The preschool years mark a crucial developmental stage in a child's life, laying the foundation…
Deciding where to send your little one for their first educational experience can seem like a daunting task. With so many options to consider, how do you go about choosing the best preschool for your child? As you think through this important decision, here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Consider Your Priorities
Before you start touring facilities or reading online reviews, first make a list of what’s most important to you in a pre-k environment. Is having strong academics at the top of your list, or would you prefer a larger emphasis on socialization and play? Does the institution need to line up with your family values or religious beliefs? By first getting clear on your priorities like class size, location, and safety procedures, you’ll be better equipped to narrow down your options.
Schedule In-Person Tours
Once you have a list of potential pre-k programs based on initial priorities, schedule a visit to check them out in person. Observe how the teachers and staff interact with the children. Notice the learning environment and if the classroom provides areas for different types of play and development. See if the kids seem happily engaged in activities. Ask questions as you go to get a feel for the overall philosophy and approach of the school. An in-person tour can give you the best sense of whether a particular program would be a good fit for your child!
Have a Conversation With Your Child
Granted, your little one might not fully understand the concept of choosing the best preschool, but they likely know what they find fun or exciting. Share some pictures from websites of the institutions you’re considering and see if anything piques their interest or lines up with activities they enjoy. Let them know they’ll get to learn, play games, make art projects, and sing songs at this new school all while making new friends. Getting them enthusiastic about this new adventure can help the transition go smoothly when the time comes.
Is your little one turning four or five soon? It’s time to consider these tips outlined above, as the percentage of children enrolled in pre-k programs is 86% for five-year-olds and 68% for four-year-olds, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Contact us at International Children’s School today to schedule a tour.