Start Your Preschool Search Early
How is separation at the start of the school year handled? Do the classrooms feel warm and welcoming? How does the school celebrate holidays? There are so many things to consider when it’s time to find the “best” preschool program for your child. The “best” preschool is one that fits you and your child’s needs.
To find the best program that for you and your child, start your preschool search early. This way, if you don’t get into your first choice, you have a few as backup.
To help start your preschool search, consider these options:
Write everything down.
Write down everything that you want in a dream preschool. Do you want a preschool closer to more? Or, near your workplace? Do you want the education philosophy to be more play-based? Or, academic?
Identify your priorities and start your search. When using the Noodle Preschool Search, the largest and most comprehensive search of early education and preschool options, parents can search for criteria such as location, age of child, scheduling, and more.
Do a background check.
Whether you check with the moms you know that have kids currently in preschool or you start you preschools search online, it’s important to get the 411 on the school’s credentials. Preschools have to be licensed by the state, which means they have to meet minimum state health-and-safety standards. Be sure to find out if the schools are your list are licensed.
Also, see if the school is vetted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Using the Noodle Preschool Search, search for your schools on your list to see if they have been evaluated by the NAEYC. For example, check out Crescent Park Children’s Center Noodle Preschool profile.
Trust your gut.
After you’ve asked a few questions over the phone, it’s time to meet the staff in person for a preschool tour. When you meet the director, ask everything from hours to teaching philosophies to security measures. Go with your gut feeling and how your initially feel when the director responds to your questions.
When you visit the classroom, find out the educational background of the teachers. The teachers should hold a graduate degree and be state certified. Also, notice the physical environment – is it safe and clean? Is there natural light? Does it seem warm and inviting?
Visit the school with your child.
Before the official first day of school, take your child to visit his new teacher to see how they interact together. Do they interact well together? Does your child seem interested in the activities?
Make sure that your preschooler feels at home right away. Your teacher and your teacher’s assistant should be busy and fully engaged with your child in activities, even guiding a quiet child out of their shell.