Preschool is the first step for your child’s academic journey that serves as the foundation for all future learning. Choosing the right preschool for your kid is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Preschool provides kids with an environment to learn, explore, build self-confidence, and gain a sense of making decisions on their own.
Once you determine and decide your child is ready, finding the right preschool for your child can be exciting as well as nerve-wracking. As a parent, you want to be confident that you make the best choice. Thus, to help you pick the best preschool that fits your child’s needs, here are five specific questions that you should ask at any school. To know what these questions are, keep reading this post further!
#1 What is the educational philosophy of the preschool?
Just like different boards in schools, preschools too follow a variety of approaches. There are dozens of ways to teach a classroom full of preschoolers. Some preschools follow a Montessori approach that fosters independence, while others follow Reggio Emilia, a student centered approach that uses experiential learning in relationship-driven environments. The Reggio Emilia philosophy views the outdoor learning environment or nature as the third teacher. It is a space that provides numerous opportunities for young learners to explore, experiment, develop their ideas and test their theories.
Always prefer the school whose philosophy is a blend of physical and mental stimulation that’s achieved by imbibing co-curricular skills such as dancing, music in addition to reading excellence. Choose a school that encourages collaboration and communication, inspiration and intrigue, exploration and discovery.
#2 What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
There are many factors which come into play in determining the quality of your child’s education, but one thing that many parents generally overlook is student-teacher ratio. So, make sure that you do not forget to ask about the student-teacher ratio as it ensures that your child would receive individualized attention. At the preschool level, the National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends a student-teacher ratio of between 6:1 and 10:1, depending on the age of the children and the size of the group.
In addition to this, it is always best to ask schools about their educational backgrounds. The teachers should be certified in early childhood education. All that is required is they should be good with kids in terms of interaction, behavior and involvement.
#3 Ask about infrastructure
Pre-schools influence the personality development of children and build a strong foundation for their future. For this reason, a school’s infrastructure plays a vital role in building a place where a child can learn in optimally equipped facilities for various work and play activities. School’s hygiene and cleanliness are important, so check if the premises are clean during your school visit. Besides, you should ask the school administration if they have an infirmary with trained, full-time medical staff to handle exceptional situations like an emergency or illness strikes.
Before you enrol your child in a preschool, ask if the infrastructure is safe and secure? Preschools with good safety policies help subside your fear of your kid’s wellbeing when they are inside open green spaces integrated for sensory stimulation and exploration.
#4 Is there adequate parental involvement?
The bonding between child and parent should happen right from the beginning. Parental involvement during a child’s learning process is of paramount importance. Involved parents can make a positive and lasting impact on the kid’s learning ability. This is why, when choosing a preschool, find out if the school conducts monthly meetings to discuss the growth and development of your child. In addition to this, there should be sessions conducted wherein parents and children can learn together. Hence, ask schools about whether they organise activities or cultural events to build a healthy bond with your kid by participating together.
#5 Does the preschool have a linkage for K-12 schooling with the same culture and education philosophy?
Choosing the right preschool for your child is undoubtedly a daunting task. And going through the same procedure again to select the K-12 school is not an easy thing to do. This is why, at the time of making a choice on preschool for your child, ask schools – Do they offer contemporary learning programs for K-12 age groups as well? If the preschool has the K-12 linkage, ensure to ask if the school’s culture and education philosophy followed by the school are similar. This would make the decision-making process for your kid’s K-12 schooling a cakewalk for you. Also, the transition would become much smoother for your kid.
To Wrap Up
When choosing a preschool, always look for the one that assures the growth of your child and makes them feel most comfortable and happy. Consider asking the questions mentioned above to make your decision easy. Academics are important, but your child has a lifetime of learning ahead of them. Before you choose, always remember that early childhood education plays a crucial role in making kids ready for the future. Hence, pick the place where your child can foster an appreciation and discover a love for lifelong learning.