Choosing the right preschool for your child can be an overwhelming experience. After all, there are so many options out there and it can be hard to know which one will be best for your little one. That's why it's important to take some time to do your research when it comes to selecting a preschool. Here are some tips on how to make sure you're finding the perfect fit for your family.
Do Your Research
When looking for a preschool, start by doing some research into what’s available in your area. It’s also helpful to ask other parents in the neighborhood or even people at church or work who they have used and recommend (as well as any feedback who they would not recommend and why). Ask around and get a better sense of what the local options are like, and which ones might be best suited to your child’s personality and needs.
Take a Tour
Once you've narrowed down your list of potential schools, it's time for a tour! When you arrive at each school, talk with teachers and administrators about their teaching philosophies and what makes their school different from others nearby. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions about class sizes, resources for teachers, how they handle discipline, communication with parents, injuries, separation anxiety, etc., so that you can get a better sense of how things run at each particular school. Make sure you take notes during each tour so that you can compare them later when making your decision! I personally created a list of question prior to each tour that I needed answers to before leaving the facility.
It's also a great idea to take your child on the tour with you, you can really tell when they feel comfortable with an environment and staff right away. Some preschools offer an hour (or more) of a shadow visit where your kids can sit in the classroom and get a feel for the day with other friends, and you are also allowed to sit in and watch sometimes. It’s a small chunk of time but helps you and your child get a sense for the school and how day-to-day is handled.
Talk To the Teachers and Staff Members
Make sure you take some time to talk with the teachers directly before making any decisions about where you want to enroll your child. Ask questions about their approach to learning/teaching, disciplining, as well as any additional resources or activities available at the school (art classes, music lessons, after-school programs). It's also important to find out if there are any additional costs associated with these activities or if they're included in tuition. This will help ensure that you have all the information needed before making an informed decision about where best to send your child.
Keep in mind that choosing the right preschool is not just about academics—it's also about creating an atmosphere where children can learn and grow in a safe environment surrounded by caring people who understand their individual needs. Take the time necessary to research different schools, visit each one personally, talk with teachers and staff members, and ultimately choose the school that feels like home for both you and your little one! It’s ideal to start early, even if it’s not time for your little one to start just yet, some schools have wait lists. Good luck!