by Catherine Griffin
Selecting a perfect preschool for your child can be simple if you know the right questions to ask and if you enter the process prepared. Parents should consider the following questions when choosing the best program for your little one:
- Does the preschool address your family needs (proximity, financial situation, hours of operations, calendar closure dates, open door policy)?
- What is the total cost of the Part-time or Full-Time tuition including additional fees and are all meals included?
- What is the educational philosophy of the school and is individualized instruction available for students at various academic levels or for children with different learning styles?
Note: It will be helpful to familiarize yourself and understand the key differences between common terms and formal educational philosophies such as the Montessori Method, The Reggio Emilia Approach, The Waldorf Approach, The High-Scope Approach, Active Engaged Learning, Accelerated Academics, Gifted-prep, Child-centered, Teacher-led, Child-led, Co-operative Childcare and Developmentally Appropriate.
- What is the educational background and experience of the instructors, teacher-to-child ratios, and staff certifications (including Adult, Child and Infant CPR/First Aid)?
- What activities and special programs does the preschool offer? (I.e. Fine Arts, Global Enrichment, Foreign Language)
- How does the school handle discipline and is positive reinforcement incorporated regularly to help prevent negative behavior?
Being prepared helps parents feel less overwhelmed when choosing the best preschool fit for their child and allows parents to enter the process more aware which makes the process more effective, efficient and enjoyable.