If you’re wondering if it’s time to enroll your child in preschool, it probably is. Many parents are getting their children’s names on long waiting lists as early as mid-pregnancy. Preschools with a reputation for excellence in educating and caring for young children are in high demand, so it’s best to start your search as soon as possible. But how do you determine what the “right” preschool is for your child? Here are some tips to get you started:
Make a list of what you’re looking for in a preschool.
Are you a working parent who needs a full-day program, or just a half day? What’s the farthest you’re willing to drive your child to school? What’s your budget for tuition? Do you want a year-round program, or one that offers summers off? Knowing the specifics of what you’re looking for will help to start your search.
Do your research.
After you compile your “bottom line” list, look around online for websites of preschools in your area and see if they meet your criteria. It’s also a good idea to check online reviews of these schools to see what other parents are saying about them. Do any of your friends have recommendations for you? If you need more information, give the school a call.
Set up a tour.
After you’ve narrowed down your prospects, call to set up an informational tour. If the school allows you to bring your child, bring them along! It’ll be beneficial to see how your child likes the environment. Be sure to make extensive observations — do the teachers look happy? Are they interacting respectfully to the children, or are they talking down to them? Does the school appear safe? What kind of activities are being offered?
Ask a lot of questions.
If you still have questions after a tour or interview, make a list and follow up with the school. This is an essential time in your child’s development, and it’s important to know that he or she will be in good hands while you’re away at work. A good school will not only challenge your child intellectually and academically, but it will also foster positive social development, creativity, and imagination. For example, this preschool that provides child care in Blue Springs, features a curriculum that focuses on education, enrichment, and exploration.
Whatever school you end up enrolling your child in, be sure to check in with your child often about how he or she is liking the school. Have conversations regularly with your child’s teacher, as well as the preschool director for insight on your child’s behavior and progress. Whether your child is enrolled in the local public preschool, or a prestigious private school, you want to be sure that he or she is thriving.