Checklist in choosing the right preschool or daycare for your young child
Choosing the right preschool or daycare facility for your child can beat your minds and even your hearts out. I know, my husband and I have experienced such during the first part of the year when we sought the suitable preschool for our youngest daughter Shane.
When searching for a new daycare or preschool, every parent wants to find a school that provides a healthy, safe, and stimulating environment for their infant, preschooler, or elementary school student.
Every daycare offers its own unique set of programs and qualities. It can seem like a daunting task when searching for a new school for your child. Here are a few things to look for on your next search for the right preschool.
Enrichment programs offered will vary by school as well as by the child’s age. The Reggio Emilia model is one popular program that encourages children to express themselves through language, art, drama, sculpture and writing.
Physical classes such as yoga or kid’s gym class encourage children to use balance, strength and breathing as well as teamwork. Enrichment courses that would also prepare kids for big school would be reading, Math, and Singapore Math.
- Related: Galileo Enrichment Center
Teaching kids about the importance of helping others in their communities is something that can start in preschool. Community programs offered in preschool create volunteer opportunities for kids. These opportunities can include activities such as drawing holiday greeting cards for elderly neighbors. Kids can also gather canned foods for local food banks or donating a gift to a local charity during the holiday season.
A daycare or preschool that can accommodate your child as he or she gets older is ideal. As your child progresses out of daycare but is too young for elementary school, you will want a school that prepares them for an easy transition. Once your child is in elementary school, the ideal preschool program will offer camps to accommodate school holidays as well as summer breaks.
Teaching Style and Values of the School
In our family, my husband and I really look into the teaching style and values of the school for what constitutes as the right preschool for us. We acknowledge that there different types of learners, so that we are looking for a school that applies the MI or multiple intelligence approach.
My husband and I also looked for a school that has a progressive approach to learning. We really needed that because Kinder 2 is just our preparatory phase for homeschooling in Bacolod.
We found a pretty good school with decent facilities, affordable tuition fees, and minimal activities. It is also located just two blocks away from our house. Proximity wise, this was the best option for us. But during our school visit and interview with the teachers, we realized that they are not the perfect fit for Shane. Although they have the MI approach and low student-teacher ratio, they were not progressive.
Not Open to Homeschooling
We talked to the teacher and the principal separately. When both of them learned that we are just looking for the right preschool to prepare Shane for homeschooling, they were obviously taken aback. While they weren’t scripted, they both tried to convince us to let Shane continue in the big school. They then enumerated the disadvantages of homeschooling.
As we continued to explain ourselves, both of them ended with the same parting statement. They said that after sending Shane there for Kinder, we will be convinced to send her there for continuing education. They are actually looking forward to that.
Needless to say, we were flabbergasted. While I was kinda swayed by the practicality of their proximity, my husband would hear nothing of it. He said that he is uncomfortable sending Shane to a school that does not see the benefits of homeschooling.
In the end, we enrolled Shane in what for us is the most progressive and right preschool for her — Bright Kids Preschool. While this Bacolod preschool has also been our eldest daughter’s Kinder school, they now have a new, bigger, and better campus at Villa Lucasan here in the Bacolod City.
Finding the Right Preschool
Ultimately, finding the right preschool or daycare that fits your family’s needs and budget can be a fairly easy task if you know what to look for.
First, consider the enrichment programs that are offered at the school. Do they offer programs that encourage creativity and exploration? Secondly, does the school offer community involvement opportunities? Thirdly, can the school accommodate your kids when there is a school holiday or during summer break? And lastly, does the school uphold the same values as your family?
If so, these tips can reduce the stress of finding child care and the right preschool for your child at the last minute. Good luck in your school hunt!