Deciding on the preschool your child will attend is a huge decision. You can’t just pick a random school and hope for the best for your child’s education and growth. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to choose a preschool in 2022. Check it out!
Not all preschool teachers need to have teaching qualifications. So, be wary of preschools that have less strict regulations than primary schools. They often pack as many kids as possible with the main goal of just making a profit.
A simple search of “preschools near me” will show various results. Seek ones that hire qualified teachers that have thorough knowledge of children’s development. Their goal isn’t just to keep children occupied and entertained — you want your child to be educated well at this stage in their lives, especially if they’re already three or four years old.
Sizes of the Class
Research suggests that small class sizes increase educational effectiveness. Ideally, a preschool should have around 15 or fewer children. If the teacher has an assistant, that number can go up to 20, but no more.
Each child in a classroom needs enough attention from their teacher to learn well and to feel good about the preschool experience. An unwieldy number of students in one class can be detrimental not only to the kids but also to the teachers themselves.
Environment and Atmosphere
The preschool is a place for learning and educational entertainment for children. There should be resources and equipment available to keep the kids engrossed in learning. Playtime equipment, such as bean bags, beams, hula hoops, and other toys, should also be accessible. Puzzles, clay toys, and artwork tables are also a must.
The preschool should also have an atmosphere that’s friendly, fun, and welcoming — it should be a stress-free, happy place for kids. If you think the place is overcrowded, tense, and disorganized, then look for another preschool. You can gauge the preschool’s environment by observing how the staff interacts with children and whether or not the teacher or assistant knows each child’s name.
Many preschools and child care centers are involved in voluntary accreditation programs, such as those by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children).
While not all schools, even the high-quality ones, have the means to undergo accreditation programs, accreditation still provides an added layer of security and assurance to your child’s educational experience.
Many preschools have specific disciplinary policies involving timeouts, meetings with the teacher or principal, and expulsions. Learn what happens during a timeout. What kind of punishments are given to kids who behave inappropriately — do they seem harsh?
On top of that, know how these behaviors and policies are discussed with parents and guardians. After all, the teacher and the parents should work together to deal with such issues.
The Fine Print
Before deciding on a preschool that looks promising, take time to read their handbook. Familiarize yourself with the school’s hours, fees, rates, and other policies. Check whether any loopholes exist.
While you’re at it, ask your friends and family about the preschool you’re considering. Are they familiar with it? If so, ask them about their experience and if there are any red flags to consider. If not, tell them about what you’ve researched and ask for their own opinion. A second set of eyes to look at the school is always a good idea.
Your Gut Feeling
Finally, consider your gut feeling. Many of these things can be known when you ask questions and investigate, while the others rely on your instinct. This is an important decision for your child’s education, and you’ll have to weigh your feelings thoroughly to make it a good one.