How to Find the Perfect Preschool: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Look for a school that will give your child one-on-one attention.


We're all guilty of thinking that putting our child in just the right preschool will set him on the path toward the Ivy League. This idea is not completely without merit; some researchers have found long-term benefits to kids in good preschool programs. A study by the National Institutes of Health, for example, showed that low-income kids enrolled in publicly funded Chicago preschools had more academic and career success later in life. Still, there isn't one preschool that's perfect for everyone. The perfect preschool for your child is the one that best matches his learning style.

Steps

  1. 1
    Familiarize yourself with your options. This might include free preschools funded by the government or a private school you have to pay for yourself. Some will have a religious leaning or focus on an alternative teaching method, such as a Montessori or Waldorf school. Start with a list of potential schools. In small cities, suburbs or rural areas, the list may be relatively short. In a large city, a list of all possible preschools will be too long, so start by narrowing it down immediately. For example, if you qualify for free preschool and want that, list only those preschools. If you know that you want a specific philosophy, such as Montessori, list the schools that subscribe to that philosophy.
  2. 2
    Ask around for parent input. Parents will be quick to tell you the good and bad about any preschools they have experience with. You might hear about how one school helped a child overcome a learning disability or how another school has a high staff turnaround.
  3. 3
    Make appointments to visit each school. At the visit, look at how the teachers are interacting with the children and what the children are doing. In some cases, you may see children working independently in the classroom, while others might have children in more of a group setting most of the time. Pay attention to things like the materials the children can use, the snacks the school is serving and whether the teachers are actively engaged or updating their Facebook statuses with their smart phones. Check for any safety hazards, which should be a red flag.
  4. 4
    Ask about the curriculum that the school uses. It's important to know what types of things your child will be learning. Certain schools might focus more on building early reading skills, which would be ideal for a child who can sit still in a traditional learning environment. Children who need a more hands-on approach might thrive in a play-based or Montessori program. Some schools even offer language immersion, which can benefit your child throughout his life.
  5. 5
    Look at the teachers' credentials. Private preschools are not regulated by the government and set their own standards when it comes to hiring staff. The teachers may have as little knowledge or experience with small children as you do. Choose a school whose teachers have a background in early childhood education, have years of experience working with children or have undergone an intensive training program using the school's curriculum.
  6. 6
    Put it all together to make a decision. You know your child best. Imagine your child in each of the settings that you saw and try to imagine which one he will thrive in. That's probably the best school for him.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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