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5 Tips When Searching for a Preschool

Updated on February 15, 2018

Make Preschool Hunting Easier

Choosing a preschool may seem like a daunting task for parents who would want nothing but the best for their child. Read on these 5 important tips to help you make the wise choice.

1. Decide on the approach to education.

There are many different approaches to preschool education. While some parents are not so picky about this, others prefer one over the other depending on the needs of their child.

Learn a few basics about the different approaches, some of these are the Academic/Traditional, also known as the Pre-K approach and the Developmental approaches.

Traditional of Academic Preschool Approach

The Academic approach, also known as the Traditional method (Pre-K) is often more curriculum-based.

This is the most familiar since most, if not all of the young parents were taught under this approach in most of the public and private schools during their generation.

Under traditional method, a child would likely spend considerable school time on pre-reading, writing and other ABCs of learning.

Developmental Approach

The emphasis is on the development of the emotional and social formation of the child. The approach is a result of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.

School activities often include development of other soft or social skill with other children. In some countries, the developmental approach has taken different forms and these are just some of them: Montessori, Progressive, Reggio Emilia approach and many others.

2. Create a short list

When you have chosen the educational approach, make a short list of preschools nearby that use this method of instruction.

Online research, friend's feedback and recommendation will help you come up with the school list. There are many parent forums online to obtain feedback on most of the preschools that suit your needs in your area.

Narrow them down based on other equally important factors such as quality of teaching, qualification of the teachers, distance or accessibility and tuition rates,

3. Gather information.

After shortlisting the preschools you are targeting, do a background research on each. Get important details such as the contact person, contact numbers, facilities, etc.

It is important to take note of student-teacher ratio as they indicate the level of involvement and attention your child will get from the staff. The lesser the number of preschoolers per teacher, the better.

4. Make an initial visit

Schedule a tour or visit to the preschools in your narrowed down list. This is very important to give you an idea and a feel of how the school is run.

Moreover, it would give you a glimpse of the staff, facilities, and the totality of the experience firsthand.

If the school allows trial sit-ins, take advantage of that.

Questions You Need To Ask

While you’re at it, list down observations, ask as many questions like;

  • Is the school equipment and facilities new or old?
  • Do they present a safety risks to a small child?
  • Is the school gated to ensure that the children are kept safe?
  • Does the school have a security guard at all times?
  • Is the building new or old, or with the necessary fire safety exits or equipment?
  • Is the building earthquake proof and is the staff well-trained in case of such emergencies?
  • Are the teachers and staff friendlyand helpful?

5. Think it over

Before making the final decision, get some time to review and rethink about your choice because you might have missed out some details in the first instance.

You might have made a tour of a particular school and was impressed with it but do not make the decision right there and then.

You should make your choice freely and independently after weighing down the pros and cons of a particular preschool.

Simply tell the school staff that you need time before deciding. However, if you are convinced right there that the school does not measure up to your expectations, you can always be honest and tell them directly that you need to look over other schools.

Tips on Getting Your Child Ready for Preschool

© 2010 Gei Moore

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