If you live in a relatively big city, you probably have so many preschools to choose from that it can be hard to decide. When trying to find the best preschool for your child, ask these five questions.
What’s the class size?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers these guidelines for teacher/student ratios: 1:6 for two-year-olds (maximum class size: 12), 1:10 for three- to five-year-olds (maximum class size: 20). Keep your child’s personality in mind. A class of 20 four-year-olds can be overwhelming to some children.
What’s the teacher turnover rate?
The turnover rate at preschools and other early childhood education programs is high. Many teachers leave in the middle of the year. Before signing your child up for preschool, ask them about their turnover numbers in the last couple years.
How is the class day structured?
Little ones shouldn’t be over-scheduled. Be sure that your preschool offers enough free play, outdoor activities, group interaction and hands-on fun.
How often do parents get reports?
Some preschools send home a daily report with each child. Others don’t give parents any feedback unless they ask. For all children, especially those that may be behind developmentally, feedback is important. Talk about learning milestones and how you can help your child meet them.
What’s the disciplinary policy?
Some preschools have begun to rely on timeouts too much — giving an easy out to the teacher. Talk to the school about how they handle squabbles and minor disciplinary issues. Do they use re-direction? Consequences and rewards? You want a school that has a disciplinary policy that is similar to yours at home.