Taking your child to preschool allows them to explore their curiosities and capabilities in an environment that understands them. There are several approaches and variations of preschool education, each focusing on different things such as creativity, child-led learning, social involvement, among others. Choosing a preschool for your kid can be a daunting task, especially if you are not sure under which environment your child would thrive.
When looking at preschools that can help your child thrive, such as Southwood Learning, start by considering your goals for your child’s learning experience at that level. For some, the greater focus is on academics, others socialization while others want to achieve both. Let’s look at some considerations you need to make to choose the right preschool for your child.
Location, cost, and schedule
Remember that your preschool selection impacts the whole family, so you need to be wise when making your decision.
Choosing a preschool near your residence or place of work will simplify pickup and drop-offs for the whole family.
The cost can be a barrier to your preschool choice. First, assess how the preschool costs impact your family budget and determine the best program that aligns with your financial goals.
Many preschools offer full or half-day programs. When choosing the program, consider your work schedule, cost differences, your child’s feelings being away from home, and the goals you have for their individual learning development.
The preschool education approach
There are different types of preschool education approaches, with the most common ones including:
- Reggio Emilia.
- Parent co-ops.
- Bank Street.
To make an informed decision, compare your child’s development goals with those featured in each school’s philosophy. Some child development goals include:
- Opportunities for hands-on learning.
- Expression through creativity.
- Personalized attention.
- Outdoor and extracurricular activities.
- Family involvement etc.
Moreover, consider your long-term educational goals as a parent and your family’s relationship with the school community. For instance, ask yourself, why choose Southwood Learning and not any other preschool?
Visit the school
The preschool vetting process also includes visiting the school. During your visit to the school, know what to look for so that it will be easy to make a final decision. Check the following things:
The physical environment and design of the preschool is your child’s first impression. Focus on the school’s outdoor area and check if it allows kids to explore and learn more during recess. Ask what activities are available, do the rooms allow structured learning or free play? etc.
Breakdown of the day
Here, ensure you check if the school balances the instructional style. Observe how they transition from one activity to another and their flexibility which is vital for early childhood development.
Assess the preschool’s curriculum and ask yourself if it focuses on the child’s skills’ overall development. Depending on the preschool education approach, observe if there is balance in the curriculum. You can speak with the admission representative to understand more about their curriculum.
Does the instructional style of learning in the school encourage the voice of each child to be heard? If you are curious about the school’s instructional methods, discuss with the teachers to get the whole idea.
Regardless of a preschool’s philosophy, you are the best gauge of how your child will respond to the school setting. This is a guide to help you make an informed decision on your preschool choice.