look at the preschool's policies and procedures, including, as Care.com suggests, the policy on cancellations and refunds.
Choosing a preschool can be truly difficult, and the best thing you can do is to gather as much information as possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if they seem awkward. As well as following the advice above, trust your instincts and never commit to anything you're not comfortable with.Share