As the school year opens up around the country and millions of children trot off to school, some of them are going for the first time ever. For many children, preschool is the first stepping stone in their education and it’s more often than not the first time these young children are away from their home of people they love and trust.
That’s why finding a preschool that feels like home, one that’s in line with your family values is so important. You’ll need to find one you feel you can trust too. No one wants to be off at work all day worrying more than necessary, because let’s face it…we all worry about our children even when they are in the best hands. That’s just what parents do.
While any decision made can be undone at your discretion, I recommend making this decision with eyes wide open, making sure to consider the methodology the teachers will use as well as what will work for your child. Remember, children see things from a different perspective and while for some children they find this transition very natural and easy, other children are terrified of the change no matter how kind we teachers are. To ensure the best fit into a preschool family for your child, try the following:
1. Clearly define what your priorities are
Since we look for a preschool family for our children that fits our own family values, you’ll need to decide what is most important when picking a preschool for your child. Maybe Montessori is most important to you, or a faith-based school. Maybe you need it to be closer to your office or your home. Only you can decide what is most important here, and as a parent, this is your decision to make.
2. Research it
You can’t go wrong asking other parents you know with similar values to your own which preschools they have sent their own children too. Additionally, make sure the school is a good school with safety features and a staff that you can trust.
3. Go for a visit
While you’ll be tempted to bring your tot, go on your first visits to the preschools you think would be the best fit first. You’ll want to talk to the director and meet with any teachers that will interact with your child. You’ll see the activities and facilities for yourself and see if you as a parent feel comfortable bringing your child here.
4. Take your child along
While the first 3 steps are crucial for parents to make, the last one is all about your child. You’ll want to take your little one along to the schools you’ve looked at and feel comfortable with to see how your child will like them. With each school, let your child meet the teacher and the other children. Let them see the playground and the rest of the exciting things they’ll do at school each day. Let your child take the lead and see if they seem to feel more at ease in one place more than another. When you see your child feels comfortable with their preschool family, it’s a safe bet to say that their adventure into preschool will be one filled with success, nourishment, love and growth!
Until next remember, child development is human development.