Preschools are typically private institutions that provide early childhood education to children who aren’t old enough to start kindergarten yet. Preschool is sometimes also referred to as pre-k or nursery school.
The best preschools in Coral Gables have a variety of exciting activities that children can take part in including summer camps for toddlers. Studies show that up to 63% of kids who learn new activities at such camps retain an interest in those activities after the end of the camp.
Of course, many other factors make a great preschool besides allowing children to participate in summer camp. If you’re considering a top-quality preschool for your baby, here is a guide to help you make the right choice.
1. Consider the Educational Philosophy of the Institution
The first secret to finding a good preschool for your child is to take a good look at the curriculum that the preschool offers. Top Coral Gables private schools focus on discovery-based programs, not programs that only focus on drill and practice skills. Find a preschool that encourages kids to make choices regarding their learning.
A preschool with a high level of openness between the institution and the family is a great discovery. A good private preschool should fully welcome you into the program and encourage you to visit at any time to get feedback on the daily routine and development of your child.
2. Inquire About the Qualifications of the Staff
Your child is going to be spending a considerable amount of time with the staff in the preschool you choose, so it’s beneficial to make sure that their teacher has the appropriate training and experience for the job. The minimum requirement for a preschool teacher is a Child Development Associate credential.
Inquire about the teacher’s experience working with small children. How long have they dealt with a developmentally appropriate curriculum? Are they certified in first aid and CPR? Ultimately, you want a preschool in Coral Gables with a staff that’s qualified, committed, caring, and fully dedicated to the program.
3. Ask About the Play Opportunities Provided
A good preschool should provide plenty of active play opportunities for your child to develop their gross and fine motor skills. Active play is also essential for the health and well-being of young children. How much table time does the preschool provide for children to carry out fine motor activities like stringing beads or pre-writing activities? When kids are regularly exposed to these tasks, they develop the hand skills that they’re going to use in kindergarten.
4. Check the Snacks and Meals Provided
In case the school you choose provides meals and snacks, find out about the options offered. You want the meals to be nutritious and well-balanced. Inquire whether the snacks are healthy for children as well.
Most private schools in Coral Gables have a pre-meal routine, like visiting the restroom and cleaning hands. Kids are also encouraged to use appropriate table manners and given a chance to socialize during snacks and meals.
5. Ask How the Institution Handles Discipline
Generally, you want a preschool that encourages your child to develop positive behavior. Does the institution have clear classroom rules so every child knows what they should expect? In some institutions, there’s a treasure chest or reward chart to motivate children to behave positively.
Make sure you’re comfortable with how teachers handle conflicts and problem behaviors. Ideally, teachers should practice positive redirection or allow cool-down time in case the positive redirection doesn’t bear expected results. The tone between teachers and children should be one of respect, with teachers acknowledging children’s emotions and showing sympathy.
Finding a preschool that’s an ideal fit for your child can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. Ultimately, you want to settle on a preschool that provides the right program for your little one. As you begin the search, make a list of factors that you’re going to evaluate from the institutions you plan on visiting and settle on the institution you feel best meets your needs and, more importantly, the needs of your child.