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9 Things to Consider While Choosing the Best Preschool for Your Child

9 Things to Consider While Choosing the Best Preschool for Your Child

Picking the right preschool for your child and family is both thrilling and daunting, particularly when contemplating their future education. It is the first step in your child's formal learning journey, and you want to ensure it is a nurturing and enriching experience. And it goes without saying that these early years serve as the foundation for a child's development, representing a critical period in their life. With so many preschools and nurseries around, navigating the options can feel overwhelming.

Firstly, start by narrowing down your options, focusing on two or three factors that you deem most important for you. Since every family is unique, consider these factors according to your priorities and requirements. After narrowing down your choices to a select few preschools, allocate time to schedule school tours. This allows you to personally visit the campuses, interact with faculty members, and gain firsthand understanding of each preschool’s environment.

Here’s a parent’s guide to selecting a nursery or preschool:

Although learning remains a lifelong journey, the intensity and pace of learning during the initial six years of life are unparalleled. This guide explores 9 key factors to consider when selecting the perfect preschool for your little one:

1. Proximity 

When selecting a preschool, it’s essential to consider its location carefully. Long journeys to and from preschool can be exhausting for young children. Particularly during the adjustment phase, when the child is just learning to stay away from parents and familiar surroundings, traveling far can add to the distress. Ensuring a smooth and comfortable transition is paramount. Therefore, prioritize preschools that are conveniently situated near your residence.

2. Experience of the Staff & Educators 

They are your first point of contact, and probably the most decisive factor for any parent. The way teachers engage with children is important. Look for passionate and dedicated educators who create a warm and nurturing environment for young learners. If possible, observe genuine conversations occurring between the teaching staff and children during your school tour. This observation allows you to assess whether the staff genuinely value what your child expresses and if they are demonstrating a genuine interest. Also, it’s imperative to ascertain if the educators possess the necessary qualifications to effectively care for and educate your child, as they will be entrusted with their well-being and development during their time at the unit.

3. Infrastructure & Learning Environment

Is the space clean, safe, and stimulating? Are there opportunities for indoor and outdoor play, exploration, and creativity? The ambiance of preschool is pivotal in nurturing your child’s learning and growth. Although the premises do not have to be massive, they should be clean, well-lit, tailored to grow and thrive, and be secure. Your child should feel a sense of security at their preschool. Also, check if there is an outdoor play area, so children can spend some much-needed time in their natural surroundings every day. While considering infrastructure, checking what safety measures are in place, are the classrooms and play areas child-proof, do they have CCTV cameras in place, who has access to the premises, etc. are crucial. Ask the staff and caregivers these questions during the school visit to help you make an informed decision.

4. Credibility of the School

Trust your gut feeling! Visit the preschool, observe the classroom environment, and interact with the teachers. While a preschool near your residence might boast excellent infrastructure, this aspect alone does not suffice. It’s important to delve deeper into assessing the school’s credibility. Consider questions like: How established is the school? How many branches do they have? Is it a trusted international brand? What is the background of management? To gain better insights, engage with other parents, seek reviews and recommendations within social circles, explore the school’s website, and follow its social media channels.

5. Curriculum & Teaching Methodology

What educational approach does kindergarten follow? Does the curriculum align with your values and what you hope your child will gain from this experience? Nowadays, it’s vital to seek out a program centered on discovery rather than one that confines your child to conventional learning methods. While structure remains important, look for a preschool that provides activities fostering the development of various life skills. Some schools adhere strictly to traditional play-based methods while others adopt Montessori, Nordic Pedagogy, or Waldorf methodology, and the others integrate elements from multiple approaches. Therefore, it’s advisable to communicate with the educators at the preschool to understand their chosen methodology and the types of activities they involve your child in.

6. Teacher-Student Ratio

Looking for a preschool that prioritizes quality interaction between teachers and your child is critical. During the early years, children require constant attention and personalized care. Smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios allow for more individualized attention and a more positive learning environment. Each child is different, and catering to their learning pace is essential. Ensure that the educators and staff can comfortably manage the number of children in their class or batch to facilitate learning and active participation.

7. Meals & Snacks

This can be a critical element for many parents, especially those who are working. If the preschool offers meals, it’s essential to inquire about the provided options. What meals are provided? What is the typical menu like? What is offered for snacks? How often do children eat or drink while at the unit? This information enables you to notify the school if your child has any allergies. Shared meals at school contribute to the development of social skills and promote healthy eating habits among children. At Dibber, this is something we encourage through our revolutionary Dibber Meal Concept.

8. Fees

The cost of childcare can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of care needed and whether you opt for half-day or full-day programs. It’s crucial to inquire about the daily, weekly, or monthly fees as well as any additional expenses that may not be immediately apparent. These hidden costs might include registration fees, supply fees, daycare charges, meals, and fees for care during holidays. Being aware of all potential expenses ensures transparency and helps you make informed decisions about childcare options. Remember it is important to understand the financial aspect as one of the factors in choosing the best preschool for your child.

9. Communication & Transparency

How does preschool communicate with parents? Do they offer regular updates on your child's progress and development? Look for a preschool that values open communication and encourages parental involvement. Enquire with the potential preschool about the availability of daily or weekly progress reports and the means through which this information is conveyed. With advancements in technology, many facilities utilize apps and classroom cameras for communication purposes. Understand the methods and frequency of these communications to align with your expectations.

When evaluating quality indicators for preschools, remember that early childhood education is one of the most significant decisions for your child, deserving thorough consideration. Remember, this is just a starting point! Take your time to gather as much information as possible about the schools that align with your needs and your child’s. Trust your instincts and the process as you navigate this important decision-making journey.

With careful consideration, you will find the ideal preschool environment where your child can blossom and thrive. We hope these preschool selection tips come in handy when searching for the perfect childcare and education facility for your little one.

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