As a good parent, you want to make decisions that will be best for your family. You think about what they will eat, what they will wear, how to discipline and so much more. Making the right decision for you family is especially important when choosing a preschool for your child. During the youngest years, children are developing at a rapid pace, and their environment is extremely important in cultivating their growing bodies and minds. To help guide you on making this significant decision, here are some tips to think about along the way.
What are my childcare needs?
If you and your partner are working parents, you may need extended care options. Many preschools offer care before and after regular school hours to provide parents with continuous care throughout the work day. If you need this option, you will want to make sure the preschool of your choice has hours that are sufficient to cover childcare needs for your family.
What kind of environment do I want?
There are a variety of approaches to early childhood education. Some provide a lot of structure with whole group instruction. Others, such as the Montessori approach, allow children freedom within limits to practice making responsible decisions for themselves. Even still, some preschools offer children the opportunity to freely explore activities with little structure to the day. Depending on your individual child and home structure, you may be drawn to a certain type of environment. Scheduling a tour and speaking with the teachers and staff can help you get a good understanding of the school’s educational philosophy and help you make an informed decision.
What is the school’s reputation?
When looking at a preschool, it’s important to read reviews and speak with other families in the area about their experiences with a school. This can provide important information about how the school handles difficult situations and the school’s competence in education. Speaking with several people with connections with the school will give you a good sense about whether or not it will be a good fit for you and your family.
Additional Considerations for Choosing a Preschool
In addition to these questions, several other factors may play into your decision when choosing a preschool for your child:
- convenient location
- class size
- safety protocols
- level of parent involvement requirements
- enrichment programs in addition to core subject materials
- how well the school will prepare the child for elementary school
- training of the teachers
- condition of the facility, materials and play structures
Once you have done all your research and determined the type of preschool you would like for your child, you can schedule a tour to get a clear feel for how a school feels and the communication of the staff. Because your child will spend many hours at a preschool, you will want to make a decision that makes you feel comfortable. Preschools should allow parents access to see how classrooms work and answer any questions you may have to put your mind at ease. In the Bay Area, Fountainhead Montessori offers campuses in Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Livermore and Danville to serve your family with a high quality preschool experience. Our team would love the opportunity to answer your questions to see if Fountainhead is the preschool you have been looking for.