When it comes to finding a good preschool for your child, you don’t want to make the wrong decision. How your child starts their journey into formal educational settings will dictate how they succeed and feel about going to school as they get older. Children are typically in the school system for 12 calendar years from this age, so making the right decisions for their preschool can have a massive influence on their future. But how do you pick the best preschool? By asking the right things. Here are the top questions to ask preschools to help narrow down the options.
4 questions to ask preschools
Here are the top things to ask as a parent on the in-person tour, over the phone, or any other way of communicating with the potential school. This list is by no means exhaustive but it is a good starting point.
1. Staff-to-pupil ratio
Federal US law dictates the ratios for preschoolers, which varies by age, including no more than ten pupils per staff member for 4-year-olds. This doesn’t include teachers, as one teacher can have a maximum class of 24 with other adults and support workers assisting within the classroom.
It is important to ask about the staff-to-pupil ratio to desire guidelines. Ensure they are being met and that the school adheres to legal standards of teaching and supervision of children in their care.
Inquire if each child will have a specific member of staff assigned to them too. That way, you can check in with that person if needed, and your child will have someone specific to go to with issues.
2. Daily routines
Preschool is for children who aren’t old enough for kindergarten and, as such, will be in their early formative years. For this reason, knowing their daily routines and what your child can expect each day can help you to learn more about their development and what they will be doing.
Research shows that preschool can play an essential role in shaping who they are. For example, one study found that children enrolled in preschool showed fewer signs of delinquent behavior as they got older.
3. More questions for preschools: What is its philosophy?
Ensure that any preschools you are looking at have the same philosophy as your family. Every school will approach childcare and education slightly differently.
Montessori schools are an excellent example of that. As such, you must be satisfied that their values and methodologies are the same as yours for a more seamless learning and development approach.
Ask about their philosophies upfront. That will help you as a parent to understand what your child can expect upon enrollment.
4. Training and education
Additional early childhood research suggests that preschools that hire employees with more formal higher education qualifications can offer a higher quality of care. For example, those who ave degrees in child development or early childhood education can often provide more to preschoolers in this setting than those without.
That’s not to say those without the training cannot provide excellent care, as they certainly can. But, as a minimum, ask what type of training each staff member undergoes as part of their employment. Inquire how often they engage in training to keep their skills and compliance up to date too.
Conclusion: Asking preschools the right questions
Picking the right preschool for your child can have a massive impact on their life. A good preschool can help them develop at their own pace and in the most positive and nurturing way possible. Doing your research and asking specific questions can help parents decide if a certain school is a good fit for the family.