We all love our pets but they just might stop you from having a preschool. Here are some tips to learn how to start a preschool with pets!
Things To Consider About Having Pets In Your Preschool
Fluffy puppies and purring kittens can be so cute and fun for children to interact with in your preschool, but there are a few things to consider about pets and preschool.
- Allergies are a big concern. If any of your preschoolers, their siblings, or their parents are allergic to pet hair or pet dander you need to let them know that you have a cat or dog (or any other kind of animal.) It may even be a good idea to put some fine print on your advertising flyer stating that you have a Golden Retriever, adult cat, or bearded lizard in your home. Mention it on the phone call when you are scheduling the tour as well. Someone with severe allergies may need to skip your preschool program.
- Fear is a possibility as well. Some children may never have been around animals before or they may have had a bad experience with an animal. You may know your cat, dog, or hamster is perfectly harmless, but THEY don’t know that. It is a good idea to introduce your pet during the tour just in case the child is too afraid to be around the animal. Parents will also want to meet the pet to see what kind of animal their child will be spending time around.
- If you have large guard dogs or a cat that is not good around children, it is better to put those animals in a locked room or a kennel during class time. Safety should always be your first priority.
Never Let Your Pet Out During Pickup and Dropoff
Pickup and dropoff times can be chaotic. It is challenging enough to get 12 little children safely out the door and matched up with their parents without adding Fido or Fluffy into the mix. Plus, if the pet were to run off, you couldn’t leave your preschoolers unattended to chase it down. It is better to secure your pet before these two class times begin.
How To Expose Your Preschool Classes To Animals Without Having One In Your Home Or Preschool Building
Animals can bring a lot of enrichment into the classroom, but maybe your pet isn’t ideal for preschoolers. There are still several ways to expose your kiddos to animals.
- Take a field trip to a farm, a petting zoo, or the zoo.
- Have a zookeeper, a beekeeper, or a bird trainer come in as a guest speaker.
- Have a service animal trainer come as a guest speaker.
- Partner with a therapy animal group to have the animals visit your classroom for the children to read to them.
Pets in your preschool can be awesome as long as you pay attention to health and safety concerns.