A preschool is the first actual introduction of a child to the outside world. It’s a place where the child, leaving the comfortable shell of their cozy home behind, takes his/her first steps towards socializing and learning.
The preschool serves a very important role in establishing the foundation of your child’s personality, and it is thus of paramount importance that you ensure that the preschool is perfect for your baby. But, this does beg the question – how does one go about picking a preschool?
There is no single answer to what the perfect preschool for a child might be like because it’s not a single question in the first place. What constitutes a “perfect preschool” might differ from child to child, depending on what their developmental needs and requirements are. Then, of course, are the parental factors such as convenience, accessibility, and affordability, among others.
While these factors could vary, there are still some things that are essential in terms of determining the “perfect” preschool for your little one. And today, we’re going to take a look at six of them!
1. The Preschool’s Reputation
Before making a shortlist of preschools that you would be interested in getting your baby enrolled in, it’s important to screen them for their reputation. Facebook and Google reviews, as well as third-party endorsements, are a good way of figuring out what other parents are saying about the preschools that you’re looking at!
Online reviews might not be the greatest indicators of the preschool’s actual functioning and curriculum, but they’re still something to keep in mind and give you plenty of perspectives.
2. Ensuring A Wholesome Environment
Since the preschool is your child’s first introduction to the world outside, it’s important to make sure that the preschool’s curriculum, activities, staff atmosphere, etc. present a wholesome, comfortable, and uplifting environment for the child.
For instance, EuroKids, which is a chain of preschools in India, talks about providing a “holistic nurturing environment” for their pupils. This is something that you should certainly take into consideration, as the concept of leaving home and finding a “second home” is an important transition for children.
Children should feel a sense of comfort in the new surroundings of their preschool, and should also feel intrigued and compelled by them, to the point that they embrace it without missing home too much! Friendly staff, hygienic surroundings, quality of care, etc. are all factors to keep in mind.
3. Educational Philosophy
Quite a few parents seem to look at the glitz and glam of a preschool from the outside and don’t exactly make an effort to understand the underlying educational philosophy of the institution. This can be a big mistake.
The primary purpose of inducting your child into a preschool is to have them learn and grow. The early development of a child’s cognitive skills, social skills, emotional aptitude, linguistic abilities, fine motor skills, etc. depend heavily on your choice of preschool. The educational philosophy plays a big role here.
Through a cursory Google search, we figured that over 90% of preschools didn’t seem to address any of the above factors. There were a few exceptions, however, such as EuroKids, which is a preschool that speaks about having the development of your child’s “executive function skills” at the core of their curriculum.
Such an approach points towards the existence of a progressive and effective educational philosophy of the preschool, so make sure you keep that in mind before you pick the perfect preschool!
4. The Use Of Technology
We’re living in a world where technology is increasingly taking over our lives. It is therefore essential, even for our children, to gain appropriate exposure to technology as early on as possible, so that their cognitive development could be streamlined with all the necessary tech skills that they need to progress and succeed as individuals!
Now, we’re not saying that we’d like the perfect preschool to turn our babies into high-functioning computer engineers overnight, but there should certainly be an adequate introductory exposure to technology.
Look for innovative and creative ways that the preschool is incorporating technology into their learning mediums. The EuroKids preschool, for instance, has a “motion-based learning” program in their curriculum, where digital media is used for educational purposes.
If your child can take his/her first “baby steps” to interacting with technology through such programs, the foundations of their technological knowledge would certainly be formidable!
Letting your child out of the secure confines of his/her familial home is an unnerving experience not only for the child but for you, the parent, as well. It is therefore important that you, as a parent, are provided with some level of access to supervisory facilities by the preschool.
While some may deem the exercise as excessive and a construct of overly-attached parents, the concerns are legitimate. There have been some efforts to address this by preschools. For instance, a mobile application called the “Buddy App” has been developed by the EuroKids preschool, which allows parents to keep an eye on the classroom topics, activities, academic progress, and event calendar of their children at the touch of a button!
So, when you’re picking the perfect preschool for your child, make sure that you can have at least some degree of supervision over what they’re doing. Your parental responsibilities don’t end when you drop your child off at the preschool; following-up is equally important.
6. The Litmus Test!
Once you’re down to your final list of preschools that you think would be great for your child, it’s time for the litmus test! There’s a very wise, all-knowing individual in your family, who will be able to make the most important decision on whether the “perfect playschool” that you’ve picked is indeed perfect or not.
That individual is, of course, your child!
Take your child to the preschools that you’ve picked out, and allow him/her to spend some time there. Observe how the child interacts with the staff, fellow preschoolers, and the facilities in general, and make your decision on that basis. A child’s perspective is very different from a parent’s, and it’s not until the child is put in a preschool that you can figure out whether or not they’d TRULY be comfortable there.
With that, we’ve come to the end of this list. The perfect preschool, as mentioned earlier, could depend on a lot of factors that vary from child to child, but if you follow all the advice mentioned herein, your search would probably get a lot easier.
So, as parents with preschool-age toddlers, how have your experiences of searching for a preschool in India fared so far? What attributes do you feel determine the “perfect” preschool? Share your views with us and other parents in the comments section below!