The biggest task after having child is to plan their future, especially his/ her school. If you don’t provide the right foundation to your child, they may incur problems later.
While structure is essential, parents should look for a preschool that puts forward brighter prospects for children to make choices about their learning and develop skills rather than only learning concepts.
Also there are various kinds of philosophy in early childhood education. Some focus on concept learning, on play way methods and learning by doing.
Parents must look for a preschool that encourages development in initiative and self-help, social and emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and hygiene, language-literacy and communication, creative arts, as a part of the educational belief and curriculum.
Things to keep in mind while selecting a pre-school:
1. Transparency and trust
For children 0-5 years of age, it is not to separate children from a comfort zone, say a transition from home to preschool.
They deal with separation and stranger anxiety that will gradually settle. Many times even parents are also perturbed during this phase as they keep getting anxious about the child. And this produces unnecessary conflict and confusion between preschool and parents.
This can be avoided if parents are given access to see live CCTV to observe the kids and be at peace, daily updates on eating and sleeping time of the child, how much and when did the child sleep, what and how much did the child eat, and so on.
Also this builds trust and makes parents be at ease and happy about their decision of choosing a particular preschool.
While choosing preschool programme, parents should consider the level of authenticity between the school and the parents.
It’s essential that the parents are welcomed into the programme, encouraged to stop in at any time, and ensured that the centre is giving parents the feedback on the child’s development and daily routine along with the updates of eating habits.
2. Experienced teachers and staff
The teacher must be trained enough with the educational philosophy of the school and shall be passionate in becoming a caregiver and not just a teacher for your child.
A good preschool teacher understands how children grow and develop.
It is not only about the degree that a teacher has, it’s all about how committed, caring, and dedicated they are to the programme and the child.
3. Child observation record and assessment
It is important for the preschool to provide appropriate reports in order to choose right primary schools for children on their learning pattern.
Nonetheless if preschools offer reports that suggest good performance, excellent work or can do better report, how will you know which development of the child is dominating and where is the child standing in the rest.
The teachers must observe child each day as pre schooling is about development of skills and not the curriculum accomplishment.
4. Exposure to physical activities and active learning
Preschools should offer plenty of opportunities for active play. Not just taekwondo or a show biz activity, it is about physical activity that is critical for the development of a child’s overall motor skills and supports good health and hygiene.
Also activities such as stringing beads, tear and paste, and pre-writing activities such as scribbling can be great learning experience.
Parent must also see if each day the developments or updates are reaching them from the teacher’s end without delays.
5. Provision of meals and snacks
If the school provides meals and snacks, enquire about the food options. Whether it is nutritious and a well-balanced meal that is being served? Are the snacks being provided healthy or not? It is essential that a child be taught the right table manners.
Force feeding is another no for a healthy development of the child. Saying no to junk food is also important for parents to be aware in order to support the preschool.
— Purvesh Sharma, COO of Footprints childcare and pre-school chain