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Essential Things to Consider When Choosing a Preschool

Choosing a preschool for your child is a big decision. There are many things to consider when choosing the best school for your little one. The best preschools typically come with a high price tag; therefore, you must make the right decision when it comes to enrolling your child into a preschool.

Here are the essential things that you should consider when choosing a preschool for your young child.

Part-Time or Full Time

Before you start searching for a preschool, consider how many hours you would like your child to spend in school. Some schools offer various options, including morning sessions and afternoon sessions. Decide which is best for your child before you start searching for a school.

Budget

How much do you have to spend on a preschool? The best preschools are costly. However, they usually offer a high-quality education, facilities and opportunities for your child to excel. Analyze your finances. If your child has an education fund, check to determine how much you can afford to spend on tuition fees and other costs associated with enrolling your child into a preschool.

Most schools require an admin or enrolment fee; therefore, you need to factor this into your overall budget.

Location

Consider the location. Would you prefer a school that is within walking distance of your home? Or, are you willing to travel further to find the most suitable school for your child? Some areas are best known for their educational institutions; therefore, if you want the best school for your child, you might need to move to a different city or state.

For example, if you live in New York but would prefer to send your child to Preschools Utah instead, you might need to consider moving to Utah to find a preschool that meets your requirements.

Teaching Style

The teaching style is paramount; would you prefer to send your child to a school that offers a strictly traditional teaching style? Or, would you like a modern, more relaxed style of teaching? It all depends on your child and what kind of teaching would suit them best.

For example, Montessori style teaching utilizes the concrete to abstract approach, a more hands-on style of teaching that encourages self-directed learning and collaborative play. Or, the Waldorf method of education, which focuses on thinking, feeling and doing, there are various methods of teaching; decide which best suits your child before you decide on a preschool for your child.

Subjects Offered

What subjects do they offer? Most schools provide core subjects like Math, literacy and science. However, what additional topics does the school offer? Do they provide extracurricular activities too? For example, will your child have the opportunity to learn another language? Is your child a gifted musician or computer scientist? You also need to consider what facilities they have in place for gifted or special needs children.

If your child requires special attention, you need to find a school with the correct facilities available for children who require a more tailored approach to learning.

Reputation

Check the school’s reputation, is it known for providing world-class education and facilities? Ask the parents for honest feedback about the school. Read reviews on parenting forums and ask around the local area to establish a general consensus about your desired preschool.

Class Size

Research has shown that small class sizes are best. Children learn best when class sizes are kept small. The best class size for optimum learning is no more than 18 children per class. In addition, smaller class sizes result in higher test schools, better social interaction and less anxiety, especially for children who need extra help during classroom sessions.

Meals

Most preschools offer in-house lunch and snacks; however, some don’t; you would have to provide a packed lunch for your child. If you would prefer your child to eat in-house meals, what type of food do they offer? Do they have vegan options?  Will they cater for allergies and food intolerances? Also, if your child can’t eat certain foods for religious reasons, make sure you check the food options before you make your final decisions.

Cost

Cost is a huge factor to consider. Does the cost of the school fit your budget? Will you be spending more than you can afford just to enrol your child into a school with the best reputation? You must establish a budget and stick to it. There is no such thing as a perfect school; therefore, you might need to compromise on certain facilities and subjects if the school doesn’t fit your budget requirements.

Payment Plans

What payment plans does the school offer? Some schools require parents to pay a full year’s tuition at the start of the first term. Some schools allow semester payments, and some allow monthly payments. Decide which payment plan is best for you before you apply. Some schools are stricter than others regarding tuition payments; therefore, make sure you are fully aware of this before deciding.

Emotional Wellbeing

Does the school offer emotional well-being activities and generally pay close attention to the children’s emotional and mental wellbeing?

Of course, a well-rounded academic curriculum is necessary; however, emotional intelligence and mental health are crucial for young children; therefore, make enquiries about the facilities they offer to help children understand and process their emotions.

Final Thoughts

Deciding on the best preschool for your child requires a great deal of thought. Some preschools have long waiting lists; therefore, if you want to enrol your child into your chosen preschool, you might need to start searching early.

There are many things to consider when selecting a preschool for your child, such as the location, cost, style of teaching, subjects offered, class sizes, and various other factors.

The school you choose should meet your expectations regarding the style of teaching and quality of education offered. Your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing are also vital essential factors to consider when choosing a preschool for your child to attend. If you can, attend a school open day to explore the facilities and amenities that the school offers.

Some schools allow parents to observe class sessions or sample school classes before they accept a place at the school.

Make sure the school meets most of your requirements before applying to enrol your child. Remember, there is no such thing as perfection; therefore, you might have to compromise when making your final decision.

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