Preschool is a time of discovery, exploration and growth. It’s a time when your child is learning to socialise, learn new skills and build their foundation for a future education. There are many preschools available, but which one is right for your family? In this post, we will provide you with a list of factors to consider when choosing a preschool. So whether you’re just starting to think about preschool for your family or you’re already considering several options, read on to learn how to choose the most suitable one.
Typical List of Consideration Factors
Some of the common consideration factors include:
- Convenience - the location should be convenient where travelling time is short
- Affordability - it should be within the family's budget
- Curriculum - an academic-focused preschool is preferred
While the above factors may be important, let us explain that there is more to that when choosing a good childcare and that convenience or location should not be your most important consideration factor. This is because your child's formative years and important and sets the foundation for your child's future development.
What is formative years and why is it important?
Formative years refer to the early childhood years, typically from birth to age 8, when children undergo rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual development. During this time, children lay the foundation for future learning, personality, and social skills.
Formative years are important because they have a significant impact on a child's future success in school and life. Children who receive a high-quality early education during these years tend to perform better academically and socially, have higher self-esteem, and are more likely to pursue higher education. During the formative years, children learn to interact with others, solve problems, and develop the critical thinking and communication skills that are essential for success later in life. They also develop important habits such as persistence, cooperation, and self-discipline.
Therefore, it is crucial to choose a preschool/childcare that provides a strong educational foundation and supports children's development during these formative years. This includes having experienced and qualified teachers, a well-rounded curriculum, a safe and supportive learning environment, and opportunities for play and exploration.
List of Consideration Factors
Curriculum as the most important consideration factor
The curriculum sets the foundation for a child's education and will shape their future learning and development. A good curriculum should not only be about academics but rather, should be well-rounded, providing children with opportunities to learn and grow in various areas such as language, math, science, art, music, and sports. It should also be age-appropriate and challenging, but not too difficult for children to handle.
It is also important to consider the teaching methods used in the preschool. A good curriculum should be taught using methods that are engaging and interactive, allowing children to learn through hands-on experiences, play, and exploration. This is why Montessori is ideal for children.
2. Teacher-student Ratio
A low teacher-student ratio is beneficial for children's learning because it provides each child with more individual attention and support. With fewer children in a classroom, teachers can give more individualised attention to each student and more easily identify and address each child's unique needs and learning style. This can result in a more tailored and effective learning experience, which can help children make better progress and gain more confidence.
Additionally, a low teacher-student ratio can create a more positive and supportive learning environment. With fewer children in a classroom, there are fewer distractions and opportunities for disruptions, which can help children stay focused and engaged. Teachers also have more time to provide positive reinforcement and praise for children's efforts and achievements, which can help build their confidence and self-esteem.
3. Recommendations and Reviews
Recommendations from friends can provide useful insights into the quality of a preschool, the teaching methods used, and the overall learning environment. This information can be useful in helping you to narrow down your options and make informed decisions.
It is also a good idea to talk to your friends about their experiences and ask them questions about their child's education and overall satisfaction with the preschool. This can provide you with a more in-depth understanding of what to expect and whether a particular preschool would be a good fit for your child. Also look out for online reviews about the schools to understand other parents' feedback.
A good preschool environment should be clean, well-maintained, and conducive to learning. It should have adequate space for children to play and explore, as well as opportunities for quiet and focused learning. The classrooms should be well-equipped with educational materials and resources, and the school should have a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Additionally, the school's environment should be safe and secure, with adequate measures in place to protect the health and well-being of the children.
To assess the preschool/childcare, it is highly recommended to visit the preschool/childcare physically to get a real assessment of how the school it is like. Take the opportunity to observe the classrooms and talk to teachers. Only after go for a school tour (physical, not just virtual), you will be able to get a feel of the overall environment.