Choosing a Preschool: 8 Simple Tips for Parents

Choosing a Preschool: 8 Simple Tips for Parents

 

As parents, we always want the best for our precious tot. This is especially true when it comes to the first step of their educational journey, which is selecting their first preschool. It could be your child’s first experience being away from family in a totally new environment and it’s perfectly normal to be unsure how or where to begin.

Choosing the right preschool isn’t as difficult as you may have imagined. The key is to ensure you approach this prepared with a solid idea of what you want your child to gain from their preschool experience and know the right questions to ask.

So here are 8 tips to help you prepare for this momentous decision.

 

Tip 1: Basic Considerations

Narrow down your options by looking at the location, hours and fees. As every family is different, these considerations will vary based on your needs and how it will fit into your daily life. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few preschools, schedule a tour.

Questions to Consider:

  • Is the location convenient to home or my workplace?
  • What types of childcare services does the school offer?
  • Are the fees within my budget?
  • Am I eligible for any subsidies?

 

Tip 2: The Teachers

Of the items in this list, the teachers are definitely the most important as they will be the ones nurturing and spending a significant amount of time with your child. During the school tour, do take the opportunity to observe how the teacher interacts with the children. Do you hear laughter or see smiles and the use of positive reinforcement such as hugs, high-fives or encouraging words? If you do, then this is indeed a nurturing environment for the child.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are the teachers’ qualifications?
  • How many years of teaching experience do they have?
  • How long has the teacher been teaching at the school?
  • Are there training programmes in place for the teachers?
  • Are the teachers adequately trained for emergencies?
  • What is the teacher to student ratio?

 

Tip 3: Communication

Every parent would want to know how their child is progressing and performing in school. Which is why feedback and updates from the school should be provided to you on a regular basis. Should your child be struggling with any area in school, the school should be able to inform you to ensure that the necessary can be done to help them improve.

Questions to Consider:

  • What channels does the school use to communicate with the parents?
  • Does the school provide a communication handbook?

 

Tip 4: The Curriculum

There are numerous types of teaching approaches available out there such as the Reggio Emilia approach, the Montessori method or the Waldorf approach. Each have their strengths and it is important to select a curriculum that meets your child’s learning styles and personality. You will want to ensure that the curriculum stimulates and develops your child holistically.

Questions to Consider:

  • What teaching approach does the school follow?
  • What are the types of activities available?
  • Are enrichment activities provided?

 

Tip 5: The Schedule

Children learn through play, so this is incredibly important! There must be a balance between academics as well as play and physical activities which stimulate brain growth, enhances early development and promotes social behaviour.

Questions to Consider:

  • What is a typical day or week like?
  • What forms of structured and unstructured play do the children engage in?
  • What are the meal and snack times?

 

Tip 6: The Environment

If you look around the classroom and school, they should obviously be clean and orderly but not to the extent that it looks too perfect. It should look and feel like children actually play there with materials they can easily access and put away themselves. The classrooms should feel like a space that belongs to the children and looks like one big invitation to play!

Questions to Consider:

  • Are the furniture and the decoration oriented to the child’s view?
  • Is there enough space for the child to move around safely?
  • Is the classroom a “print-rich” environment?
  • Do you see students’ creations displayed around the classroom?
  • Are there spaces for sensory exploration?
  • Is there a balance of quiet and loud areas?

 

Tip 7: Behaviour Management

Sometimes, conflicts will arise such as disagreement which could lead to fights or unprovoked behaviour such as biting. It’s important to know how such incidents will be addressed when it happens and also how it can be prevented in the first place.

Questions to Consider:

  • Does the school have behavioural guidelines?
  • What are the rules and consequences for unwarranted behaviour?
  • How are conflicts resolved?

 

Tip 8: Safety Protocols

It’s every parent nightmare getting that dreaded call informing them that their child was just hurt. Thankfully, preschools nowadays are taking extra measures to avoid such incidents from happening. Sometimes despite all the necessary precautions, the unfortunate could still occur. Therefore, it is crucial to know what the school’s safety protocols and SOPs are.

Questions to Consider:

  • Does the school have proper sanitization practices?
  • What are the school’s safety protocols in the event of an emergency?
  • What measures are taken to ensure the child’s safety during excursions?
  • Are there CCTVs installed?
  • How does the school guarantee the safety of the students during drop-off and pick-up times?

 

We hope that these 8 tips would help alleviate your concerns when it comes to choosing the right preschool for your child. Remember, choosing the best preschool for your child does not have to be an overwhelming task. Successful parents go into the process aware, informed and ready to ask questions, making the process much more efficient, effective and meaningful for you and your child.

If you are searching for a holistic curriculum that is designed to nurture every facet of your child’s development and instil in them core skills and intelligent thinking habits needed to excel in the future world, do get in touch with us to discover what a wonderful learning journey Mulberry Learning can provide for your precious tot.

 

About Mulberry Learning

At Mulberry Learning, no effort was spared in crafting a truly unique preschool programme that incorporates the Reggio Emilia methodology, Habits of Mind™ framework and Multiple Intelligences.

Voted Singapore’s “Best Holistic Learning Programme” and recently featured by the Straits Times, Business Times, CNA and The Smart Local, Mulberry Learning is the only preschool in Singapore and the world to be certified by the USA for the “Habits of Mind”, the same intelligent thinking framework used by M.O.E. to groom the brightest Primary School students in the Gifted Education Programme!

Come and visit us during our Open House to discover how Mulberry Learning helps your child become a confident communicator, independent thinker and a passionate lifelong learner.

Schedule a personalized tour from 7 – 18 October 2019 and enjoy an exclusive Open House promotion.

Visit Us At Our Open House & Bazaar!

 

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