Every parent wants their little one to go to an excellent preschool, where kids have loads of fun as they learn, interact and play. With my first child, the search for a good preschool was not easy, given the fact that the preschool concept was yet to gain popularity in my hometown. The stress we went through as first-time parents with tears, arbitrary fee increases and transport mishaps taught us lots about the world of preschools.
Coming up are a few key considerations I believe you should look out for in a great preschool.
I have heard of parents who drive for at least an hour in traffic to take their kids to the perfect preschool. Now, parents, isn't that too much for a 3-year old, and for you? An early morning drive across town with a cranky toddler who barely had any breakfast is no joke.
The solution? Find a preschool near your house, or at most ten minutes away. Take time to sample the preschools in your locality, together with your toddler. The closer the preschool of your choice is to your home, the more peaceful school mornings will be!
ALSO READ: Common questions that kids ask their parents
I once heard of a teacher who would give each child in her class a chance to sit on her lap and get a hug every day. Isn't that the kind of teacher you want for your little one? You need to know that when you leave your child in school, he or she will get loving treatment similar to what is received at home.
Visit prospective preschools with your child, and see how the teachers react when they see a newcomer. Their reaction will give you an inkling of what to expect when you leave them in their care. Note that having your child in the care of a trained teacher is great, but in the hands of a loving teacher is even better. After all, it's preschool!
3. Learning Program
A great preschool will focus primarily on building the child's social and life skills. Learning should be done through play, with lots of different activities to keep the children stimulated. For most children, this is their very first experience of school, and as such, it should be fun!
As you visit preschools, find out what activities the children do when in class. Is there story time, singing, coloring time, and craft time? Is the classroom designed to accommodate free play and exploration? Pop into the classrooms and get a feel of the learning environment. If you are greeted by a splash of color, you're in the right place.
4. Outdoor Facilities
Preschoolers need to play. On the playground, children learn to express themselves and interact with each other. A great preschool should, therefore, have a play area (preferably with grass), sandpit, slides, and swings.
Pop into the school at break time or playtime to see if the kids truly get to play outside, for how long, and if the playtime is supervised. Play is one thing preschoolers need for their growth!