Four Tips for Selecting a Preschool

Pre-kindergarten program

For parents, choosing your child’s preschool program can be a heart wrenching, but a vital choice. This decision can have a far-reaching impact on many aspects of their child’s future life. As a result, it is a decision that requires research and advanced planning to be made properly. It can be difficult to know what to ask when researching these establishments, however, and that can mean you miss important information. These four tips should help make sure that anything missed will be minor in nature.

  1. Check Out Their Philosophy on Education: The importance of education cannot be overestimated. Early education has been proven more important to the course of education than previously believed, and children who are enrolled in early learning programs that emphasize gain an advantage that those who are not enrolled rarely ever catch up to as the years progress. There is a large return on investment in such programs, as well, estimated at 10%. This number is especially impressive compared the 7% return of the stock market.
  2. Discipline Policy: The way a child’s behavior is guided and corrected has lasting psychological implications. The inappropriate technique can negatively influence a child’s attachment ability, so look for establishments that focus on positive reinforcement and redirection rather than the negative view of punishing bad behavior. A big indicator of a positive focus will be a reward chart displayed prominently.
  3. Ratio of Adults to Children: The number of children in your child’s age group, and the adults available to monitor them, is important for a number of reasons. First, the children are safer with more attentive adults surrounding them. The chaos that naturally occurs when children are at play can easily lead to accidents and injuries that could be avoided if there are enough adults to monitor everything occurring. Second, a child needs individual attention to ensure healthy emotional and mental growth. If there are too many children for that one-on-one interaction, it can negatively affect a child’s emotional well-being.
  4. Plan Ahead: Think carefully about what will be needed once your child progresses to Kindergarten. Does the preschool you are considering offer after school care. During the course of preschool, children will develop close relationships with their peers as well as the teachers. If you know you will require an after school care program, avoid places that do not offer it. That way, your son or daughter can maintain the positive connections, a difficult prospect when many of the children they interact with will likely attend different schools. Also, forcing a child to adapt to a new place for the after school care while they are simultaneously adjusting to Kindergarten could lead to behavior issues as the child becomes overwhelmed.
  5. Preschool should be a positive experience for your child, filled with education, play, and nurturing relationships. Finding the school that best meets the needs of your child will take effort, but these four tips should help smooth the way.