7 critical things to look for when choosing a preschool
The time has come. Your baby is ready to start preschool. This is always a hard decision for parents, and for good reason. You want to make sure your child is under the care of teachers who genuinely care. Next, you want to know your child will be given the necessary attention to develop skills and hit milestones. It’s likely you even want to see classrooms that encourage creativity and playtime. But that’s not all you should be looking for from your child’s daycare. If you’re ready to take that big step, here are 7 important things to look for when choosing a preschool for your little one.
Does the school’s educational philosophy match yours?
Do you have a specific idea of what your child should be learning in a preschool? You may want to start looking for the schools whose philosophy matches yours. That way you’ll know you will be on the same page as the daycare and its teachers. A preschool’s philosophy should be clearly defined on its website and when you speak to its teachers. If it’s not immediately clear what the school stands for, keep looking. By the time you find the right preschool, you should have confidence that your child will learn the tools you believe are important.
Are the teachers nurturing?
Children learn best in environments where their teachers are positive, caring, and respectful of a child’s autonomy. That’s why you want to make sure your child’s preschool has the right teachers in place. As you’re touring preschools, look for teachers who engage with the kids in the room. Look for deep, meaningful connections and make sure the teachers are motivating children to learn, engage, and grow. Good teachers are a must-have for any reputable school.
Are kids active in the classroom?
Preschoolers need to stay active to develop many of the skills they need as they get older. In fact, they should get at least three hours of daily physical activity to build their gross motor skills. When a large portion of a child’s day is spent at preschool, it’s important that kids have numerous opportunities to play and explore while there. One important thing to look for when choosing a preschool is that there is both structured and open playtime available to kids in the classroom. A good school should help a child grow their most basic needs. And staying active is a fundamental need for future success.
Is there play-based learning happening?
When children play, they learn. In fact, the more they play, both alone and with others, they are building their language and cognitive skills as well as developing physically, socially, and emotionally. As you search for preschools, watch for play-based learning opportunities throughout the school. You should see evidence that kids have playtime found throughout the day. It’s a highly important sign that your child’s developmental skills will be a priority.
Do you see happiness everywhere you look?
Some kids may be scared on their first day of preschool. But typically, once they’re settled into a daycare routine, they are happy in their learning environment. As you begin researching schools, watch for just how much happiness there is throughout the preschool. You should see that happiness in the kids at the preschool. But you should also see it in the staff at the preschool as well. Happiness should be easily visible, and if it’s not, you may want to keep looking.
Does the curriculum help kids flourish?
Preschools may have different types of curriculum based upon their specific philosophies. A good curriculum is one of the most important things to look for when choosing a preschool. Preschools should encourage activities that will help your child succeed while there, as well as well into the future. Not only should their most basic needs be met, but they should also have the tools to build their skills and flourish as a young child. Be sure to ask potential schools how they structure their curriculum and how it will ensure your child finds success.
Is safety a top priority?
It’s important to know that your child’s safety is of a daycare’s utmost concern. As you look for a preschool, you’ll want to make sure their licenses are up to date and that their staff-to-student ratio is acceptable. You’ll also need to make sure the facility itself is safe and fully childproofed. Make sure the daycare has protocols in place for emergencies. Finally, you’ll also want to make sure there is open communication and that the daycare providers make your children feel nurtured and supported, which is also an important safety factor.
Let PALS Help Your Child Grow
If these 7 things to look for when choosing a preschool resonated with you, it may be time to consider PALS Praise & Leadership Schools for your child. We’ve designed our school using an innovative curriculum, which builds a child’s self-esteem and moral character as well as helps them build their basic skills. Our school also sets them up for a lifetime of success. PALS students learn to think, reason, be responsible, achieve, excel, and communicate well, long before they reach their adult years. Our teachers will treat your children with respect and care. It’s the school you want on your child’s side.
PALS also offers two great campuses in Peoria, and both offer the same high standards of care for your child. To learn more, or to schedule a tour of one of our two facilities, contact us at our North Peoria campus, which is located at 2327 W Willow Knolls Rd in Peoria IL, at 309-228-2505. Or call our Downtown Peoria campus, located at 700 NE Greenleaf in Peoria IL, at 309-740-4463. We look forward to introducing you to the PALS difference.