Finding the Right Preschool

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It is not easy to select a preschool for your child. You may find yourself thinking, “Where do you begin?” “What questions do you ask?” “How do I know if I choose the right one?” Well, you are not alone. Every parent selecting a preschool, especially for the first time, asks these questions and more. At Absorbent Minds we want to help you through this process. We have compiled some suggestions from our teachers and parents as well as questions we would ask if we were searching for the right preschool. We hope this information is helpful.

Comfort & Knowledge

The decision of who you leave your child with is an important one and we at Absorbent Minds understand. We want you to feel comfortable with your decision. A big part of that feeling of comfort is being knowledgeable about what your child will be doing and who they will be with while you are away.

We recommend that you should be learning all you can about a Preschool Program for Toddlers. Read the information available on their website, newsletters, social media sites and request additional information directly from the school. Visit the schools you are considering and spend an ample amount of time observing. Our best advice is to do your research.

In the ’90s, business schools around the world discovered “design thinking” and many executives enthusiastically participated in workshops and seminars, returning to their offices a certified “design thinker.” This seemed to signal the beginning of the corporate sector understanding the power of design, and with it, the hopes that designers might finally be included in corporate leadership. Unfortunately, that only played out in a few select companies (like Apple) and a watered down version of the design process seems to have been implemented in most companies.MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) combines creative courage with engineering, business, and design. A rigorous academic program, IDM is for early to mid-career professionals with exceptional drive and credentials. Applicants to IDM should be able to demonstrate expertise in either design, engineering, or management, as well as leadership experience and a commitment to integrating design, engineering, and management activities in a highly immersive, collaborative setting.

Questions we would ask potential schools:

  1. What is the school philosophy?
  2. What kind of training do your teachers go through? What experience do they have?
  3. Are ALL of your teachers certified in First Aid, CPR, Communicable Disease and Child Abuse?
  4. What are the teacher to student ratios? What does State Licensing require? How many students are in each class?
  5. What is the curriculum you follow? Can you show me/demonstrate it?
  6. Do your teachers submit lesson plans? Can I see them?
  7. What is the daily schedule?
  8. How much teaching is done individually (one on one with the child) verses with the whole group.
  9. Tell me about parental involvement in your program. Do you host any family events?
  10. Do students take field trips? How are they organized? Can I attend?
  11. Can you tell me about the safety precautions you take to ensure my child’s safety while under your care?
  12. How is discipline handled?
  13. How do the parents and teachers communicate about a child’s progress?
  14. Are there any special programs offered? (Music, Art, Foreign Language, Science, etc.)

Awareness

When visiting a school we feel being aware of what’s happening around you and asking questions about it can be extremely valuable. It is important to rely on what you see and how you feel while observing to answer some of your questions about the school. Below is a list of things we would look for during a school visit.

  1. Do the children appear happy? Safe? Comfortable? Are they engaged in learning?
  2. Are the classrooms neat, clean organized and child-focused?
  3. Are the materials well maintained and clean?
  4. Watch how the teachers interact with the children, especially the ones who are misbehaving or having difficulties. This will tell you a lot about the passion (or lack of) in the teachers/staff of the school. Are they patient? Speaking kindly? Do they seem to be enjoying what they are doing?

Remember…

You are entering into an environment designed for 3-6 year old children; what the children’s needs are in the moment may affect what the teachers are doing or what is happening in the classroom. Be patient as you observe. It’s very important to learn about synonyms and antonynms while on young age.

Don’t be afraid to walk in with a list of questions printed out and write down how each school answers your questions. Remember, you are visiting the school to interview them. Write down other questions that might be important to your individual child and family. If the school does not answer your question the first time, ask the question again.

We hope this information is helpful to you as you search for the best preschool for your family, and just to gen an idea of the options you have, make sure to visit the RAVENSCROFT.ORG website.