A parent’s guide to successful preschool selection

A parent’s guide to successful preschool selection
A parent’s guide to successful preschool selection

The nature of preschool education continues to evolve every year. However, the selection process remains the same. In using these strategies, you are better placed to make an informed decision.

Congratulations on making it this far. You have successfully gone through the hurdles of terrible twos and numerous toddler temper tantrums. Now comes the challenge of finding an ideal preschool to enroll your child. The thing that parents struggle with the most is identifying the ‘perfect school’. Well, you can rest easy, as there is no such thing.

However, with the right strategy, the entire process can be very straight forward.

Here are the key things to consider when selecting a preschool for your child.

1) The admission process

Preschool admission can be a tricky endeavour. You have schools that have backlogs running close to a year. Look for schools that offer a transparent admission process and one that does not create unnecessary pressure. There have been cases where parents fork out lots of money to get on the waiting lists. Not only is this illegal, but it can lead to you spending unnecessarily on a school that is not worth it. Do your research to establish how each school goes about the process and establish whether the outcome is worth it.

2) Accreditation of the institution

The first thing you should consider is whether the school meets the requirements to operate. In every school district, there is a governing body that vets schools to ensure that the right services are offered to students. In certain countries, preschools are not under the mandate of education bodies. However, you must select an institution that is accredited by the authorities. It helps to create accountability, and the school is liable for any mishaps that may occur.

In Surat, for example, you have the CBSE that sets guidelines of how a school is supposed to function. Upon successfully meeting these guidelines, the institution is given an association number, and license to operate. When hunting for preschools, always ask for an accreditation number that you can verify with the relevant authorities.   

3) Qualifications of teaching staff

Unlike teachers of primary and secondary schools, those of preschools require a qualification in early childhood education. The degree program equips a teacher with the necessary skills to cater to your child’s educational and developmental needs. Institutions that value their service offering also train their staff in emergency medical care for toddlers to deal with any situations that may arise. 

Therefore, you have to ensure that they have the right skills to ensure the safety of your child.

As you enquire about different schools, check with the administration to verify that their personnel meets these requirements. These qualifications determine the teaching methods that the member of staff will use. Those that go through formal training in early childhood education know how to deal with different scenarios to ensure that your child gets the right knowledge. A good preschool should also be able to provide proof of the qualifications when you ask them to do so.

4) The school environment

The school environment constitutes several factors. These are the classroom set-up, the physical location, and the other children. When selecting a preschool for your child, it is crucial to see how your child will interact with others in the classroom. Kindergarten is the initial step in forming your child’s behaviour. The classroom should encourage collaboration among students so that they develop their social skills to make them better community members in the future.

Find a preschool that is near either your work or home. Your child is still too young to fend for themselves. Therefore, being able to reach them quickly is essential in easing them towards a life of self-reliance. Your child should also not travel long distances to get to school. Long commutes cause stress and fatigue, which affect your child’s learning experience.

Preschool will be in a new environment for your child, and they will need to fit in seamlessly. Look for a school that encourages a supportive environment for your child. The institution should not encourage vices, such as bullying or corporal punishment. These can be detrimental to your child’s psychological development. Most preschools allow parents to take tours of the facilities before proceeding with preschool admission. Take advantage of these whenever available. They go a long way in putting your mind at ease.

5) The cost of the school

It is also vital to consider the financial impact of your child’s education. In general, private schools tend to be more expensive as compared to public ones. Often, the extra charges are for things that are unnecessary to your child’s education. Always make it a point to request for the fee structure to have more transparency into the charges that you will incur. 

Over the past decade, there has been a lot of change in how students receive knowledge. Institutions are continually changing their methods, which makes it difficult for parents to find an ideal center for their children. You will come across buzz words such as holistic education, inclusive education, global education, all of which add to your confusion.