How To Pick The Right Preschool For Your Toddler

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Here’s what to look for.

A play school or a preschool (no, there’s no difference between the two) is a place where around 10-24 children spend 2 ½ to 3 ½ each day under the supervision of teachers.

Preschool education provides for the optimal development of children during their early years. Parents and teachers cooperate in providing the best possible environment for the growth and development of young children.

How important is preschool?

The early years see rapid growth and development. A child’s brain develops faster than ever during the first five years. A child is born with more than enough brain cells to be highly successful. More than 100 billion! But it’s not the number of brain cells that determines usable intelligence, it’s the number of connections that are made between those brain cells.

These connections are formed by the experiences and thoughts that you give to your child via a rich, stimulating environment in the early years. That environment is made up of games, visits, conversations, experiences, activities and loving attention. These valuable and rich experiences are supplemented by a quality preschool.

What will my child learn in preschool?

Preschool prepares children for a lifetime of learning. In preschool, children are introduced to concepts in a fun, relaxed environment. Children see that learning is exciting and they want to learn more.

It gives them a jump-start to primary school. They develop a number of skills—pre-reading, pre writing, pre-math, science and social. They also develop an understanding of listening, following directions as a group, problem solving skills, sharing and taking turns. These are very important for future success in school.

Children in preschool learn an approach to learning itself. In other words, they learn how to learn. Depending on their preschool experiences, they can come to view learning as creative exploration, or as dull memorisation.

Do they learn ABCs and 1-2-3s as well?

In addition to social interactions, problem solving and language skills children are also introduced to basic concepts, including the alphabet and counting.

How old should my child be when he starts?

The earliest appropriate age for a child to begin preschool would be 18 months.

How long is a session? When do admissions begin?

The lengths of sessions vary from school to school. They could be from 2 to 2 ½ hours per day, five days a week. The admissions begin in the month of November/December.

How do I choose the right preschool?

Choosing a preschool for your child would require you to invest lots of time and energy in making the right decision.

The following variables should be considered while choosing a preschool.

  1. Proximity to home
  2. Ethnic/cultural diversity
  3. Methodology
  4. Approaches to discipline
  5. Accreditation and licensing
  6. Teacher- child ratio
  7. Teacher qualifications, professional development training, staff turnover
  8. Facilities: Hygiene, space, equipment and non-toxic, child-friendly materials.
  9. Security of building and play area
  10. Environmental factors—safety of neighbourhood, traffic near school,
  11. Does your child have special needs? Can they be accommodated at this school?

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