Choosing a preschool for your little one is a complex task. As responsible parents, you naturally want to provide your children with the best care and education as soon as they leave their homes and start their schooling.
Since preschooling has become very important for kids, you must be extra cautious when deciding which preschool to send your kid to.
This is because learning and communication start from here and prepares them as a student for higher education.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Kid’s Preschool
The listed factors and personalized, professional tips will help you choose the best preschool for your little one.
How many hours does the preschool operate?
The main idea of sending your kid to a preschool is to make sure your children can stay and learn in a safe and healthy environment while you fulfill your work commitments throughout the day.
So, when choosing a preschool for your little one, look out for the hours of operation. It would help if you went for a place that opens early in the morning and goes on for a significant part of the day.
This way, you can go to work hassle-free without worrying about dropping off or picking up your kid in the middle of the day.
Ask questions like:
- When does the preschool officially start?
- When do I need to drop my kid off at the building?
- How many hours do the classes go on, and what does the timetable look like?
- By what time do I need to pick up my kid from preschool?
- Does this timetable stay the same throughout or change periodically?
- Can I pick up my kid in the middle of the day if I want to?
You can choose the institution that fits your routine perfectly, and you won’t have to compromise with your work or other responsibilities.
What are the food arrangements?
Since most preschools offer overall care, you must ensure that you send your kid to a center that guarantees proper and adequate nutrition.
Preschool kids are very young and in the building phase of their health and immunity, and it is essential to take extra care of what they eat. Leaving your child to someone else is challenging since you cannot monitor what they do or eat throughout the day.
So, selecting a preschool that is extra cautious about what they feed the kids is essential.
Ask these questions:
- Will my kid receive breakfast as well as lunch?
- What are the food items generally involved in the food chart?
- Where do they buy the fruits and vegetables from?
- Where do the kids eat their meals in preschool?
- Do they provide low-fat milk?
- How do they care for a kid if they are allergic to something they eat?
- How do they prepare the food?
- Do they take enough precautions regarding hygiene while preparing or serving the food?
- If I send a lunchbox for my kids, do you have arrangements to heat the food?
What is the cost structure?
Different preschools have different cost structures. While some will charge you every week, others have monthly or even yearly plans.
So, before you choose a preschool for your kid, go through the cost structure and available discounts that you can utilize.
Compare these rates with your financial condition, and do detailed research on the monetary status of your chosen preschools.
You can choose the perfect preschool when you have enough information and know which cost structure suits you best.
The amount you have to spend depends on several factors:
- The amount of time your kid spends in preschool.
- Quality of staff and teachers that take care of your kid.
- The number of facilities provided for the kids, for example, food or home pickup and drop-in.
- The location of the preschool.
- Technical and recreational amenities are being provided.
Compare these prices with other renowned preschools in your area to take advantage of the best offers. While providing the best care for your child, you must pay attention to financial compatibility.
A detailed comparison of preschool will tell you the cost to ensure that your kid is safe and engaged in preschool throughout the day.
What is the daily schedule followed at the preschool?
Since you will not spend the day with your little one in the preschool, you would want to know the curriculum followed thereat.
To ensure your child learns a lot of new stuff every day and has fun simultaneously, it’s essential to have a clear idea of the activities and hobbies they are supposed to pursue at the preschool.
So, look out for the daily routine and select one that appeals to your way of bringing up your child.
Look out for the following things:
- What does a typical day at your preschool look like?
- What are the activities and games my child will participate in every day?
- What are the fun things my child will learn?
- How will my child learn to communicate with their classmates through fun hobbies?
What is the curriculum designed by the preschool?
As a parent, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the preschool’s curriculum and compare it with similar institutions if you want to make a wish and informed decision.
Since you are sending your kid to preschool to prepare them for what’s coming, you would want them to spend their day in a center that fulfills your criteria and does not pressure them.
It would help if you asked the following questions:
- How will my kid be prepared for schooling in this preschool?
- Do the teachers follow a definite lesson plan for the kids?
- Why does the institution follow this particular curriculum?
- How is the curriculum unique and better than other similar places?
- Why would the kids be excited to be a part of this curriculum?
You must ensure that at this very young age, your kid spends most of their day at an institution that makes them better learners and encourages them to wait eagerly for what’s coming.
This way, you build a strong foundation for their journey as a student. Also, in preschool, kids learn to understand and communicate with people outside their house.
What are the arrangements for diaper changing at the preschool?
Kids in preschool are too young to handle their bathroom needs by themselves. So, before you choose a preschool, check out the diaper-changing arrangements for kids.
