Why start an online preschool? Local preschools were thriving, then in early 2020, due to COVID-19, they were suddenly shut down. Children had no preschools and preschool owners had no income.
With families staying home during the pandemic, a new business model emerged – one that didn’t require licensing or a physical location — the online preschool. Hundreds of preschool owners have started successful online preschools. These 7 tips will help you start your online preschool business.
1. Have a Real Teacher and Real Preschool Friends
There are many apps, computer games, and videos that “teach” preschool, but preschool classes must have two critical components. They need to be more than just another screen time activity for young children to stare at for hours.
Online preschool classes must have:
- An actual preschool teacher
- Real-life preschool friends
These classes may be taught over an online platform like Zoom or Google Meets, but they still need the human element if children are going to thrive in this online environment.
2. Teach Two Different Classes Each Day
To provide the human element the online preschool model includes two separate classes that children participate in each day.
- Teaching Time, which is the instruction time.
- Preschool Pals, which is the social time.
3. Teach for Only 30 Minutes Per Class
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preschool age children have no more than one hour of quality screen time each day. Each of these two preschool classes are only 30 minutes each, which fits perfectly!
4. Use the MUTE Button on Zoom
For the Teaching Time portion of the classes the students can all be muted. These classes can even be recorded and delivered to the parents the night before their Preschool Pals classes.
5. Let Children Socialize During Preschool Pals
During the Preschool Pals class, the children will interact with each other and with the teacher. They will have conversations, and ask and answer questions.
6. Assess Your Students to Increase Their Skills
As the students are interacting with each other and with the teacher, the preschool teacher can assess their skills. She will notice if one of the students hesitates to speak with their classmates or struggles to remember the names of the letters or numbers. This will allow her to tailor future classes to reinforce these skills.
7. Teach Online As If Your Preschool Class Was In Person
By following a systematic schedule, including lots of music, movement, fun science experiments, and craft activities, the children will not only pay attention, but they will also participate with the teacher and other students. During the Preschool Pals portion, they can even participate in Show and Tell, Scavenger Hunts, and Talent Shows!
During this pandemic, when local preschools may get shut down at any time, starting an online preschool can be a great way to provide a valuable service to families as well as create an at-home income.