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Choosing a Preschool is like cracking a tough nut.
Its always difficult for Parents to leave their Child in someone’s hands who is not a part of the Nest. For some this phase comes very early where a Mother is working and there is no one to take care of a child. I am one of them. I had to leave my Baby as soon as my leave ended after 3 months. Yes, it wasn’t easy but I had convinced myself for it the hard way.
I cried, I felt helpless-We had hard time choosing the best Day care for him. BEST- is what we Parents want for our Kids. Right?
Testing time never ends in Parenting and this time its choosing the right Pre-school. While we were looking for a Day care, we had only 1 thing in our mind and that is “Homely” environment where Child feels like Home- Loved, Cared and Pampered.
Its not same this time. The parameters broaden just like his needs. There is so much to reckon with before choosing a Preschool. After all, School is where a child enters into the world of learning . This will form a base for when its time to move to a real School.
Parents, are you feeling the same anxiety?
Why we decided to make a move from a Daycare to a Preschool
Before I get into the essentials you need to consider before choosing a preschool, let me share why we wanted to make a move from Daycare to a Pre-school.
I do not want my Kid to learn academic skills or ‘speed up’ intellectual learning. No, that’s not my aim. At this tender age, they do not need this burden.
Outdoor play environment– Being a full time working Mother, I hardly get time to take him out in natural surroundings. The only time we take him to Parks is weekends. Day time is the best time to take Kids out and that is where Pre-school will serve the purpose.
Sitting practice and Solo play– My Toddler cannot sit at a single place for more than 15 mins. A pre-school can make him learn solo-play while sitting in his seat.
Creative activities- If you read my earlier posts, you would know that I am a believer of Messy play. Not only I but my Kid enjoys it more than anything else. At pre-school, he will get more time to draw, create and have fun.
Our Kid will go to Preschool in the mornings, then back to his Home Daycare in the afternoons. This suits us best.
Is your child ready for a Preschool?
Most preschools will start accepting children at around age 2 ½, but age alone doesn’t ensure that your child is ready for preschool. There are few factors to consider while deciding the perfect age to send your Kid to a Preschool:
Has they spent time away from you?
As my child spend most of the day away from me in a day care, it was not difficult for both of us to adjust. Though they are allowing me to accompany my child for an hour or two during his first few days.
Are they ready to participate in group activities?
I observed my child many times and he gels up quietly well with other Kids at the Daycare.
Is he used to keeping a regular schedule?
Being at Day care, he knows his routine starting with Drop time, meal time and Pick up time.
Does they have the physical stamina for preschool?
This is something Parents can judge from their activities. My Kid takes part in physical activities be it dancing or running.
Now when decision making is done- Lets move to
Things to consider while choosing a preschool
Parents must list down the questions to ask on your visit and notice how the authorities are handling those questions.
Teacher student ratio
The adult-to-child ratio should be ideally 1:10. In our case, it was 1:12 but I think its fine when teachers lay emphasis on one-to-one communication.
Preschool classroom groups should not be larger than 20. Luckily, they do not accept more than this in 1 class.
Potty training policy
Many preschools require that children be potty trained. If the school you are choosing requires potty training, you need to train your child first. In our case, they are ready to take Kids with Diapers and slowly train them.
Safety is the first thing every Parents wants to ensure. Check out if a child is accompanied by a supervisor while they are playing on swings or near the pool. Safety measures for picking up and dropping off children.
Does the Preschool provides the meal? If yes, check for well balanced food. Does they have a pre and post meal routine like going restroom and washing hands.
Make sure the staff is friendly, caring, and encouraging.
The fees should be affordable for the Family and worth for the kind of services they offer.
Home-to-school connections are important. Check whether there are frequent Parent-teacher meetings, activities involving both Parents and Kids and anytime discussions in case of any immediate concern. Make sure you have contact numbers of the Staff involved.
Whether the Preschool is near to your Home or Workplace. If pick up and drop are not provided, Is it convenient for you to do the same?
Ask other Parents
Word of mouth is a perfect and reliable source of feedback.
Most importantly, can you picture your child happy at the School?