A child is usually ready to go to a pre-school when he/she is 1.8 months. Finding the right pre-school is a very important task for you as parents because this is the institution that will build the basic foundation and skills of the child.
Most pre-schools today have started including the westernized thoughts of basic learning through toys and apparatus in their regime; while some of them still follow the traditional Montessori patterns. Decide which path you would prefer for your kid. Once you have shortlisted at least 4-5 schools; select the final one considering the following points given –
Understand your Priorities First
You have to understand first what exactly you are looking for, a pre-school for your kid near your office, or near your house. Also enquire about the programme and see if it’s matching with your expectations; if you are looking for any particular approach or activities. Get the primary points of expectation penned down to see if the majority is matching with the choice of school you have made.
This is an important task before anything you undertake. Ask the neighbourhood about the most famous ones and check their online presence; you might get a forum where the parents have talked about the school. It’s a good way to get neutral feedback. Also visit the schools informally and ask the parents about it while they drop their kids. Personal references are always the most honest ones! You can also take help of the experts in the field.
Visit and Ask
You must have few preliminary queries in mind already – about the timings, fees, extracurricular activities, vacations, study method, staff and many more. Instead of calling them, just visit and ask during office hours; they might give you some official documents as well. Discipline and nutrition are also vital points to enquire. Follow your gut feelings as the director replies to your queries. If you visit the classrooms, check the teacher, student ratio as at this age your kid will require personal attention of the teacher to some extent. Clean, warm, environments, experienced teachers, smiling faces and consistent caregivers are some images that you should find in a good pre-school.
The pre-school should have enough space for the children to move and play around. With the multitude of schools growing in almost every lane of your city, you must be very careful about the space they are providing. Indoor playing is just not enough for children at this age – the school should also have an outdoor ground where the kids will play freely and learn from the environment.
Ultimately, selecting the right preschool is completely a personal decision but it would be better if you can take your kid to the environment for a day or two to see how he/she reacts to it. Of course every kid takes time to settle in new environment but that settling time should not make you feel that this school was a wrong choice. Thus, be confident about the first learning institution of your child and only then go ahead!