Now is the time that many parents are planning on enrolling their kids in preschool for the Fall, and if you’re one of them, we have some tips on how you can make the best choice.
Preschool is often the first building block for a child’s education. There are a lot of factors that go in to choosing the right school for your child, and first on many parents’ list is safety.
“Knowing who is coming in and out of the building is always very important. We have everybody background checked and everybody is on the list that the state also keeps, so they’re always checking our backgrounds and making sure that we’re, you know, validated and able to work with children,” said Gisela Husa, Center Director at Bendetti Drive KinderCare.
When it comes to the teachers, you want to make sure you know what certifications and education levels they’ve achieved; and, at the end of the day, that they have a passion for what they’re doing.
“Make sure that the environment is warm and friendly, that the teachers are happy with what they’re doing and excited to see the kids everyday,” said Katie Parente, Preschool Teacher at the Fry Family YMCA.
You also want to ask about the student teacher ratio. The recommended amount in Illinois is ten kids for every one teacher.
And another priority, curriculum. This will be the first step in preparing your child for kindergarten.
“Curriculum, of course, is going to help the children learn at age appropriate milestones and that’s always something, I think it should be important for parents,” said Husa.
And maybe the best advice for parents to follow: don’t be afraid to go into a classroom.
“Make sure they have an open door policy where the parents feel comfortable to come in to talk to the teachers and be a part of the classroom. I would suggest that they go and observe the class just to make sure their child would fit in with that program and the other children and everybody feels comfortable,” said Parente.
“Do a lot of research, it doesn’t hurt to tour several preschools and follow your gut because you know your child the best. So take a look at what you really think they need at this time in their life,” said Beth Miller, parent of a preschooler at the Fry Family YMCA.
Now that you have all the tips you need to finding the best preschool for your child, the only part left is letting go.
Most schools offer open enrollment year around until classes are full.
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