6 Tips to Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child
All parents want what is best for their children. The benefits of preschool have been well documented and researched. Around the United States, there are more than 11 million children who are attending some kind of prekindergarten program. If you are interested in finding a good preschool for your child, there are some things you can do.
- Talk to your friends and family. If you know people in your city or town who have put their kids in preschool, ask them where they went and how they liked the experience. It is always nice to get the same recommendation from two or more people, especially when these recommendations are given independently of each other.
- Look into the experience and background of the people who work there. The teachers at the preschool need to be qualified and have a decent amount of experience. At the very least, all of the teachers at the facility should have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Good teachers can really help children grow. The impact they can have on a child’s development cannot be overstated. You need teachers and supporting staff who have the experience working with young children with an age appropriate curriculum. You also should ask about any CPR certification. You want to go with a program where they teachers and staff are really dedicated and enjoy what they do. This will have an impact on your child’s experience at the preschool.
- Look into the play situation. Play time is important for the development of motor and social skills. It is a crucial part of any preschool program. Getting exercise is very important for young children. It does a lot to help them develop their motor skills. It is also important for their health, as it is for people of all ages. Activities that get children to string together some beads or drawing can help with their fine motor abilities. Play is also a good time for children to work with each other and develop social and sharing skills that are so vital to life later on.
- Look into the nap schedule. Young children need to take naps. You should go with a preschool that has naptime at the same time every day. This should not be longer than two hours. If they are allowed to sleep too long during the day, you may have a hard time getting them to sleep through the night. Ask about what you need to provide. You may need to send your child in with a pillow, mat or a sheet. Put a label with your child’s name or use a marker to put your child’s name on anything you send to the school with your child. Young children really need the chance to sleep during the day.
- Look into the snack situation. Ask about the options for snacks that are provided by the preschool. You want to go with a program that offers well balanced and healthy snacks for the children in the program. You should also get an idea of what their rules are like for the snack time and what will be expected of your child. Many preschools have a pre-snack time routine they employ to get the children into the habit of washing their hands before meals, for instance. You can help your child with the program if you know what will be expected of them.
- Look into the discipline policies of the school. When you are talking to a school about their general philosophy, which you want to be at least similar to your own, you should ask about the discipline policy. It can be very confusing for a child to get one set of ideals taught to them at home and another taught to them at school. You and your child need to understand what is expected of the students in the program. Does the school rely on positive or negative reinforcement? You should look for a program that focuses more on promoting and encouraging positive behavior.
Choosing the best preschool may seem like a daunting challenge but it does not have to be. Do your homework and you will find the right one.