10 Things to consider when choosing a preschool?

Pre-school plays a very important role in a child’s life because it forms the foundation upon which the child’s future life is based. Pre-school forms the roots from which grow the sweet fruits of a child’s future. As parents, it is our responsibility to invest our time and energy in choosing the right pre-school for our children so that his/her days can be spent in a nurturing and enjoyable environment conducive to learning. Following aspects should be considered when choosing a pre-school

Curriculum and Structure – One should find out what curriculum the school is following; Montessori or Waldorf or if is it integrated. Curriculum & structure determines the school’s teaching philosophy and what a typical day in the school would look like.

SPICE Development of Child – One should ascertain whether the school is equipped to ensure the child’s social, physical, intellectual, cognitive and emotional development through different activities and studies.

Location – The school being located close to one’s home or place of work makes it easier for the parents to manage the logistics of dropping off and picking up, accessibility in case of any emergency. Thus, it should be one of the important factors to be considered while selecting a pre-school.

Staff to Child Ratio – It is important for the child to get individual attention from the teachers and that can happen only if the staff to student ratio is acceptable. This is a very essential aspect to consider because if the class size is too large, the child’s progress or limitations would be harder to keep track of.

Infrastructure –Does the school have adequate play area? Do the school have a library, a designated area for music, arts, and other extracurricular activities? Does the school ensure that the washrooms are kept clean and hygienic? Does the school have adequate classrooms proportionate to the number of children on its rolls? All these factors should be kept in mind while selecting a pre-school.

Food –Nutrition is an essential part of a growing child’s daily routine. As parents, we must ensure that the school is setting and following a menu which is consistent with the child’s health and nutritional demands and that the food is cooked and served in a hygienic and safe manner.

Fee Structure – Whether or not the services provided by the pre-school are worth the price being charged for them, is the parents’ prerogative.

Reference – This also plays an important role if somebody refers to me as word of mouth is priceless, and opinions from current / previous parent definitely helps. Word-of-mouth is the most reliable reference one can get, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as a pre-school where parents have to leave their young children in the care of strangers. So, feedback and reviews from parents of current/previous students is always a big help in making the right decision when it comes to pre-schools.

Gut Reaction –Human beings also rely on their ‘gut’ feelings. So, if one senses that something is not quite right, or if one doesn’t get positive vibes from a place, then they should feel free to take that place off their list. Humans function on instinct and we, as parents, would do well to follow our instincts in some cases as well.

Teachers and Staff –Because a teacher is the gardener who nurtures the saplings of a young child’s mind, it is essential to determine the capacity of the teaching staff in the school. Not only should they be technically strong so as to lead the classes in a capable manner, but they should also be compassionate, patient and caring while dealing with young children. Also, the non-teaching staff who assist the teachers in taking care of the children should be especially sensitive in dealing with the children and placing their needs above everything else.

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