As a parent , we all know, finding a right preschool is not easy. Some parents might have no idea about what is a right or not right school for a child.
As a former preschool teacher and mom with two little bilingual kids, I have some tips to share with other parents, especially with new parents.
1, Search a preschool early.
Even there are tens of preschool in your town, it doesn’t mean you can just have your child go to any of these schools.
Many parents might know it already, it is not easy to find a good one. If you do find one, usually, that school might have a long waiting list already.
You had better search a preschool half or a year earlier before your child goes to preschool. Once you find a nice preschool, you will have a good chance to have your child on the short waiting list.
2, Ask around.
What is the best way to find a good preschool? Ask around, especially ask opinions of your moms friends.
If seven out ten moms recommend the same school, give that school a call to get more information.
If you are new to a town, try to meet other moms friends in the local park or library. Don’t be shy to initiate the conversation first. Usually, moms will be friendly to provide any information they know about local preschools.
If you are a really shy person, try to get a local newspaper to look for preschools information. Call several preschools to get detailed information, so you will have a good idea about the programs of different schools.
3, Visit the school.
Once you spot a good school, give that school a call to visit. It will be better if you take your child with you.
When you go to the school, pay attention to the details: Does the school has a gated door everywhere? Is the school clean? Is the classroom crowded or spacious?
Are teachers and staffs in that school friendly? Are there many kids works on the wall? Are kids engaged in the classroom or just sit there looking around?
A school visit will tell you a lot of information. Don’t just focus on the hardware of the school or the tuition, focus on the software.
A school might have a nice gym or big bright classroom, if teachers are inattentive, you can predict your kid won’t be taken good care of.
If you get a chance, stay in the classroom briefly to observe what is going in the classroom. If you feel warm and welcomed, great. If not, trust your instinct.
Don’t forget to have a talk with the director or administrator in the office to get some extra information. For example, some preschools might provide bible lessons. If that is what you prefer, perfect. If not, you have to make your own decision.
4, Be flexible.
Even you find your dream preschool, there is still a good chance that something might go wrong. For example, a preschool might not provide the schedule as you wish. You have to compromise or you have to find another school.
Even a good school might be right for your older one, it doesn’t guarantee it will be a good fit for your younger child. In this case, you might need find another school that is right for the child.
5, Observe your child’s reaction.
If it is your child’s first time to go to a preschool, it is normal that he might cry loud for one or two weeks, or even one month.
However, it might be a warning sign if your child cries for months when it is time to the school. Especially, he always steps back when you try to pull him into that classroom.
Your child can’t talk, but he knows well of what is going on in the classroom. Then you should know there might be something wrong.
6, Don’t let the school label your child.
It is very possible that you might have an unusual child, for example, he might be very active or he can’t speak English at all when he goes to school.
Find a school that will accept your child as who he is and respect your way of educating your child.
If you wish to bring up a bilingual child, you might meet some schools that suggest you to speak English only to your child at home. If they keep telling you what you should do, try to communicate with them openly. If they still impose what they think right on you, it might be the time to change a school.
So what is a right preschool for your child?
It is really up to your personal feeling and idea. In my opinion, a good preschool should be safe, teachers and staffs are friendly and a child feels happy.
If you have any opinions about finding a right preschool, I would love to hear from you.