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Parenting Tips

Choosing a Preschool : Tips for parents to choose best preschool for the child

How to find the best preschool for your Child?

When those baby steps turns towards the world, a fear sets in, in the hearts of parents. Separation anxiety, fear of how our child will be faring, will he/she be taken care of and pampered, what about their food, sleep and ample queries hover around. But those are the steps which start the exposure of your toddler and bring them into the real world. And this experience begins with “Playschool or Preschool”.

It is the time, you toddler enters here and comes out as a preschooler, ready to take on the formal school environments. This initial experience is what sets a child and the parents for a creative journey of their life.

Selecting a preschool can be really exciting, as being  a parent, you want the best for your child. But which all factors you wish to be considered is what matters now, as your child will be spending the very initial formative years of their childhood in the preschool. And that’s why an ample research is required before tapping on one school.

We had a similar phase 1.5years back and today, just as my son is about to finish his preschool and enter in the formal school, I wanted to share some tips, which I considered very closely for my child.

Knowing the ABC of selecting the best preschool for your child :

  • Is the school near to your home or workplace? (the answer should always be “YES”)
  • The school fee, are you satisfied with it? Always mark up the final figure, as that usually happens, with small expenses on the way always.
  • What is the Duration of the school ? Mostly preschools are close to 3 hours in duration.
  • Is the school accredited and has all the running mandatory certificates?
  • Incase you wish for school transport, check if the transportation is available?
  • Does the school offers day care facility? Incase you need it after the school hours.
  • What is the class size and Teacher : Kids ratio?

Once you are perfectly satisfied with these basic questions, then turn to the below mentioned more refined, but must questions.

Tips on how to choose the best preschool for your child :

1. Director, Teachers and Nanny :

As a parent, we need to understand these 3 people in the school closely. The warmth they have, the way they are going to bond with the child, their approach to train toddlers and make them feel safe needs to be observed.

It is very important to know whether the teachers and the school management believe in encouraging all kids and promote them to maintain their inquisitiveness?

How are the nannies dressed up and conversing? Do you find them soft, polite and loving?

A warm atmosphere is what a toddler wants as they move to explore the world outside and this warmth is all what depends on the teachers and nannies, who would be handling them everyday.

2. School Educational Philosophy :

Some schools focus more on writing and learning, while some have a creative approach. Understand the Philosophy that the school practises and map it with your mindset. Some schools may have traditional way of teachings while others may work on the Philosophy of Jean Piagét or Maria Montessori or other proven practises. Everything is perfect, till it matches the parents wavelength. Few schools opt for worksheet and “No bag” theory, while most of the schools have really glam books. I personally always preferred work sheet approach, as it entails different approaches to learning.

As a parent you should know the common approaches as :

  • Montessori Approach : Which lays emphasis on the independence and individuality of the child. It respects every child’s Social, physical and psychological developments and doesn’t promote child to child comparison.
  •  The Reggio Emilia Approach : Current day many schools mix Emilia approach to Montessori and Waldorf approach. This approach deals in developing the kids via exploration. They promote painting, drama, free play, creative activities, which in turn develops a child’s innate qualities and skills.
  • The Waldorf Approach : It emphasises on the use of imaginations while learning , promote more of analytical thinking. The concept of ‘circle time,’ where kids sit together, sing some rhymes, discuss the highlights of the day,  is one practise which is used in most of the schools and is an outcome of this approach.

3. Opportunities to develop Gross and fine motor skills :

Preschool is all about fun with development. This is the time, wherein a child’s Gross and fine motor skills develop and hence activities as physical play, messy plays, beading, scribbling and similar are very important. Ask the school teachers, how do they promote these developments. What objects are there is school which help in Gross motor development. Observe very keenly.

“Read some day to day activities helping in Gross and Fine motor skills of a child here .”

4. Communication Policies :

Check the communication policy of the school. Are teachers available for free chat’s or to share the feedback every week? Is the school approachable on mails and calls? Do they inform about the curriculum and explain the advantages? Is the Holiday scheduler, event planners for the year pre planned? Incase the food is served from the school, how about having a daily menu with yourself?

Keep a track of these questions, once your child is enrolled, all these questions will slowly clutter your mind.

5. Separation Guidelines :

Most of the toddlers undergo Separation anxiety, when they step out of the house, without their mommy and daddy. It is quite obvious to see kids crying. But what matters is how the school deals with the separation anxiety? Do they ask you to sit inside and share the comfy feel with the child or are you asked to say bye bye from the day 2 itself? Schools can have either of the approach and it is always better to know before the enrolment.

