Whether you’ve been thinking about preschool since the day your child was born or you haven’t really thought about it at all, choosing the best preschool for your child is a crucial step in preparing them for life. There are many different types of preschools that can benefit different types of children. Because of this, it’s important you find the right preschool for your child. This article will look at a few tips to help get you started with the process of picking a preschool.
1. Start your research as early as possible
Most preschools have specific enrollment periods and possibly even waiting lists. Because of this, you should try to begin looking at schools at least one year before your child will be attending. If that’s not possible, that’s okay too! Just know that you should begin looking at schools and scheduling tours as soon as possible to ensure you have plenty of time to look at all the prospective schools and make a good decision.
2. Get recommendations and schedule tours
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to get information and recommendations from. You should start with friends and family or fellow parents to get preschool recommendations. Additionally, preschool fairs are a great way to get to know more about the schools in your area. After you’ve gathered a list of prospective schools, it’s important to go on tours of the schools. This will allow you to gather more information about the admission process, the school’s philosophy, and maybe even allow your child to spend some time in one of the classrooms.
3. Decide what schedule will work best for your child
One of the great benefits of preschool is that most programs offer half-day or full-day sessions. Since the most common age for preschoolers is between two and a half and five, with 30% of the country’s three and four-year-olds being enrolled in private preschools or childcare centers, some children may not be able to handle a full day. Depending on your child’s age, maturity, and independence levels, you should decide what will be best for them. Finding a good preschool that can accommodate your child’s needs is key to them having a great start to their education.
4. Understand the signs of a well-run preschool program
While there are undeniable benefits of preschool, not all preschool programs are the same. It’s important for you to know what makes a preschool program great. Below is a list of a few signs that a preschool program is well-run:
- The staff is friendly and interact well with students.
- They consider home-to-school connections important.
- They have specific guidelines for addressing challenging behaviors.
- The curriculum is designed to prepare children for kindergarten.
- The classroom offers plenty of space to play and learn.
The preschool you choose should be one that promotes learning and development along with fun and playtime. Preparing your child for kindergarten is one of the many benefits of preschool. Not only will your child learn new cognitive, motor, and social skills, but they will also have a great start to their education.