There's no single 'the best preschool' out there. So, if you have been looking for one, stop right there. However, given the 'n' number of preschools that have mushroomed in every nook and corner of the city, it's wise to do a bit of research before enrolling your child into one.
Near or Far
To begin with , make a list of a few preschools that's near your house or workplace. It's important to keep the distance in mind as it's going to be convenient for you and your little one . When you choose a preschool that is close-by, neither you have to stress about pick and drop nor your child has to travel long distance daily.
Preschool is one of the most important places in your child's life as this is going to be first 'home' away from home. So, when selecting a preschool, check the infrastructure and the environment . Is it soothing enough? Children need ample free space to move about. Does your chosen pre-school facilitate that? Is it safe enough and what about the hygiene? Check if there are fire extinguishers in place , reliable helpers and CCTV cameras installed. We don't want to take chance as far the safety of our children are concerned.
Which curriculum does the school follow? The commonly followed ones are:
- Reggio Emilia Approach
Some schools may follow a mix of the above approaches too. Even if you don't have much of an idea about these preschool methodologies, you may read up or ask the school authorities to explain it to you, briefly. See to it that preschool curriculum has age-specific syllabus and not too advanced for your child's age and abilities.
The Face behind the School
When my kids started preschool, I went and met the principal of the Montessori where I wanted to send my child. Only after I was convinced by the woman who was behind the school, did I enroll my son. Since, I am still in very good terms with her, I wouldn't think of sending my younger one to any other school but hers. So, do find out whose preschool is it and the philosophy behind it.
..And the Teachers!
Remember, the teachers are going to be with your little one for all the time that he or she is away in school. So, you must meet the teachers, build a rapport and be satisfied that they are warm and friendly enough to handle kids. Not all kids are the same, so the teachers need to know the ways to handle even the most hyperactive kids without losing patience.
Interesting Learning Aids and Activities
Are there enough learning aids and interesting activities to attract the attention of the children and keep them engaged? My personal favorites are the ones based on practical life exercises such tying shoe lace, pouring activities etc. as they help in introducing basic manners at an early age and instills a sense of discipline. However, find out what they make the kids do in the school, so that you can talk to your child about the same at home, practice them playfully which will ensure better reinforcement.
Remember, the primary aim is to find a preschool where you child will truly enjoy and you are assured that your kid is safe and is in the best of hands.
Also read: Montessori: What It Is And What It is Not