Sending your child off to school for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. How can you be sure you picked a good school? Check out these signs of a great preschool and relax knowing your child is well taken care of.
Does the preschool have a good reputation? Do current and past families speak highly of the school? Check out the school’s social media pages and see what types of reviews have been posted.
Of course, try not to form a definite opinion until you have seen the school in person for yourself. You never know for sure until you’ve seen it for yourself.
Established Ground Rules
It is important for a preschool to have established regulations for everything from operations hours to how to handle emergencies.
That way you know the staff takes their responsibility (your child) seriously.
The best preschools have daily schedules that include plenty of time for physical activity, quiet time, group programs, socializing, crafts, individual activities, meals, snacks, and free time. TV and videos should not play a big part in your child’s day
7:00 am-8:30 am Before School Care
8:30 am-9:00 am Circle Time/Pledge of Allegiance/Letters and Numbers
9:00 am-9:45 am Table Time/Whole Group Instruction/Spanish/Writing
9:45 am-10:45 am Ballet/Gymnastics/Music
10:00 am-10:15am Snack Time
10:15 am-11:00am Center Time/Computer/Math/etc…..
11:00 am-11:45 am Outside Play
11:45 am-12:00 pm
Restroom/Wash for Lunch
12:00 pm-12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 pm-1:00 pm Prepare for Rest Time
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Rest Time
2:00 pm-3:00 pm Science and Math/Arts and Crafts
3:00 pm-3:30 pm Outside Play
3:30 pm-6:00 pm After school Activities
A well-designed curriculum stimulates your child’s development and makes daily life more fun. At this age, children can begin learning things like how letters and numbers are used in an everyday context.
Qualified Caring Staff
When you’re at the school, observe how staff members interact with the children. Teachers should be responsible, enthusiastic, and well prepared. Look for a preschool with a staff that shares your philosophy about sleep, discipline, feeding, and other issues.
Look for a preschool with staff members who are happy with their job. Preschools that compensate their staff well are more likely to have teachers who stick around. Low turnover is key to ensuring consistent, stable care for your child.
Clean Safe Facilities
A good preschool is clean and safe. Make sure the floors, walls, and kitchen area are clean. Also check that food preparation areas are far away from the bathrooms, trash cans aren’t overflowing, and the building is adequately heated, lit, and ventilated.
Make sure the preschool follows the basic rules of safety, too. Strangers shouldn’t be able to just walk in off the street – and children shouldn’t be able to wander out.
Fun Environment for Children
Look for a school with an outdoor play area. Children should have the chance to play outside every day – running, jumping, and skipping are good for them physically, mentally, and socially. If you live in a city, it can be difficult for even the best preschools to have enough space for a safe outdoor play yard. Make sure the preschool you choose has the next best thing – a spacious indoor area.