To say that the preschool years of a child are crucial and the most formative, would be an understatement. It is their first interaction with the world outside their family. Children, for the first time, experience a classroom, interact with their peers, play kindergarten games, and, most importantly, learn to stay away from their home. To summarise, it will be fair to say that for a child, it is a crunch decision. Their parents, being the guardians, have to put in a lot of research and hard work to find that school where their child could study as well as experience the new environment.
Many studies have validated the fact that whatever a child experiences in his/her initial years goes a long way in shaping their future course of lifestyle. So parents have to be super sure and aware of all the factors which might or might not affect their child’s health and development. A study report by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) indicates that a good-quality preschool education can position the children for academic success in the future. Picking a good preschool is what every parent wants but many of them don’t know what to look for while selecting a preschool for their child.
Here are five points that every parent must keep in mind when on a lookout for the best preschool for their child’s education:
Cleanliness: Parents must ensure that the preschool has an inviting atmosphere. It should be neat and clean. It should be big enough for children to move around, explore, eat snacks, and even take naps! The toilets and sinks should be kid-sized. The preschool should also pass the smell test – no spoiled food or dirty toilets. If the parents aren’t comfortable, then their children certainly wouldn’t be.
Toys and playthings: A preschool must have plenty of kindergarten games and books for children. While kindergarten games promote open-ended creativity and play, books can picked up and read anytime. It is very important to encourage children to participate in creative exercises and to read books. The sooner that happens, the better it is.
Comprehensive curriculum: The daily schedule of a good preschool includes physical and group activities, story reading time, arts and crafts, socializing, and meal time. The curriculum should be updated and must provide creative freedom to the children. The daily schedule shouldn’t be too structured.
Friendly staff: A preschool staff should be able to instill a strong philosophy of sharing, discipline, sleep and other issues in children. The staff should be caring and considerate. A good preschool is full of happy children playing games, talking (in their own way) and taking part in fun activities. Too much discipline limits their social activities and thinking capabilities. It’s the responsibility of the staff to ensure that the children are comfortable in their surroundings.
Good reputation: Even if everything about a preschool is great, hearing good things about it, does make a difference. When on a school visit, the parents should observe the children’s behaviour and how the teachers are handling them. Getting a positive feedback from other parents whose children are already in that preschool would help in making the right decision.
Eventually, the importance of preschool years has to be realised by parents and thus every effort has to be made to find the best preschool where their child can flourish. Under the guidance of a trained preschool teacher, a child’s emotional control, basic instincts, and inhibitions and fears can be controlled.
Finally, good luck!