Read here for tips to deal with Separation anxiety.

6. Hygiene and Meals :

Take  a tour of the preschool, look closely at the washrooms, toys. Are they sanitized and clean? Incase the school provides the meal, do try to inspect the kitchen as well, to know how hygiene things are. Query over the type of meals served, are they balanced and nutritious? Are the basic etiquette’s of hands wash and going to washroom followed before the meals start? Do kids sit on their table chairs while eating? What if they aren’t able to feed themselves? One needs to keep these hygiene and food factors in mind before finalising the preschool , so that our child remains healthy.

7. Parental feedback :

No school is gonna portray something negative or bad about themselves. But their facts should be close to the real practises. Do a dipstick check with the parents of kids who are already studying in that school. Be very clear with the anxieties you have, as in, How are they going to help settle my child, how will they go about with Toilet training? Are the kids getting developed creatively with their approaches? It is always good to take the real time feedback of the pros and cons and then weigh them to arrive at a conclusion.

8. Potty Training :

This is a phase when your child will be in the process of getting Potty trained and would soon say bye bye to the diapers. I always preferred a school that supports no diapers, after the age of 2.5years. But there are few, which prefer that kids come in diapers only until they are fully toilet trained from the house. Do ask the school management of their expectations on this subject matter very clearly.

9. Safety :

Well, that should be the prime factor for our precious kids in the backdrop of rising criminal cases. Check for yourself during the school hours, what are the security measures taken inside the premises and close to the dispersal gate. How are the kids handed over while dispersal is another safety factor. Do kids have ID cards, with approved people who can pick them? Is there a guard at the exit gate always ensuring safety. Get the answer to all these security questions. A small lapse can cause a big tragedy. Better be safe!

10. Take the help of Google King:

Well, most of the schools have their own websites and social media handles, mostly on facebook. Check them to know of the community, activities, resources, reviews you can get from there. Try to understand the type of kids coming to the school and their parents. You could find a lovely friend in your child’s friend’s mommy, if the audience this school is catering to, is similar to yours. Try to keep the level at home and school same for the growing child.

And believe me, I too faced separation anxiety for my child, but it was taken care off with much warmth and affection. Since I tracked on all these factors, I was a happy mom, seeing the way my child grew in his existing pre school. And hence this post came across for all new mommies planning to send their kids to Preschool this season!

All the best,

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64 comments
  1. rashimital

    This is such an amazing post, Jhilmil. I remember my worry when I had to finalize a pre-school for my toddler. N m so glad that I made a wise choice. Otherwise, no denying that every school puts forward the best foot on the first meeting and you don’t get to know them in depth. But, I guess my intuition helped me a lot in the same. 🙂

  2. Reetu

    Finalizing a pre school can be a tough decision to make as the child learns so many important lessons from there. Your tips will guide so many new parents.

  3. Chelsea

    I’m not a parent but I know parents struggle when choosing where their child should be educated. There’s no wrong answer but research is so important. Great tips for parents

  4. Elle (CleverlyChanging)

    My twins never went to preschool but I did a lot of research when I thought I was going to sign them up. The approach that I found that my kids enjoyed the most was a Montessori Approach. I decided to implement as much activities as I could that followed that particular mindset.

  5. Anoop Kumar

    These are some great tips. Choosing the right school for your child can be a tough decision to make. As listed by you, there are hundreds of things that you have to research about and think about. Coming from a city like Delhi, for me safety is the most important factor.

  6. Nancy Bryant

    Choosing a child’s Preschool is more than just a battle of school policies and expenses but rather of child and mom’s learning and convenience. I believe it’s a child’s best molding stage so they should be sent to the best school. Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips, Jhilmil.

  7. Anamika

    My boy now 2 years old, how important this post is to me. These tips Will guide me to take right discussion. Thanks for sharing very much needed post for me.

  8. Papri Ganguly

    These are some fantastic tips for parents who is planning to get admitted their child in preschool. To be honest, I agree with your each points as I looked for exactly these things (that you jotted down here) before admitting my baby to her preschool.

  9. Dad That Blogs

    I am still a few years away from needing to really consider a preschool for my son but it is never too early to start thinking about it. There are a lot of things to consider, thanks for the breakdown it will definitely be helpful.

