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How to Choose the Right Preschool for Your Child

April 01, 2016
first day preschool toddlerWhat qualifications should I be looking for when choosing the right New Jersey preschool for my child?

If you are on the hunt for the perfect preschool and you are feeling anxious and lost, you’re not alone.  The process of finding the right early education program can feel daunting. You know that early education is key to maximizing this critical learning time. You also want to make sure your child is safe and happy and that she can truly thrive. There are many options out there, so it can be tricky to narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit. Luckily, there are tried and true methods that can help you navigate this search. Consider the following tips when you begin embarking on this journey.

Differentiators –

Envision what you would like your child’s day to include. Is it fun and games? Is it learning and developmental growth? Is it a combination of the two? It goes without saying you want your child to be well cared for, but it’s equally important to find a program that nurtures all aspects of your child’s development. Ask how the center’s approach will nurture your child academically, socially, emotionally and beyond.

Qualifications –

When you visit and assess different centers, make sure to analyze the teachers as well. Feel free to ask about their qualifications and tenure, and determine how they approach different factors that go beyond the curriculum. Observe how they handle conflict, provide guidance, create a playful and fun environment, encourage self-esteem, and more.

teacher preschool love learningCurriculum –

Depending on the type of center you are visiting, you may come to discover that each preschool has a very different teaching style and learning environment. Be sure to ask about the curriculum so you can get a sense of what the school values and how it structures schedules.  

Referrals –

If you are searching for the perfect school and finding it difficult to get to the bottom of it all, consider asking your neighbors, friends, and family members for their opinions. By talking to a trusted friend or relative, you can rest assured that you are getting the facts you need to make a decision, and not just being swayed by glossy advertisements.

Gut Instinct –

While this may sound obvious and primitive at first glance, your gut will reveal truths to you that no amount of research and data can accomplish. Check in with yourself when you first step foot inside the school, and stay tuned in to your emotions as you go about your tour. If you get the sense that something feels off, it probably is.

Observe –

One of the best ways to determine how a school measures up is to pay close attention to the students. Try and schedule a visit that involves a classroom observation so you can watch how the children respond to the teacher, how they interact with each other, how the teacher approaches a lesson plan, etc. It’s one thing to read a brochure touting all the benefits offered at a learning institution and an entirely different ballgame when you can see it for yourself.

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right preschool program for your child, we are here to help you every step of the way. Visit us online today to learn more about our Montessori school and get all your questions answered.

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