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5 Essentials When Choosing a Preschool

Updated on September 20, 2017

Make Preschool Hunting Easier

Choosing a preschool seems like a daunting task for any young parent. Many first time parents are adamant about leaving their child from their watchful eyes. Choosing the right preschool where their child will be nurtured and taught while addressing this fear is therefore very important.

Every parent wants the best for their child and would stop at nothing to find that choice of preschool that addresses all concerns in terms of education as well as a safe and conducive environment of learning for any child. May this preschool checklist in that quest.

1. Decide on the method of teaching

There are many different approaches to preschool education and this can be a bit confusing to first time parents who don't have any background on the subject. 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 under the Developmental approach is on the development of the emotional and social formation of your 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. Make a short list

When you have chose the educational approach that you think will work best for your child, come up with a list of preschools near your home that offer this method of instruction. You can help narrow down your list by doing online research. If you are from some of these cities in the Philippines this Pasig City Preschool List might help. There are many parent forums online that can give you great feedback on most of the popular schools in your area.

Do not discount the feedback and suggestions from friends who had their kids in preschools that made your list. 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 drawing and narrowing the list of the preschools you are targeting, get as much information as you can about them. Find out who is the contact person, telephone numbers, facilities, etc. While you’re in this stage, also find out about student-teacher ratio as they indicate the level of involvement and attention your child will get from the staff. Follow this simple rule, the lesser the number of preschoolers per teacher, the better. This will help you out in narrowing your list.

4. Book a guided tour

Schedule a tour or visit to the preschools. This is very important to give you an idea and feel of how each operate on a normal day. Moreover, it would give you a glimpse of the staff, facilities, and the totality of the experience firsthand. Much better if the preschool allow trial sit-ins to enable your child to experience by himself how it is to go to that school.

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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