Criteria for choosing the ‘Right Preschool’ for your child

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n by Bharti Bhardwaj

When your child is 2 years old, one of the most important decisions that you will make is the choice of the right preschool for her. As 50% of the brain development takes place in ages of 2-4 years, it is critical that you take the right decision so that your child receives the right foundation for life. However, in the presence of a large number of preschools with varied facilities, making the right choice often becomes confusing. Here are some of the important factors that should be taken into consideration while making the choice:
Distance: Firstly, keeping in view the travel time, pollution on the roads, safety and stress on the child, the preschool should be near to the your home. Therefore, you should consider only those preschools that are near your house so that your child doesn’t have to travel long distances at such a small age.
Background of the
Management: Organizers and the staff are the backbone of any institute. So you should look for a preschool lead by a team of well-educated, knowledgeable professionals with the right aptitude and love for children. The more knowledgeable & qualified and the more experienced they are, the better the preschool tends to be. This is so, because such preschools have a well–designed, well-coordinated and planned system developed over years of research, which is beneficial for the children. Also older preschools have the experience of handling a variety of children and you will benefit from their rich understanding of child psychology.
Performance of the
Alumni: You should talk to parents of alumni of preschools on their overall satisfaction with the preschool. Also talk to teachers in senior schools as to which preschool’s children tend to be selected in their schools and also do better in higher classes.
Trustworthiness: An established brand with a proven education system is safer than risking your child’s future with an unknown name so check out preschools that are well established and have a good reputation in the city.
Environment of the
Preschool: When you visit a preschool, see if children appear happy, content and actively engaged with activities. Also see if the staff/teachers have a genuinely caring and friendly relationship with the children. It should have a calm atmosphere with no raised voices. Looking at the facilities, see that the environment, the furniture and the play material of the activity rooms should be colourful & safe with a neat, clean and child friendly ambiance.
Child friendly interiors tend to have a mix of the natural environment with inviting surroundings as opposed to harsh or gaudy interiors which tend to make children irritable. Further, the facilities, toys & teaching aids should be such that your child can enjoy and are not just decoration pieces.
Quality of Curriculum & System: Further ask the branch headmistress about the preschool system, the curriculum, transportation, uniform, provision of mid-day meals etc. Ask about the method of preparation of meals – remember simpler healthy meals are better and safer than complicated, fried junk foods where there is a chance of contamination. You may enquire about the number and the kind of outdoor excursions they arrange for children like picnics, nature walks etc. Also find out about the celebrations at preschools including the cultural functions, sports days etc. and whether there will be any additional charges for the same. Some preschools tend to ask money for stationery, photo albums, bags, gifts, picnics and other things later on, so it is important to clarify such issues right at the onset. A preschool which commits that there will be no charges for such things later on is a wiser choice rather than going in for the one with hidden costs.
Student Strength: Enquire about the number of children in the preschool.
A smaller preschool strength will ensure that the branch headmistress will be able to personally track the performance of your child and your child will get ample opportunities to participate in functions & events as opposed to a larger preschool strength where children tend to get lost in the crowd.
In the end just trust your instincts and ask yourself “Would I feel comfortable leaving my child here or would I be happy here if I were a child?” And I am sure; you will get your answer!
By Bharti Bhardwaj
Founder director and Principal,
SCIENTIA International Schoolbharti - Copy

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