Also, some preschools offer potty training as a part of their curriculum because it is a critical learning stage in a toddler’s life.
It would help if you asked these questions:
- Does the preschool provide staff who take care of diaper needs for the kids?
- Does the team change the diapers on a timetable or when needed?
- Does the preschool provide the kids with potty training?
- If potty training is available, do I pay any extra fee, or is it included in the fee structure?
- What brand of diapers do they use?
- Can I send my chosen diapers for my kids?
When your kid is young, caring for their hygiene and maintenance is essential. So, before you send them to preschool, ensure they are very concerned about child sanitary needs at the institution.
Since you won’t be able to take care of your kid’s diaper needs throughout the day, make sure they are with someone responsible and disciplined regarding this matter.
What discipline ideology does the preschool follow?
Kids at preschool are too young to obey their elders all the time. Some might be too noisy and naughty to handle, so knowing the preschool’s discipline system is essential.
The teachers and other staff must handle any misbehavior by the children delicately. You cannot solve the situation by acting harshly because that would make the kids uncomfortable and disinclined towards preschooling.
Also, they must be taught the importance of discipline and order in life at this very initial stage of their lives.
Keep these factors in mind:
- What is the discipline system followed by teachers and staff at the preschool?
- Does the team understand the futility of yelling or physical punishment in disciplining the kids?
- Does the team avoid reinforcement of negative behavior with the kids?
- What fun activities can the kids participate in to learn the value of discipline?
- Does the team use any positive reinforcement tools for the kids?
With proper guidance and care, kids will learn the value of discipline in life and avoid misbehavior with their elders in the future. This is a crucial step in building a solid foundation for them.
What kind of training and expertise does the teaching staff have?
While choosing a preschool, it is also essential to consider the credentials of the teachers who would be taking care of the students.
As a parent, your main goal is to ensure your kid gets the best education and care in a preschool that makes them a better student at school.
So, you would want the best teachers and caretakers to guide and care for your little one.
Don’t forget to ask these questions:
- How much experience do the staff have regarding child care?
- What is the screening process for the team and teaching faculty?
- Do the teachers have the appropriate credentials and experience?
- Does the preschool specially train the teachers to suit their curriculum and administration?
- Can we get a list of the staff teaching the kids and their qualifications and experience?
- Are any workshops conducted to train the faculty for better communication with the kids?
Your kid’s preparation as an academic starts from the very initial days of their preschool.
So, with trained teachers with appropriate expertise and lots of experience, they will grow into diligent and dedicated students who understand the value of classroom education.
What is the age division system at the preschool?
Along with your child’s educational development, their time at the preschool will also be responsible for their social behavior and public attitude later on.
So, it’s essential to ensure that your child gets the right company and the appropriate scope for communication.
Therefore, you must choose a preschool where the staff keeps your kid in the perfect age group where they will get to interact with other children of similar age.
Consider the following factors:
- How are students divided into groups based on their age?
- Are children of the same age kept together, or does the division consist of an extensive age range?
- How big will each group be?
- What are the fun activities that the groups get to participate in?
- Can I change my kid’s group if necessary?
Preschool is the first place your kid gets a scope to socialize and interact with other people their age and older than them. So, as an integral part of child development, you have to take care of their social involvement and explore how the preschool works on it.
Knowing who your kid will be socializing with throughout the day is essential.
What is the layout of the institution?
Believe it or not, the preschool layout and the facilities provided are essential factors to consider before you choose the best institution for your kid.
Since your little one will be away from you for most of the day and you won’t be able to keep an eye on them, ensure you are satisfied with where they will spend their day.
Visit your chosen institutions physically so that you can make a detailed comparison of the arrangements and then choose wisely.
Look out for factors like:
- Is there ample space for the kids to play and run around?
- Is there enough greenery and appropriate decor to keep the lids engaged?
- What are the arrangements for cleanliness?
- How does the institution take care of the organization’s work?
- Is their staff to make sure all parts of the building are dust-free and super clean?
- Is there a separate crew who cleans the entire building every day after school is over?
As a parent, being anxious about your kid’s security is very natural. But, once you have thoroughly inspected the layout of your chosen preschool, you will be relieved that your child is safe.
To conclude, choosing a preschool is not something you can do instantly. Finding the perfect institution for your little one takes a lot of discussion, research, and communication. For modern-day parents with jobs and other responsibilities, preschools are a great way to keep their kids safe and engaged throughout the day.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.