Has your child come of preschool age? Are you still frantically searching for tips on how to choose a preschool? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn how to choose a preschool, and understand the different factors that influence this decision.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Preschool
Choosing a preschool isn’t as easy as researching the top preschools in your area. Ultimately, preschool sets the tone for a child’s entire academic career. To learn how to choose a preschool for your child, here are some of the things you need to consider.
A preschool program should prepare your student for their big next step — kindergarten. What does this mean? The curriculum should be skills-based to prepare the child for a classroom setting. Nonetheless, school days should be fun-filled to inspire a love for learning.
What is an age-appropriate curriculum for preschoolers? A curriculum that develops social, emotional, and academic literacy is a crucial foundation for preschoolers to build before moving onto kindergarten, where subjects like mathematics, reading, writing, social studies, and science are introduced.
Preschool is a fun getaway for children to interact with one another, but it is also an important step in their long-term education. Consider the curriculum of each preschool before enrolling your student.
How does your child learn? Various preschools use different methodologies — including a teacher-centered or student-centered approach — to structure the learning environment.
Just as there are different learning styles, your preschooler will thrive in different learning environments. For example, student-focused environments — like Montessori preschools — encourage self-directed learning, which emphasizes independence. Students in this environment are encouraged to build hypotheses through hands-on, age-appropriate activities. In contrast, a teacher-centered approach may require greater involvement from the teacher, giving direct instruction to come to a predetermined discovery.
So, how does your little tike learn? Will they thrive in a Montessori classroom; do they need further hand-holding to reap the full benefits of preschool education, or is there another option to explore? That is for you to figure out in your search for the right preschool.
Credentials and Awards
While credentials and awards do not tell the entire story, these distinctions are a positive indicator of a preschool program’s success.
For example, the U.S. Department of Education awards blue ribbons to public and private schools that have achieved academic excellence or minimized achievement gaps amongst student subgroups. Likewise, preschool teachers credentialed by a governing body — like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards — are required to meet the criteria to maintain their credentials.
Before enrolling your student into a preschool with a smorgasbord of awards, research each school’s credentials, awards, and awarding organizations to determine how it actually affects the quality of education.
The commute is often one of the most significant deciding factors in choosing a preschool for busy parents.
Whether that’s a preschool near work, home, or just in the middle, the location will significantly impact attendance, student satisfaction, and parent sanity!
Other factors to consider in picking a preschool:
- Is the preschool within your school district?
- Will your child attend school with neighboring families?
- Is it important that your child attends school with the same students throughout their academic career?
- Are you willing to go the distance for an exceptional education? Find a preschool near you, and watch your child thrive.
Quality education should not break the bank. With that said, it is still a factor that should be taken into consideration in knowing how to find the best preschool.
Scholarships are a good way to offset tuition costs. Additionally, referral programs are a lucrative way to save on tuition.
All in all, tuition costs make choosing a preschool that enriches your child’s life all the more important.
How to Find the Best Preschool for Your Child
To succeed in finding the right preschool, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you have covered all bases. Now that you know the main considerations of choosing a preschool, it’s time to start looking actively. But how do you begin? We’ve compiled this list of things you can do to pick a preschool for your child.
1. Ask for referrals.
Your family or friends (and even your pediatrician) might have some recommendations on the best preschools in your area. Ask specific questions about its reputation, program, teachers and staff, and overall philosophy.
2. Schedule a visit.
Seeing the facilities on a regular school day is a great way for you to get a good feel of the place. Don’t just look at the classrooms. Be sure to check out the restrooms, play areas, clinic, offices, and outdoor premises, as well. Did you feel welcome? How did you feel when you entered the building? How do the staff interact with each other and towards the kids? First impressions matter.
3. Research accreditations.
Knowing how to find the best preschool includes checking if it participates in voluntary programs like the one the National Association for the Education of Young Children offers. These accreditations are rigorous, and most high-quality preschools will have wanted to undergo them. Extra accreditations aren’t required, but having them provides extra assurance that your little one is in good hands.
4. Check the teaching staff’s qualifications.
Do the teachers regularly undergo training to update their knowledge? How does the school handle disciplinary concerns?
5. Ask about the school’s curriculum.
Choose a preschool with childcare philosophies that are aligned with yours or with what you aspire to have. Does the school offer a healthy balance between academics and social-emotional development? Does its curriculum include age-appropriate play and hands-on learning?
6. Read the fine print.
Every preschool has a handbook. Check the rules across all areas, such as payment, illness, vacation time, in-school and out-of-school activities, school hours, and extracurriculars.
The process of choosing a preschool seems long, but these steps are worth it. Knowing that your child is in capable hands and growing in a positive and nurturing environment is priceless.
Choose the Right Preschool for Your Kiddo
Now that you know how to choose a preschool, it’s time to start researching different institutions. Consider using Cadence Education to find an exceptional preschool where your child can develop basic skills that will allow them to excel in the long term.
Cadence Education is a premier early childhood educator in the United States, operating a network of more than 200 private preschools and elementary schools. At this volume and with more than 20 years in the business, Cadence Education has developed an unparalleled program that allows students to shine.
Learn about the difference the Cadence Education promise makes, and find a preschool near you.