Choosing the Right Preschool
Choosing a preschool for your child will set him/her up for learning for the rest of his life. One of the most important things to ask when you go visit a preschool is what the philosophy is of the school. You want to look for a school that focuses on play, exploration and creativity.
Research shows that children learn more in exploratory and open ended environments versus formal instruction when they’re young. So make sure that the school focuses on free play and exploration.
Jennifer Kaywork, Professor of Teaching Education at Dominican College suggests going to observe the school when the children are participating in free play time. “You want to look around the room and see if there are many centers for the children to play in. Lots of different materials for them to explore and that there is a lot of action and activity and choice for the children.”
“While you are watching the children, you should also watch the teachers. See if they teachers have a nice balance of observing their children playing and then sitting down with them and asking questions. Good early childhood teachers will ask children what they are doing. Ask them to explain what they’re playing with, explain their construction, explain their art piece. That brings out the content. That brings out the learning.”
You should also make sure the environment in safe. That if feels comfortable, the children are happy and it’s a clean and cared for environment.
When it comes down to it, always trust your gut. If you feel like your child would be happy at the school, and the people around you are happy, then that’s probably the place to go.