Some children are just not socially and emotionally ready to be successful in a preschool setting. No one wants to disappoint a parent, but here’s what to do if a preschooler is not ready to come to preschool yet!
The Tour Is Your Screening Process
We teach a three phase system for marketing your preschool:
- Advertising flyer
- Phone call
- Tour of your preschool
During the phone call, you will say, “Let’s set you up with a tour of our preschool so I can meet you and your child and we can see if we are a good fit for each other.” During the tour you will walk the parents through what it is like to be in your classroom for an entire school year. You will include facts about your preschool, your story, and your journey. You will cover your policies and procedures, and go over your calendar for the year. Your eyes will be connecting with the parents as you talk.
Signs A Preschooler Is Not Ready For Preschool
And all the while, you will be watching over the parents’ shoulders to see how their child is interacting with your preschool room.
- Are they tearing things off the walls?
- Are they dumping out 20 buckets of toys?
- Are they throwing a fit because something didn’t work right?
- Are they taking toys from their siblings?
- How are the parents interacting with the child?
Nine out of ten times the child is fine, curious, yes, but not destructive.
How To Tell A Parent Their Child Is Not Ready For Preschool
If the child is exhibiting any of the above behaviors, they may not be a good fit for your preschool classroom at this time. What do you say to the parents?
If the child is only 3 years old, a simple, “It seems like your child is maybe a little too early for preschool, but let’s definitely consider us for next school year and go from there,” works great. But if the child is 4 years old, you usually won’t discover they aren’t ready until they are in a classroom with other students.
At that time, start a dialogue with the parents. Ask to speak with them and say, “These are the behaviors I’m seeing in class. Have you noticed anything like that at home?” Start a partnership with the parents with the goal being to work together, the parents at home, and you at school to develop the behavior you expect out of your students.
What If It’s Not Working Out?
It is never easy to tell a parent a student is not right for your preschool, but to ensure the success of the other students in your classroom, sometimes it has to be done.