How to Choose the Right Preschool for Your Child

Choosing the right preschool is a crucial decision that will impact your child’s early learning experiences. By following this checklist and conducting thorough research, you can make an informed choice that provides your child with a positive and enriching preschool experience.

Are you looking into these factors when shortlisting for pre-schools?

Teacher Qualifications: Look for preschools with teachers who have formal post-high school training, such as a 4-year college degree in child development or early childhood education. Qualified teachers are more likely to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for your child.

Positive and Caring Environment: Observe how teachers interact with the children during your visit. Positive and caring teachers foster trusting relationships with the children, leading to better learning outcomes and advanced development.

Interactive and Engaging Teaching: Teachers should use interactive and engaging methods to teach children. They should encourage questions, praise positive actions, and involve children in hands-on activities like singing, storytelling, and crafts.

Positive Discipline: Inquire about the preschool’s discipline policy. A good preschool should use positive discipline techniques, patiently guiding children’s behavior rather than resorting to punishment.

Free Play and Social Learning: Look for a preschool that incorporates plenty of free playtime in their schedule. Free play enhances brain development and social competence. Additionally, find a preschool with teachers who actively guide conflict resolution and facilitate social learning among the children.

Low Teacher Turnover: Ask about the preschool’s teacher turnover rate. Low turnover indicates a stable and supportive work environment, which contributes to better teacher performance and continuity in your child’s care.

Livable Compensation and Support for Teachers: Inquire about the preschool’s support for its staff, including livable compensation, benefits, and professional development opportunities. A happy and well-supported teaching staff is essential for a quality learning environment.

Unannounced Visit: Whenever possible, drop in unannounced during class time to observe the preschool in action. This will give you a more authentic sense of how the preschool operates on a typical day.

Talk to Other Parents: Speak with current and past parents to get their perspective on the preschool. Keep in mind that opinions may vary, so ask specific questions to gather a more accurate picture.

Verify License Status: Ensure that the preschool has an up-to-date license and meets all safety standards required by your state. Unlicensed or lapsed licenses should raise a red flag and may indicate potential issues.

Consider Location and Schedule: Evaluate the preschool’s location and schedule to ensure it is convenient for your family’s needs.

Visit Multiple Preschools: Don’t settle for the first preschool you visit. Take the time to explore different options and compare their offerings to make an informed decision.

Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts as a parent. If something doesn’t feel right during the visit, it may be a sign that the preschool is not the best fit for your child.

Remember, a high-quality preschool can set the foundation for a lifetime of learning and success.


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