When it comes to preparing your child for kindergarten and grade school, a good preschool can be a huge help. The right preschool will get your child ready for a more fast-paced learning environment while showing them how to socialize and learn at the same time. However, when it comes to finding the right option for your child, the wealth of possibilities can actually make it harder to settle on the right fit. There’s no getting around it: choosing a preschool is hard work, even if you know exactly what you want for your child. With so many great preschool options in your town, how do you know what will be the best fit? Whether you’re looking for a Drop in day care pflugerville option or a preschool with a specific learning philosophy attached, here are some things to think about when choosing pre-K options for your child.
While ideally the choice of a preschool wouldn’t just revolve around easy access, your school’s location has to be convenient for drop-offs and pick-ups. Part of the reason you’re sending your child to preschool or daycare is to make your life, as a working parent, that much easier. Even if your child’s preschool has the best possible care and teaching philosophy, after a few too-long drives in traffic, the additional commute time will start to wear on you. If you’re going to choose a school in an inconvenient location, it has to be for a really great reason, like special services you can’t find anywhere else, or a teacher your child already has a great relationship with. If you already have friends whose kids are going to the same preschool, carpooling could also give you a lot more options in terms of location.
Preschools don’t tend to work off a set curriculum unless they’re charter schools or Montessori schools. That means that teachers have a lot of freedom when it comes to how they organize the day and what your children learn. Because of this, there’s an even greater emphasis on teachers and school directors being exceptional and innovative. If you’re visiting schools to find the best option for your child, remember to check in with teachers and the school’s director to see if you click. The more one-on-one time you can spend with a teacher, the more it will help you get a sense of how your child will be learning, as well as what they’ll be learning. If you have friends who strongly recommend a certain teacher at a certain school, that’s also a great indicator.
3. School Philosophy
Different preschools have different educational philosophies having to do with how children learn best. For instance, you may have heard of Montessori schools, which is focused on a lot of hands-on activities and exploration. Waldorf schools are more strict and regimented, and Bank Street schools try to meld all types of subjects into their classes, rather than dividing them up into ‘math,’ ‘science,’ ‘social studies,’ and ‘arts.’ If you’re religious, you may want to pursue a faith-based program for your child. If you’re not picky about the style of your child’s school, you can choose from any number of public preschools in your area. However, if you have a more specific experience in mind for your child, there are tons of different options available to help you choose.
When it comes to carpooling, scheduling playdates, or even fundraising, you can’t do it alone. In addition to building a network of other parents that will help make your life easier when it comes to preschool-related duties, the school itself might ask a few things of you. Some preschools like parents to get very involved with the curriculum. Also, they give a lot of time and effort to raise funds, awareness, or even monitor kids during lunchtime. If you’re not averse to spending more time doing community activities to help out your preschooler, choose a school that offers a lot of different support systems and opportunities to be a part of the community. If you’re not thrilled about this idea, choose a school that’s a bit more regimented.
Perhaps most importantly, how strict do you want your child’s preschool to be on matters like cancellation, holidays, and sick days? While this might not seem important at the offset, you definitely want to know that the policy is if your child gets sick in school, or if the school ends up being closed for a holiday you weren’t aware of. Figuring out these smaller details will help keep you in the loop and plan better for the unexpected.