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Choosing the Right Preschool

19 Questions to Ask When Picking a Preschool

Sending a tot to school for the first time is an exciting and momentous occasion for everyone involved. For many children, this marks their first scheduled time independent of their parents. Since it's a step into a social and learning environment, parents want to choose the right fit for their child — and themselves. Having been through the process, I can offer some tips that will facilitate the hunt for the perfect preschool.

  • Ask to talk with current parents.
  • Spend time in the classroom with children present.
  • Ask about their sick policy.
  • Do they offer after hour care?
  • Where do most of the children go for Kindergarten?
  • What is the learning philosophy? Is it play based or more structured?
  • How do they discipline bad behavior?
  • Is the lunch or snack provided?
  • How far or close is it to home?
  • What is the student to teacher ratio?
  • What are the staff's credentials?
  • What is the student body make up? Is it diverse? Are there any children with disabilities?
  • How many years has the educational establishment been in business?
  • What is the teacher turnover?
  • What is the class size year to year?
  • Inquire about the sibling application process.
  • Do tots need to be potty trained?
  • What is the school's physical condition? Play area, bathrooms, etc.
  • How involved are the parents?
  • What are the safety precautions taken?

Aside from the above questions, a parent generally gets a gut feeling for the environment and if it will be a good "fit" for their child. A brain teasing process for some, there is certainly a place for every child to grow, learn, and thrive all while having fun and making new friends.

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nikkisoda nikkisoda 7 years
I say to definitely follow your gut! We just enrolled our daughter in preschool last October. We asked all the questions, checked the place out and decided that it would be a great place for our daughter. But on the first day I had a sudden urge to switch schools. Something just didn't feel right. I wrote it off as my own first day jitters. A few months later there was an incident that caused me to switch schools. All I could think about was that first day and the way I felt. Now she is in a fantastic preschool and we all couldn't be any happier. The lesson was definitely learned. I will always follow my gut feeling!
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
we sent our girls to a neighborhood preschool that most everyone sent their kids to. we went on a tour and listened to their information, but really we had heard so many good things about it our minds were pretty much decided before the tour. one of the best things about it was the play yard. it had a few playhouses and play structures (all small scale), bit it also had really special things like a space ship and a train. it was similar to the play area in the preschool i went to, lots of room for imagination. my girls still rave about the play ground. they were so excited about their "first school" and showing it to us. makes me a little teary eyed to remember since my youngest is 8 now :cry:
kty kty 7 years
those are definitely good questions...i'm thinking about enrolling my son in a preschool in september but it might be in london so 'im a little nervous about that,but we will se.thanks for the tips
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