News For This Month: Resources

Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child

Once you decide your child is prepared for preschool, it’s time to look for a good program. It’s good to begin searching early. Some families – especially those living in big cities – actually apply to the best schools right after their child is born. After identifying a few good schools, apply to each of them. If you’re not accepted your first choice, you’ll have a backup or two.

To know the best program for your child, take the following steps:

Prioritization
The Art of Mastering Options

First and foremost, determine what you want. A preschool near your office or closer to home? Must the curriculum include activities like dancing, singing and storytelling? A particular approach to learning? Write everything down and refer to the list while evaluating different programs.
What I Can Teach You About Schools

Research

Friends and family can provide names of schools they like (or don’t like). Also check out accredited schools in your area, and don’t forget to check the yellow pages.

Interview and Personal Visit

, but you won’t get a good vibe of what a preschool is like unless you actually visit the place and meet the staff. Meet the director in person and talk about everything, from classrooms to teaching philosophies. Trust your intuition about the place and observe how the director answers your questions.

As you visit the classrooms, see how many kids are under one teacher’s care. As per the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s recommendation, 2- and 3-year-olds should be in classes of 18 people max, with at least two teachers. For 3- to 4-year-olds, groups must not exceed 20 heads, again with a minimum of two teachers. For 5-year-olds, there can be as many as 20 students in a class with a minimum of two teachers.

References

Ask everyone preschool you’re eyeing for a list of parents who have children attending the school. Take time to call them and ask relevant questions. Don’t just ask if they like the preschool – ask what exactly what they like (or dislike) about it. Also consult your state’s Better Business Bureau to know whether the school or its teachers have been the object of any complaints.
Kid Testing

Finally, visit the school with your kid. This way, you can observe how your child and the teachers interact and whether he or she seems comfortable in the school’s environment. Definitely, choosing a preschool is a personal matter. If, after a visit to the preschool with your kid, you both seem to like going and being there, then it’s probably the one for you – of course, after everything else checks out.