A quick reference for choosing the right preschool
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A quick reference for choosing the right preschool

Although it may seem like all fun and games, preschool is one of the most important times in a child’s development. It is the foundation for future years of schooling and an opportunity for the child to socialize in a new environment. Up to ages three and four, learning and development occur at home with parents and other family members. However, after this point, parents need to allow their children to go out into the world and interact with new people. This will benefit both parties in the long run by decreasing separation anxiety.

Preschool is the perfect opportunity for young people to learn life skills such as sharing, communication, and making friends. The classroom environment will require them to play and learn in a fun but structured way. This could include periods of group activity like “circle time” or more individual periods like “color time.” Young children will also need to take care of themselves and their belongings with practices like hand washing and picking up after themselves. Although formal education will not have started, fun activities like “story time” and simple math puzzles expose young people to letters and numbers. Playing with different toys contributes to the continuous development of motor skills.

Parents are strongly encouraged to schedule visits to the preschools. The following is a list of things to consider when choosing a program.

Effective Communication: You should expect the teacher and the school to keep you updated on your young child’s progress.

Cleanliness: The learning environment must be adequately clean and safe to your standards.

Disciplinary Policy: You must be aware of and agree with how the school handles reinforcement and punishment of behavior.

Curriculum – Review the curriculum to determine how beneficial it will be for your young child. What kind of activities will they do every day?

Credentials: What type of training or certification have teachers received? Ask to visit a classroom during class to get a feel for how teachers will interact with children.

Schedule – Depending on your work schedule, will the school be able to accommodate your child? What is the policy if you are late to pick them up?

Cost: Evaluate the various options and determine if you are willing and able to contribute additional funds in favor of a private program. If not, check out the government-funded Head Start program.

Although it may seem like a daunting task, choosing the right preschool for your family is crucial to your child’s development. Recent studies have shown that people enrolled in pre-K are more likely to do well in school and get better jobs, and are less likely to commit crimes later in life. Take plenty of time to research programs in your area and talk to other parents to get their opinions and recommendations.

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