  10. vidyatiru

    great tips with information for each section.. and yes, proximity (and/or on the way from work to home without much of a detour) was our biggest priority (Even now, with the kids in high school and middle school, we look for classes that we can drive to easily and quickly)

  11. Dalene Ekirapa

    As parents, It is very important to really mind it when choosing the best pre-school for kids. I believe that that will help to create for them a solid foundation even as they begin their journey through school. I agree that it is very important to be familiar with the school management before sending one;s kid there. And again, potty training is so vital!

  12. Seren

    These tips are so helpful, especially to new parents who are about to start homeschooling their child. I didn’t know some of these tips before. My only focus was to encourage motor skills in my child.

  13. jhilmildsaha

    This is such an insightful post. I almost took care of most if the points mentioned here. Also what us the right age to start pre-school?

  14. alisonrost

    I remember the days when my kids were in pre-school, and you’re right, choosing a good one can be really tough. Certainly recommendations from other parents I trusted mattered. Although, at the end of the day, I let my kids be my guide. If they seemed happy to go and seemed glad to talk about their days, I knew something had to be going well. x

  15. asseenonjean88

    These are some really helpful tips in making such an important decision. I’m currently pregnant and already starting to think about my child’s future. I’m also a teacher and I don’t know if this is a help of a hindrance!

  16. Irena-OnePointofView.net

    These are some great tips. I especially like the potty training tip. I have 3 kids and different experiences. I feel like it depends on wheter the teacher is willing to work with parents on this or not. Sometimes it feels like they are not aware on how important their role is on this subject.

  17. David Elliott

    I wish we had more ways to make choices for my daughter but we didn’t have the kind of money to allow that when she went to preschool. Thankfully she is still doing well in school now.

  18. Sigrid Says Blog

    Reading this just confirmed what’s in our hearts. Our second daughter is going to preschool this June and we had been scouring for an affordable school for her. But in the end, we decided to send her to the best preschool that answers to our criteria.

  19. sweety

    I see my colleagues with kids struggling to find a good school that’s not too expensive. This is a great checklist to finalize an appropriate school!

  20. London Mumma

    Honestly it is so hard, finding good preschool’s for the kids, but luckily my daughters nursery has a preschool attached to it, so we were on to a winner. However now we are waiting on to see what school she has gotten into.

  21. Akanksha

    Great tips Jhilmil.my son is just coming out of pre-school and will be starting school now. I wish someone had given these tips to me earlier. I have pinned this post to share with my sister and friends.

  22. Sayeri

    I think we all mummas have faced this separation anxiety! In our locality I didnt find any good preschool. Even they ask for diaper and potty training I couldn’t even think!! It is an useful post for mommies

  23. nameeshn24

    These are some great tips to pick the right play school for kids. I love the idea of checking for the Teachers, Nanny, Motor skills, Cleanliness and Communication policy. Well, I did most of the research and reaslized the its better to put kids to an established school rather than someone who is looking to start something for the first time. Coz we know how the system works 🙂

  24. Millie Hue

    I like that you suggested checking the actual security measures during the school hours to gauge whether you think that they pass your standards. I will share this with my sister who will be sending her child to school next year. It’s their first time that they will be doing this, so thanks a lot for the tips. My sister can be such a worrier most of the times because she has an experience before where she got lost, so I know that she will really feel at ease if she knows that the school that she will choose is strict on safety. Thanks!

  25. Hector Uba

    Thanks for the tips on finding the right preschool for your kids; there are so many great suggestions. I agree that you should find a preschool that is open in its communication and willing to talk to parents; that way they can tell you how things are going with your children. My sister is looking for a preschool for her daughter; I will be sure to share this with her.

    1. Jhilmil

      Thank you so much Hector for finding this post useful. Being a mom myself, This post has all of my and similar moms experiences which helped them out. Wishing your sister a good luck.

  26. Hannah Neilson

    Thanks for the advice about considering if a preschool is close to your home or workplace. It would be good to find something close by because it would make it easier to get to your child. My husband and I need a preschool for our daughter, so we’ll have to find one close by.

    1. Jhilmil

      Indeed closeness is a biggest factor as still kids are very small and incase of any emergency, we as parents can rush without any lag of time. All the best for embarking on this new journey and love to your child!

  27. Derek Dewitt

    My wife and I are looking for a preschool to enroll our son in soon, so thanks for sharing these tips. I like your point about asking what kind of meals are served at the location. I want to know my kid is getting a healthy meal and stays in a sanitary environment, so I’ll be sure to ask about this.

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