As a first-time parent, there are a lot of exciting (but scary) milestones your child is flying through. One of the biggest steps your child takes in their early years is attending preschool. More and more parents are making the decision to send their children to preschool nowadays. In fact, 66% of four-year-olds were enrolled in pre-primary programs in 2012, compared to 56% in 1990. Because of the popularity of preschools, more programs have developed to suit a wide range of learning needs. But how do you know you’re choosing the best preschool for your child? This article is going to cover a few important things first-time parents should consider when choosing a program for their child.
There are a lot of important factors to consider when it comes to a program meeting not only your child’s needs but your needs as a parent as well. The location and program schedule are two important factors because the school needs to be closeby and the schedule should fit with your work schedule. Furthermore, does the program run just through the school year or do they offer summer camp programs as well?
Additionally, it’s important that the program fits well with your family values. Values come into play when you’re deciding between public, religiously-affiliated, and private preschool programs. Overall, you should choose a program that you feel will best integrate with your child’s life outside of school.
Not surprisingly, there are many educational philosophies different programs practice. It may be a good idea to do some research on basic educational approaches for preschoolers to know what you are and aren’t comfortable with ahead of time. The education approach a program takes will decide how your child will be taught and how they’ll spend their time. Because of this, it’s important to know which approach will best suit your child’s needs.
Since you’ve never enrolled a child in preschool before, it can all seem very overwhelming. While there are a lot of factors to consider, at the end of the day you should trust your gut. You know what’s best for your child and in knowing this, you’ll be able to choose the right program for your child’s needs. By doing some research, asking for recommendations, and taking tours of potential schools, you can make a knowledgeable decision.