Before their children enter Preschool, parents struggle to brainstorm for weeks or months what the perfect Preschool might be for their kids.
Most parents choose the high school they wish to send their children to long before. What they need to know is that it’s essential to choose the right Preschool. This is where your child will cultivate the skills that will hold them in good stead in their high school years.
You might think it’s merely playschool. Think again. While a child might learn continuously as an adult, they will never quite learn at the rate and volume they do in the first six years of their life.
What is a Preschool?
Let’s begin with what constitutes a preschool at all. In a nutshell, it’s a school that provides early childhood education to young children until they reach kindergarten age. While a child has to be at least two years old to enroll, in most cases, children enter Preschool at 3-4 years of age.
Moreover, a preschool is designed to teach children lessons through play. Through this very ‘play,’ children garner that vital communication, social, physical, and creative skills.
The thing about preschool learning is it’s optional. Most preschools are private organizations, and parents have to bear preschool costs themselves.
What the Best Preschools will Teach Your Child?
Here are just some of the skills a great preschool will teach your child
- Knowledge Skills. Everything related to numbers, letters, and words.
- Communication and Social Skills. Through play with children and adults.
- Physical Skills. Like balancing on play equipment.
- Motor Skills. Like in drawing with a pencil.
- Creative Skills. Via drama, music, and crafts.
Here is How to Choose the Best Preschool?
Here’s a look at the factors to consider when choosing the right one.
1. Teacher Qualifications
What is a preschool without good teachers? Preschools are not prone to stringent regulations like high schools and, as such, can be opened by anyone.
Red flag: You need to know that the person you’re entrusting your child’s care to is well-qualified. If they don’t have a degree, at least ensure they have some courses or diplomas to back them up. If not, walk away. Read more about the tips for parents from preschool teachers.
2. Class Size
The last thing you want is for your children to be herded into a classroom like cattle. The best Preschool is a spacious, airy classroom with only a few students packed in.
Red flag: If more than 15-20 kids are in the classroom, you can be sure that each of them will not get the attention they deserve.
3. Teacher-Student Interaction
One way to choose the best Preschool is to see if the teachers and their assistants are genuinely interested in communicating with children.
Red flag: Visit the preschools on your checklist and see if the teachers are getting down to the eye level of the kids when they talk. Observe closely how they interact with them. If the kids seem lost, the teachers need to do something better.
A preschool’s safety plan must be sound to ensure your toddler is indeed in safe hands.
Red flag: Do your research here. Talk to the school director about the Preschool’s emergency plans and ensure you walk around the school and its playground. If your recce gives you bad vibes, that school might not be the best place for your child.
5. Caring Teachers
The teachers might interact well with kids, but how do they come across as individuals? The best Preschool will have only cheerful teachers.
Red flag: The last thing you want is a barely smiling teacher. Positive teachers know how to nurture children. If you hear a teacher yelling at kids, that’s an immediate ‘No!’.
6. Emphasis On Art
Preschool is where children should be allowed to let their innate creativity flourish. Make sure you choose a school that helps them do just that.
Red Flag: If you have noticed no art pasted on the classroom walls, or if you find your child bringing home pre-made printouts of artwork or skill that seems like the teacher has made it, you want to give that school a miss.
7. Gut Feeling
Vibes never lie. Call it instinct or gut feeling, and you know what’s best for your child. Take a good look around the school and meet with the teachers and principal.
Red flag: If you walk out of the Preschool thinking, ‘I don’t have a great feeling about this school,’ drop it off your ‘best preschool radar.’
8. Discipline Policy
Ask the school director about the discipline policy enforced by the Preschool. Ensure that the teachers practice positive discipline by patiently explaining to children what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘bad.’
Red Flag: If the school’s rule for teaching children about their mistakes is punishment, it’s far from being the best Preschool. Strike it off your list!
9. Free Play
Free play is one of the proven ways for children to learn. What’s more, it helps children get socially competent.
Red Flag: If there’s not much time for free play, start looking at another preschool.
The Thing about kids is they learn surprisingly well when their day unfolds in a particular sequence. Free play might be followed by circle time, outside time, lunch, and so on.
Red Flag: If there’s no structure, it cannot be apparent to your child. The best Preschool will have a robust schedule encompassing all the children’s activities.
Choosing the right Preschool for your child is an inherently bespoke experience. A school that is great for one child may not quite suit another. Using the tips outlined here, you can surely zone in on the better preschools. And then, opt for the one you deem best.
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