Selecting the right preschool program for your first child is one of the most important things any young parent will do. After all, this is the stepping-stone that will help set them up for educational success down the road. Plus, it’s often the first time your son or daughter will be spending significant amounts of time away from home, and you want to ensure they’re in a safe, warm, and welcoming environment.
But with all the different daycare and preschool options available, it can be hard and overwhelming to know exactly where to start. So how do you ensure you are making the right choice for your child?
Luckily, there are some simple questions you can ask potential child care services that will help you find the best preschool for your child.
1. What is the educational philosophy of this preschool?
Each top notch preschool will have a specific educational philosophy, and this will give you a broader understanding of how they teach their students. For example, some daycare centers refuse to use technology and focus their teaching on hands on activities. Others may split up children according to their own specific interests, and focus on exactly what interests the child rather than a broader curriculum.
2. Will my child have the ability to develop their fine and gross motor skills?
The best way for your child to develop these vital skills is to play, play, and play. The preschool you choose should have many different active opportunities throughout the day, not only for your child to get outside, but also for them to hone in on these skills.
3. What is the school’s approach to discipline?
A good preschool program should not shy away from disciplining unruly children with a tendency to bite, hit, or otherwise act out. However, in order to ensure your child is in the best hands, you need to make sure the child care professionals approach discipline in a way that is similar to your own parenting style.
4. What is the make-up of each classroom?
The answer to this will give you an impression on how much individual attention your child will get. After all, there’s a reason most states have regulations on the student to teacher ratio in preschool classes. Ask if the rooms are divided by age, what the child-to-teacher ratio is, and if there will be any opportunities for your child to interact with children that are older or younger than them. Remember, the more individual attention your son or daughter receives, the more options for your child to learn.
Consider this: 23.4% of children under the age of five are enrolled in some form of an organized child care arrangement including preschool programs. A good education starts with the best preschool, so ask these questions and you’ll be on your way for setting your child up for educational success.