How do I choose a preschool for my child?

 

 

Preschools play a vital role in the upbringing of children. It is the first formal opportunity of learning in a child’s life. With a plethora of preschools to choose from, it often becomes difficult to decide the right one for your kid. To keep up with the changing global scenario, several play-schools and kindergartens have modernized their facilities and adopted advanced methods of teaching. Nevertheless, you must mull over a few key parameters before selecting a preschool for your child.

Consider the following things while assessing the quality of a preschool:

 

·  Teachers and Staff

A child’s personality is greatly impacted by the behaviour of his/her educators and care-givers. Firstly, you must ensure that the staff and teachers are well-qualified, and trained to educate and tend to children. Secondly, look out for their ways of interacting with the kids. The teachers’ ways are best judged both by words, as well as gestures towards the kids. There are times when the little ones display untoward conduct while playing, learning, or talking. In such situations, the teachers are expected to tackle and rectify them in a positive and amicable manner. In other words, it is best to avoid a preschool where kids are penalised or reprimanded harshly for undesirable actions.

·   Environment and Facilities

Children need space and comfort for healthy mental, physical, and social development. So, it is essential for a preschool to have an adequate amount of play area, room size, and other requisite facilities. Some schools have creative artwork, paintings, and stories displayed on the walls of their classroom. Such things are important to bring out the expressive and creative potential of kids. Further, there must be an appropriate variety of toys, books, and similar objects to inspire your tiny tot. Additionally, some of the schools make use of technological devices for the management of kids. These generally come in the form of preschool apps or software that assists the children in the usage of certain utilities.

·   Curriculum

A preschool’s curriculum is one of the most crucial factors in determining its standard and quality. A holistic curriculum is a balanced blend of work and play. Learning techniques in a good preschool include hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, reading/writing/storytelling sessions, art and craft classes, dance and music lessons, free play, and group activities. All these tasks stimulate a child’s memory, retention, concentration, cognitive thinking, social skills, and motor skills. Nowadays, some preschools also extend online learning through a daycare app. So, the kids can access virtual classrooms at their home also. As technology assumes high significance in the professional and personal world, playschools have taken the task of familiarizing the kids with software tools from an early age. Integrating online educational games in the curriculum makes learning faster, interactive, and enjoyable for children. However, over-reliance on technology can be detrimental to a child’s growth. Hence, the preschools need to focus equally on all types of learning methodologies.

· Schedule

Children usually require time to adjust to the class schedules of preschools. They are prone to feeling uncomfortable and insecure in case of abrupt unpredictable changes. This especially applies in the initial stages of their preschools. At the same time, if the time tables become too monotonous, kids may start losing interest. So, the preschools and kindergartens must have a fixed, regular schedule, with slight modifications on a weekly basis. Accordingly, their eating and nap timings can be planned. You may opt for a half-day or full-day preschool schedule as per your kid’s age and inclinations. Further, the school’s timings may be appropriate to your own work or household schedules.

· Safety

Safety is one of the primary concerns of any preschooler’s parents. It is critical for preschools to have efficient security systems installed in and around their premises. The school needs to have emergency plans in place for risky scenarios. Besides, the equipment and toys used during learning or play sessions must not pose any danger to the children. For more vigilant safeguarding, some preschools offer CCTV access to their classrooms and play areas to the kids’ parents. This provision is mostly available through the childcare app associated with the school. So, the parents can see their kids in real-time, while being at home or work. Similar preschool software apps allow for the attendance of the kids, as well as vehicle tracking for parents, thus ensuring absolute safety during the pickup and drop services.

· Food and Hygiene

Food and nutrition are crucial in the early years of childhood. Preschools must have an arrangement for clean, healthy, and nutritious food. Kids need food in small quantities and more frequently than adults. Preferably, they should be fed at set timings. If the school extends an option for parents to send food for their kids, the school staff may heat and treat the food accordingly, before giving it to the little ones. This calls for superlative kitchen provisions in the preschools. Further, children have relatively lesser immunity and higher vulnerability to infections. Therefore, it is important that the school maintains good hygiene, clean washrooms, and inculcate similar habits in kids.

· Parent-Teacher Communication

It is essential for parents to learn about their child’s progress at his or her preschool. Modern preschools follow an open and transparent communication policy with the parents. This way, parents are aware of the different activities held by the school, as well as about their kid’s performance. Parent-teacher collaborations should not be limited to occasional meetings at the school. Today, several preschools send periodic emails, messages, and newsletters to parents. Simultaneously, the parents can raise queries, give feedback, and suggest modifications. At some preschools, an exclusive communication portal is provided through child care software apps. Such advanced tools let the parents and teacher participate together in the development journey of children.

· Child-Teacher Ratio

Any sort of preschool program has higher chances of success if the child-to-teacher ratio is on the lower side. At a young age, every child requires attention for better learning. High-quality kindergartens keep their class number small, so as to enhance interaction between the kids and their teachers. Also, here the teachers can easily mold their approach to suit the learning styles of different kids. Further, with technology adoption, the scope of flexible and personalized learning has expanded even more. Now, some preschools also conduct separate online sessions via their daycare software where both the kid and his/her parents can interact with educators individually.

· Location

The majority of the parents are likely to admit their child to a preschool close to their house. This not just reduces the stress of picking up the kid in case of emergency, but also saves him/her from the boredom of travelling too far. Kids are usually averse to long hours of travel and tend to feel restless if not kept busy. So, it would be wise to choose a good preschool that isn’t more than an hour ride from your home. Also, the school should be located in an area that is safe for children in general.

Conclusion

To sum up, it is best to consider the preschools that are well-equipped with modern facilities, friendly ideologies, an all-inclusive curriculum, and proven technological tools. Unlike the traditional preschools, the present-day preschools have a fully accountable system in place. Illumine is one such childcare software that takes care of all management needs of parents, teachers, and daycare/preschool centers. Regarded as one of the best preschool apps, Illumine fulfils all necessary requirements of admission, attendance, e-learning, live classes, assessment, parent-teacher communication, staff administration, billing, fee payment, inquiries, and support. The software is designed to simplify and streamline the tasks of caregivers, ensure the safety of kids and promote their all-round development. With Illumine, you can be sure of an excellent pre-schooling experience for your tiny tot.

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