Before it comes time to dropping off your little darlings at the local preschool, be sure to do a bit of homework on whether it meets certain requirements.
Not every preschool or daycare is built the same. Some early child education centers are faith based while others emphasize academics.
There are questions during your research that you may want to ask yourself. For instance, does this preschool suit your family's schedule? Are there half-day and full-day options available?
It's important to keep in mind that when you choose the right preschool it can have a positive impact on your child's love of education.
What is the Preschool's Teaching Method?
Not every preschool takes the same approach to learning, but what each one should have in common is the encouragement of play.
Children between the ages of two and five learn best through movement, social interaction, and tactile games - and high-quality preschools are aware of this.
When choosing a preschool or daycare, make sure that it offers a generous amount of playtime along with other aspects of the planned curriculum.
All children learn differently, some don't fare well in structured environments while others do. Choosing the right philosophy or teaching style for your child can greatly affect their happiness within the preschool.
The Montessori approach, for instance allows children to work at their own pace and grow as individuals.
The Waldorf method focuses on creative learning, outdoor play, and making sure that there is a routine in place that children can rely on.
Other teaching styles include Reggio Emilia and Bank Street, and all are well worth the research.
Figure Out the Logistics
As a parent you have a schedule to run; you must drop your child off at the preschool and make it to work on time five days a week.
The prospective child care centre not only needs to suit the learning requirements of your child but should align with your family's lifestyle and schedule as well.
Is the preschool or daycare in Etobicoke part of your community? How far from home is it? Perhaps it would be more convenient for the preschool to be near your workplace instead. These are all important questions to think about when researching the ideal preschool.
You should also see if the daycare or preschool offers extended hours to accommodate traffic, long work meetings, and various other inconveniences or emergencies. Will the preschool stay open to six or seven in the evening if necessary?
Another factor to consider is cost. If the facility is a newly renovated one that offers upgraded programs and modern amenities, then chances are it's going to come with a bigger price tag. Figure out your budget and what you are willing to spend on early childhood education.
Visit the Preschool and Meet the Staff
Before you register your child at preschool get a feel for it. There's no better way to research a potential preschool than by going there in person with your child.
During the visit, look for your child's cues and watch their reactions. Do they automatically go to the play areas, and how do they interact with the staff?
Early childhood educators make up a significant part of the preschool experience and can greatly influence your child's appreciation for learning. What kind of vibe do you get? Ideally, the team should be patient and warm, and composed of individuals you foresee your child connecting with.
Another aspect to consider exploring includes the facility itself. Are there adequate drop off and pick up areas, or does it get congested?
Play areas are where your child will be spending most of his or her time, which is why it's important to assess them for safety, cleanliness, and spaciousness.
Ultimately, you want to make sure your desired preschool or daycare is a place where you can leave your child knowing that they are well taken care of.
Teaching style, environment, and cost are just a few of the criteria that can be researched during the selection process. When most of your requirements are met, your chosen preschool can inspire a love of learning in your child that can continue into grade school and beyond.