If you’re looking for a head start for your child, like most parents, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I choose the best preschool near me?” There are a number of characteristics to look for, so here are a few questions to ask yourself as you work through the process of pinning down the perfect preschool for your little one.
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What is the school’s educational philosophy?” Does the school support a rigorous academic routine, ample free play or a balance of both? No one way is better than another, but you should search for a school whose teaching philosophy aligns with (or at least complements) your parenting style. If the school is not explicit about their philosophy, ask to meet with the school director and/or come in for a class observation or two. This will help illuminate exactly what the school believes about early childhood education.
Teachers and Students
The next question you might want to consider is, “What are the teachers and students like?” Consider factors such as teacher experience and training, student/teacher ratios, each teacher’s classroom rules and methods for administering discipline or correction. Are the teachers permissive, strict or somewhere in the middle? Are the classrooms bursting at the seams with students, or do they exist in small groups? Much of what you choose in this category simply boils down to your personal preferences for your child.
Finally, the last question you should examine when choosing a preschool is, “What sets this school apart from the others?” Some things to consider might be amenities offered to the children (such as playground facilities), accommodation of your child’s needs (like toilet training assistance) and the school’s hours. These differences may be either the icing on the cake or deal-breakers, depending on your needs.
As you search for the right school for your child, keep in mind that no school is perfect. However, by asking yourself questions like these, you can ensure the best possible opportunity for your child.