Many preschoolers start to take applications in January and may hold open houses even sooner, but you should check with each individual program. Start looking at schools the September before you want your child to start to attend — in many cases, this is when the child is 2. Check with the school to find out the details on age qualifications and other factors such as potty training. Figure Out What Is Important to You No matter what all the experts say, you are your child's biggest advocate and the best judge of what type of environment he'll do best in. Think about your child's personality.
Is he shy? Does she make friends quickly?
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- 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child;
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What do you want from your child's preschool? Are you looking for a rigorous academic program or something more socially-based? It's up to you to weed through them all and determine the best fit.
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So where do you start? Ask around. Anyone you know with kids is a good person to query, whether you know them from work, the neighborhood, playgroup or the library. In particular, focus on the folks who have kids close in age to yours and whose kids have similar personalities.
- How to Pick a Preschool.
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- How to Choose a Preschool for Your Child.
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You may even want to have a chat with your pediatrician about what she thinks, especially if your child has some underlying medical issues. So do your research. You can also find programs run through churches and temples where religion is part of the everyday curriculum. Other options include cooperative programs run by parents, programs affiliated with community groups such as the YMCA and state-run programs that are often free for all residents or low-income families. You can also explore programs run by companies — there are many "stand-alone" programs that can be found in many towns as well as schools run by daycare centers.
The possibilities are nearly endless. What to Look for No Matter What Type of School You Choose To meet a child's individual needs, you want to find a school that offers small class sizes and low child-teacher ratios. The classroom should have lots of toys and other play items that are clean, safe and in easy reach of little people. If there is an outside play space, make sure it is fenced in and ask if the staff is trained in first aid. Will she ride a bus or will you pick her up and drop her off? How far away is the school from your home?
These may seem like secondary concerns, but they are very important. If it takes a long time to get to school, your child may be too excited by the time they get there. A preschool close to where you live may make it easier for your child to foster the friendships he makes in school, thanks to playdates and party invitations.
The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child
How Long Is a School Day? Believe it or not, preschool can be work for many kids, especially for those who have never been in a formal program away from home. Many preschool programs are for a half day or a few hours and with good reason — after even a short amount of time many children, especially younger preschoolers — are ready for a break and need some quiet time.
Some preschools do offer extended hours. Ask about all the available options and decide which one will work best for your child. Studies show that most programs are mediocre, with small percentages on both the extreme high and low ends of the spectrum. Many studies don't take into account the varied settings of child care and the changing demographics of children, something an ongoing study at Harvard is trying to address. Fortunately, you can learn a lot about the quality of a preschool from a brief tour, if you know what to look for.
The scheduling of such tours can be prohibitive for many parents, but alternatives are starting to pop up, like a series of computer-based virtual tours of Washington, D. Here are five things to watch for as you visit and assess a preschool program — hallmarks of success that you want to see.
Teachers are the glue for all the other elements of quality. They matter more than a fancy new building or whether every other family in town has submitted an application. If you get a good feeling, chances are your child will, too. Skip to main content. The choice can feel overwhelming — but here are 5 evidence-backed signs of success to look for.
Choosing The Right Preschool: A Condensed Guide To Not Ruining Your Kid
By: Suzanne Bouffard. Posted: November 11, Adults are talking to children in nurturing and encouraging ways. They get down on their eye-level, address them by name, listen carefully, and seek to understand. Early childhood learning is built on trusting relationships , and that means that good teachers do not yell, cluck their tongues, or roll their eyes at children.
I knew I had found a gem of a teacher when I told her at drop-off that my recently potty-trained three-year-old was determined to wear his underwear backwards. He wants the truck in the front where he can see it. No problem. When children are behaving inappropriately, teachers are focused on helping them, rather than punishing them.
All preschoolers are developing social and emotional skills and self-regulation , like how to share toys and express frustration in words. Good teachers build those skills with consistent routines preferably posted on the wall and tools like timers for turn-taking, language children can use when they have a conflict, and songs and games for when a child needs to be physical.
The classroom is fun and joyful. Play is the vehicle through which young children learn everything from vocabulary to math to self-control. Teachers should continually provide new activities and challenges, ask thought-provoking questions , and nudge children to think deeper. They should not drill children with flashcards and tests. Children are active. They are not expected to sit for more than minutes at a time, and they get plenty of outdoor time. They are also active contributors to the classroom; they get to choose their activities and their work covers the walls.
Staff are supported — and seem happy.
How to Pick a Preschool | Harvard Graduate School of Education
Working with young children is a tough job, and teachers are more successful when they receive regular professional development and planning time, not to mention a livable wage and benefits like health insurance and paid time off. Consistently high turnover can be a warning sign of systemic problems.
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