Getting your small child ready for preschool is a wonderfully exciting time. Playing and growing alongside other children is necessary for healthy development and social skills. But it is only natural that every parent wants only the best for their children. Picking the right preschool is not as simple as flipping through the phone book. There are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you conduct your search.
One of the first things parents should ask a potential preschool is what types of things they will be teaching the children. Do they have a fixed daily schedule that involves specified curriculum? If your child has a tendency to learn faster or slower than the average child, this is something that you need to know. Having a frustrated child should not begin as early as preschool. Ask any questions you have regarding the actual teaching that will take place.
If you have any religious or personal beliefs that you strongly hold to, you may want to ensure the preschool of your choice fits that as well. Sending your child somewhere that may not share your beliefs is not something most parents want. There is no harm in asking what the school promotes as values and beliefs. It is your child and it makes sense that you want them in a place that encourages what you have taught.
Discipline of children is a very touchy issue for some people. Some schools may have different methods of this than others so be sure you know how they will discipline your child if he or she misbehaves. While most public schools opt for things like time out, some private schools still engage in spankings which must be done with the permission of the parent. Discipline is your personal business but it must match the school.
Your child's safety should always be your main priority. It is a good idea to ask if your preschool conducts criminal background checks on the teachers and other staff members that they hire. Some places do not do this and that ca lead to a problem if a potential criminal is overlooked.
Every preschool should have a well laid out plan for fire escape and First Aid situations. Ask if the teachers have had First Aid training. They should all have a certificate to prove this as well. Accidents can and will happen but if there is proper response planning the results can be positive rather than negative. Fires can happen and every school needs a fire escape route that the children learn and remember. Cover all safety aspects with potential schools before making a final decision.
Most importantly perhaps is how you feel about the school as a parent. Trust your instinct, it is rarely wrong. If anything makes you uncertain or uncomfortable about a school, go on to the next one. Don't ignore doubts or negative sensations. Make a list of questions you want answers to and don't hesitate to ask them. A good preschool will pass with flying colours.
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