Starting formal schooling is one of the most intimidating parts of childhood for both children…
It’s time to send your child to preschool. Time really does fly! But should you choose a public or a private preschool? Here are 8 factors to consider about how to find a preschool to help you make your decision.
Quality of Educational Programs
Preschool education is a key step in a child’s development. In preschool, basic cognitive skills and other skills are taught. The child operates in an atmosphere with structure and a routine that is established. Arrange to visit the school, if possible, to observe what happens. Read about the school, too. Most importantly, talk to as many parents of children who attend the school as possible.
Location is an important factor when determining which will be the best preschool for your child and for your family. One that is located close to home would be ideal. Also finding a good preschool that is on the way to the workplace of one or both parents would also be very helpful and convenient. This is a consideration not only for pick up and drop off, but also in cases of early dismissal, school cancellation and a child’s illness.
Find out what the tuition is, if you are considering a private preschool. Compare the cost to other private schools you have researched. Factor in other expenses for your child, such as summer camp. Ask if there is financial aid? Is tuition due in one lump sum or is there a plan where the tuition can be paid in installments? If additional grade levels continue to be offered in the school after preschool, what is the change in the tuition price?
Check out the number of students enrolled currently in the school. Then compare those numbers to previous years. Have numbers dropped? Have they grown? Enrollment is a key factor in private schools and is seen as an indicator of the overall quality of the school.
Find out how many children will be in the classroom with your child. What is the maximum classroom size? What is the minimum? If possible, tour the school to see the facility and assess the size of the classroom and how it compares to the number of students in it. Are they crowded? Are they comfortable?
This is a critical factor in choosing the best preschool for your child, and may be the determining factor in making a decision between a public school and a private preschool. There is no question that the statistics show a private preschool has a far superior student-teacher ratio, with 35% of them averaging a 10:1 student-teacher ratio. Public schools, which only came in at 10%, fall far behind in this area.
Find out about special programs such as art, music and foreign languages in the school. Various programs enrich and stimulate a love of learning in children.
Athletics, team sports and field trips are very important in developing coordination and socialization skills. Make sure to find out about the types and varieties of opportunities that the school is engaged with and the frequency that they are offered.
To sum up, there are many factors involved in choosing a preschool for your child. But with good advice and diligent research, you will make an informed decision. Then you will be able to open your child to the love of learning, which is a journey that can last a lifetime.