We have just recently relocated to a new province, and consequently we are in the process of looking for a pre-school for our little Asante. Selecting a pre-school that is a good fit for her has been overwhelming as well as exciting. As a parent, you want to be confident that you decide on the right school for your little one, but how do you make the best choice? I have already done a few school visits in the past couple of days, and I’ve discovered that as much as it’s important to physically visit the schools, it is even more important that you ask the right questions. I’ve done a bit of research to find out exactly what questions one should be asking.
Does the school meet your little one’s needs?
Children entering pre-school have a wide range of maturity. Some have trouble separating from their parents (Asante), while others are independent. Some are potty-trained, others are not. Some still take daily naps and some don’t need one. Find out how the school staff deals with all of these basic needs and then decide if the policies will work for your child. Also, take note of the school’s total number of students, average class size, and student-teacher ratio. Ask yourself if these elements fit with your child’s needs.
What Discipline Methods Do they use?
Do the teachers respond to “naughty” behavior in a way that’s in keeping with your parental approach? Do they let children work out problems on their own or help facilitate a resolution? Do they use time-outs or other disciplinary techniques? How do they deal with tantrums?
How much free play time do the children have?
Some preschools are more academic or structured and have limited free time. Others are more play based and allow children to choose their activities at will. Decide which best suits your child and your preferences.
Do they have qualified staff?
Are the schools teachers qualified? Did they study early childhood development? Not all staff, like teacher’s assistants, need to have these formal credentials.
What type of snacks or meals do they provide? Do they promote good nutrition?
Do they provide meals? Do they offer wholesome, healthy meals and snacks? Does the preschool start teaching children why some foods are better than others? Does it convey the message that good foods give children energy to run and play? Does it give students hands-on learning opportunities with food – making their own food choices, for instance, or learning how to prepare simple meals or snacks?
When children enter preschool, they’re in the midst of an incredibly important time in their brain development. That’s why it’s important to dive deep into a preschool’s curriculum to ensure that they’re using best practices for early childhood education, are led by committed educators and pay attention to all aspects of your child’s development. Your goal should be to find a preschool that cares as much about helping your child learn as you do.
I hope this little bit of information will come in handy when you start hunting for a school for your little one.