Choosing a preschool that’s best for your family needs
What does Your Child Need to Thrive?
This may seem like a really obvious one, but you have to take into account the teaching style of the preschool, the environment of the community there, and how they are in the child care center. Are they relaxed, happy, ill at ease? Your child’s reaction to the physical environment when they are there will give you a big clue as to whether it is a wise choice or not. Your child’s individual needs will make themselves apparent when you try out some day care centers for them.
Who Are the Teachers?
If you drop off your child at a day care every day, the teachers will be around them a lot, and will be a big influence on their lives. You will want to make sure that they are safe, and will not cause harm to come to your child. It helps is the day care allows prospective parents to sit in on classes. You can observe the teachers at work. The most successful teachers are warm and engaging, establishing a lot of eye contact and creating a language-rich area where your child not only hers others talk but is encouraged to join in themselves.
What is the Space Like?
When your child goes to a preschool, you want to check out what the physical environment is really like. Of course you will want it to be tidy, but too clean is also a big red flag. You will want to see an effort made, but it should be fairly apparent that children use the space to play. You would not want to leave your child in a place where they are afraid to cause a mess. You also want to check out the bathrooms. Make sure the facilities are adequate for the needs of your child. It is also good is the school is not far from your home, or along your regular commute. A school that is too far out of the way can turn a great find into a bad deal.
How are the other Children?
Just like the teachers, your child will spend a lot of time with the other children at the child care center. Of course you can’t tell what a small child’s character is like, but it can be very helpful to observe how your child interacts with the other children. Also check if the teacher reinforces sharing rules or politeness (saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’).
Choosing the right preschool for your child is about more than just finding a place where they can be safely kept all day while you do your tasks. It is about finding a place where your child will be encouraged to explore their creativity, giving them the best start in life. Use the above questions to really evaluate your chosen day cares.