Picking out a good preschool for your little kid can seem like quite a difficult chore, but an important one. Good education is the foundation of a successful life. It can make or break a child’s learning and knowledge.
But when it comes to ‘how to choose the best preschool for your child’ there is no answer that will be right for everyone. This is because each parent has a different concern and all of them want to choose the best preschool for their child based on their own choices and priorities.
Some would want a preschool nearby, while others might want a preschool of a particular brand. Some might want certain facilities while others might a preschool with open playground. So, each parent his own preferences while looking for the best preschool for his child.
What is a Preschool?
A preschool is an educational institution or learning space. It offers early childhood education to young kids before they start their essential education at primary school. It is either operated by government or privately operated.
Preschool refers to the early childcare and education option available to the parents of young children before their child starts school full-time. It generally has children from the age of 1.5 to 5.5 years. A preschool is the first place where a child, for the first time, is away from his loved ones for an extended period of time.
A preschool, also commonly known as play school, plays a very important role in starting the education of your child. It also acts as the beginning ground for grooming the children for their physical, emotional and social skills.
Also, some parents tend to get consider the preschool and nursery as the same. So, in order to understand the difference between preschool and nursery school, you can read our article by the same title.
How To Choose The Best Preschool For Your Child [10 Effective Tips]
A good preschool is the one that helps young kids in developing the skills that will help them all their lives. It is suppose to help them in accepting, expressing, self-determining and understanding different emotions, as well as dealing with their feelings.
If your child is in a good preschool then it will encourage him to build up understanding for the others’ feelings. There are many ways in which a preschool teaches all these concepts to young kids. At times, they use stories and various role-play activities as a medium to teach and educate them.
Let us learn about the ten important tips that will help you choose the best preschool for your child.
1. Meet the Teachers
Whenever choosing a good preschool, always first interact with the teachers of the schools. In the school, your child will spend the maximum time with his teachers, so them being able to understand him and his needs is very important.
If the teachers of the preschool that you choose for your child are able to groom and teach him well, then it will be very beneficial for his overall progress and growth.
2. Ensure the Safety of the Child
Ensure that the school has proper safety measures before finalizing the preschool for your child. Do check about the emergency plans that the school has, whether they have a proper medi-care facility available or not or fire extinguishers.
Ask the school principal or relevant person about what steps will the school take if any emergency situation arises, at any point. Also, ensure whether the same measures are available if your child is going to take school bus or any other school facility.
3. Happy, Positive and Spacious Place and Environment
Young kids need to be in a happy and positive environment for their mind to progress and grow. Do check and see if the classroom that your child is going to be in is spacious and airy enough. It might not be very big but should be enough for all the children to move around freely.
The class or place that your child will spend maximum time in, while in school, should be a place that will make him smile, joyful and a better person. It should be sufficiently roomy so that each child can get enough creative space.
4. Communicate with the School
See the regular source of communication that the school does with the parents of its students; whether they interact through circulars, mails, phones or by organizing regular parent-teacher meetings.
In such a manner, there is no right or wrong form of communication, but as a parent you just have to see which way suits you the best; depending upon your availability. Based on your choice, you will be able to choose the best preschool for your child.
5. Check the Behaviour of the Teachers with the Child
As a parent you must check that the proper behaviour guidelines are in place for preschool children as well as teachers. All of the teachers should understand that as these kids are too small so there are proper behavioural policies and outcomes to follow while dealing with them.
Also, do remember to ask about how the teachers interact with their students and teach them to behave and solve their issues and problems and become friends with their peers.
6. See the Class Schedule and Various other Group Sizes
Before you choose the best preschool for your child, see the class schedule of the school. See how they teach the children in the class and what games they play while teaching, like blocks, puppets, sand castles, toys, etc.
Also, pay attention to the way a class is divided, like in groups or pairs or whether any other theory of making the child sit in circles or any other patterns is applied. This will give you an idea about the creativity of the teachers and the methodology of teaching used by them.
7. Curriculum of the School
The parents should check what the goals are set by the school for the young kids; whether they are taught through books or play. Young children can’t generally sit still so they need to be taught with a constant active-reactive approach.
In the curriculum of the school, whatever subjects are taught, like music, art, craft, language, science, etc., they should concentrate on giving a well-formed progress to the child. In order to do so, the parents should thoroughly analyse and check the curriculum used in the school.
8. Scrutinize the Classmates
Meet the potential classmates of your child as these would be his future friends and peers. See if these are the kind of friends you wish your child to have. Friends made in early age make strong impact on a child’s psyche.
So, if your child gets good friends then he will get a positive impact while on the other hand if your child’s friends are argumentative or rude and shout at each other in bad or foul language, then it would have a negative impact on your child as well.
9. Account for your Child’s Choices
Take your child with you when you go to visit a preschool and also ask for his opinion, which school did he like the most and why? In this manner, the child will learn that his opinion also matters. You will also get to know about the child’s inclination to attend a particular school and why.
If, miraculously, you and your child’s choice matches then that would be an ideal preschool for you to put your child in.
10. Student-child ratio
Another important factor to consider while choosing the best preschool for your child is to find out the student-child ratio of each class. This will give you an idea about how many students are there in a class and will the child be able to pay enough attention to your child or not.
All these factors play a crucial role in helping a parent, when he wants to choose the best preschool for his child. He must take all this points into account and only then decide which school suits his child the best.
What are the Qualities of a Good Preschool?
To make the process of selecting the best preschool or nursery program for their child the parents need to know the good or positive qualities of a preschool. So, let us understand some of the good qualities that the best preschools must have.
- Reputation of the preschool: The preschool in which you want to admit your child must have an excellent reputation in the market. It should have a good name and popular for all the right things. A positive word of mouth is the best way to spread popularity for a preschool.
- Comfortable environment: The environment in which your child will start learning should be comfortable for him. He should be happy and willing to go there every day. Having this quality is very important for a preschool before any parent can decide to enroll his child in it.
- Compassionate staff: Having a compassionate and understanding staff is like a bonus for any preschool. Not just the teachers, but also the support staff should be kind, loving and understanding towards young kids. If a preschool has such staff then it will automatically fall under the category of a good preschool.
- Active learning: Small kids understand more when they are taught by doing something or experiencing that act instead of just teaching them. This process is known as ‘active learning’. Having this kind of methodology in the school will make the kids joyful and become a positive factor for the preschool.
- Child-friendly facilities: Ensure that the preschool has all the child friendly facilities. While selecting a preschool, the parent will want to know all the child-friendly measures applied by the school, like safety precautions around the swings or medical kits available for emergencies or teaching through various modes, like puppets or story narrations or showing videos.
If a preschool has all these qualities then it will indeed become one of the most famous and popular ones in the area.
What is the Perfect Age to Start Preschool for Kids?
Deciding whether and when to start preschool for your kids depends on a lot of things. Some such factors are parents’ availability or their need to return to work or child’s readiness to go to school and his willingness to learn.
Although most of the preschools nowadays admit the children from the age of three, a rising number of them have also admitting children from the early age of 1.5 to 2 years. But before admitting any child in any preschool it is important to ensure that he is mentally ready for it.
Being a part of a good preschool makes the kids ready for the world of education and knowledge beyond. However, finding the best preschool for your child takes a lot of time and exploration.
A parents’ biggest concern is ‘how to choose the best preschool for your child’ and if he is able to do so then his biggest query gets solved. This can be done by effectively using the information given in the article to select a good preschool for your child.
Those children who go to good preschools are able to improve their reading skills, vocabulary and basic numerical skills. Such children are more confident and better equipped to handle the situations when they enter the main schools.