Tips for Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child (and You)
Picking the right preschool for you and your child is a big decision. It’s not just about what’s closest. And the preschool you pick will probably not determine the trajectory of the rest of your child’s life. This is no doubt a time of anxiety for you and your child, but it should also be a time of joy and celebration.
To help you focus on enjoying these moments, we’ve come up with some handy tips that should relieve some of the stress of picking a preschool and make you feel more confident in your choice.
Learn About Preschools in Your State
Preschool is not considered an actual school in most states, so it doesn’t have the same licensing and regulations that a grade school would. That said, most preschools do take the education level up a notch from daycare to give your little one a nice transition from daycare to kindergarten.
If this is your first child, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how your state views a preschool and what you can expect from the experience. Having a good foundation and understanding goes a long way toward setting expectations for everyone.
Types of Preschools and Their Philosophies
There are many different types of preschools and they each have their own approaches. The three most common ones are:
In addition to these three main preschool approaches, there are many others, and each has its own philosophy. It does pay to check out their model and style of teaching to see if it fits with your child’s personality.
Religious preschools are another very popular option. Many churches offer a preschool option to church members. This can be a delightful solution because your child will be around children they already know, in an environment where they’re comfortable, and you presumably trust your church and their beliefs. Expect part of the curriculum to include religious education, but feel free to ask about the rest of their teaching philosophy so you know what your child will be learning and more about their daily experiences.
Community preschools are also a great option for a lot of families. These schools are local, they often are filled with children and families that your little one already knows and might have reduced rates for families that need some assistance. The teaching philosophy varies, so asking questions about the curriculum and learning goals is important.
Practical Matters When Picking a Preschool
Knowing how a preschool is defined in your state and understanding different approaches to learning gives you a nice foundation but there are some very practical matters that go into your preschool decision.
The Teachers are Everything
For anyone who has had that one teacher who changed or shaped the course of their lives, you know that a great teacher is everything. Even as early as preschool, the skills of the teacher can define the experience. Meeting the teachers can be a huge part of your preschool determination. Even better, arrange for your child to meet them too. When meeting teachers, keep the following in mind:
Pull all of the information you’ve gathered together and try to figure out which school seems to best fit all of your criteria. You’ll be happy that you put a little effort into the process because when it comes time to hand your little one off, you’ll feel much better about it.
Thank you again for joining us for another edition of The Weekly Bubble! We hope this blog post was informative for you and your children. If you have any questions about choosing preschools or how to prepare for the upcoming school year then please don’t hesitate to reach out!
P.S: Don’t forget to shop for your premium Preschool Labels with us!