What to consider when choosing a preschool for your child:
I first put my son in preschool when he was 2 years old. I needed quality full-time care for my son while I was caring for my Kindergartners. I went through 2 preschools in 2 years completely unhappy, with an upset, struggling kid to boot.
This is a list of thing’s I’ve learned hindsight from previous preschools. It is the list I used when I was looking for our current part-time preschool (which we are BOTH super happy with)!
We now have come up with a hybrid solution that works very well for our family. He goes to preschool 5 days a month while I am working & we homeschool preschool the rest of the time.
How to Choose a Preschool and the Best Fit:
Choosing a preschool is not an easy task, take into consideration the following & best wishes for a wonderful preschool experience!
- Educational Philosophy & Curriculum- What will they be learning and how will they learn it? Trending preschool philosophies; Montessori, Reggio Emillia, Waldorf, Play-based. Each of these can vary from site to site. ALWAYS tour the school site before you enroll your child. (It’s time consuming when you are looking at multiple sites but well worth the time investment!)
- School Policy, Discipline and Communication- How do they help your child build skills and keep a safe school climate? The first school I put my son in seemed to fit all of my prerequisites until there was an incident. I really had no way of knowing this in advance, perhaps if I had observed the other children
- Classroom Environment & Child’s personality- What are your child’s work/play preferences? Do they have playgroup experience? How do they learn best? Does your child prefer a quiet work space?
- Logistics & Family needs- Will you have to commute or is the school near your home, office or other child’s school?
- What is the school start time/ end time?
- Is pick up/drop off manageable with other time commitments (work start time/ other child’s start time)?
- Cleanliness of facility Preschool and Kindergarten are Yuck-City in the germ department. They should be cleaned regularly (several times per day) and it should be apparent if they are. If it isn’t you can always ask who cleans up after the kids.
- Sense of community This item is hind-sight for me now having been in 3 different preschool environments. The school that we’re in now has a WONDERFUL sense of community. I feel informed and a part of what my son is learning through a weekly email with parent updates, reminders and curriculum.
What if I am not able to find a quality preschool near me?
Some families who aren’t able to find a suitable preschool choose to homeschool or consider hiring a nanny or private care giver.
If you do decide to homeschool yourself or have someone come to the home use your child’s natural interests and abilities as a guide of what & how to learn at home.