Your preschooler is wide eyed and ready to learn, and while you’re still warming up to the idea of sending them out into the world, you’re also so excited for your child to gain important new life experiences. You know not every preschool will provide the same experience, and you want your child to have the best one possible.
Your preschooler is going to have a great first experience with education, because we’re going to tell you how to find a quality preschool with loving teachers.
In order to find a quality preschool, you must first know what you’re looking for. When searching for a quality preschool you should look for a school that:
- Makes you feel welcome when you walk in
- Teaches using developmentally appropriate practices
- Uses a curriculum that addresses all areas of development
- Allows children time to play indoors and outdoors
- Is set up in a way that allows for clear supervision of all children at all times
- Performs assessments through the year to determine your child’s progress
- Values communication through various methods including orientation, conferences, and consistent emails
- Staff is trained in first aid/CPR and how to handle emergency situations
- Provides nutritious meals and snacks that have been safely stored
- Has teaching staff certified in early childhood education
- Encourages family involvement
- Has clear policies laid out in an easy to understand way
- Values involvement in the community
- Provides age appropriate learning materials and furniture
- Has safe play equipment and a fenced in outdoor play area
- Is a licensed program
- Has an appropriate student/teacher ratio of no more than 10 students to a teacher
UNDERSTAND APPROPRIATE TEACHING METHODS
A quality preschool teaches your child using developmentally appropriate practices that focus on all on areas of development including:
Your preschooler needs to develop two types of physical skills:
- Fine motor skills- Build the small muscles in your child’s fingers, hands, and wrists
- Gross motor skills- Build the large muscles in your child’s arms, shoulders, back, and legs
Your preschooler needs to learn certain social and emotional skills such as:
- Cooperating in groups
- Expressing themselves using words
- Following directions
- Controlling emotions
Your preschooler should be developing important language and literacy skills such as:
- Recognizing rhyming words
- Writing their name
- Expressing curiosity
- Identifying objects in books
Some important thinking and cognitive skills for your preschooler to develop are:
- Counting 1-10
- Knowing primary colors
- Recognizing basic shapes
- Following two step directions
DO YOUR RESEARCH
It’s important to do your research on your child’s potential school before enrolling them. If you know other families that have children that are currently attending, or have attended the school in the past, talk to them about the experience. Ask them questions like:
- Does your child enjoy attending school?
- Do you feel like they are safe when they are away at school?
- What kind of things are brought home after school?
- Does the school communicate well?
- Does the school provide free field trips?
- Is your child taught in a way that benefits their unique needs?
- Would you choose this school if you had to make the choice over again?
If your child’s potential preschool has a facebook page, following it is a great way to find out all kinds of things about the school, like what activities they do, and how involved the community is.
Click here to search for quality child care and early learning programs in your state.
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