By Lisa Dryden
In today’s hectic world, it is sometimes easy to forget about the important details in life simply because we are too swamped with work, afterschool activities and our homelives. But one of the most important decisions that parents must make is determining which preschool is the best fit for their child. It seems like it would be an easy decision; simply look through the phonebook, make a quick visit to the facility and enroll your child. But there are many other factors that are important in the selection process and that will determine how your child will view his educational experience.
Before visiting a preschool, you must first determine if the has National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. This is very important because once a school is accredited, they have to abide by certain guidelines, including ways to handle discrimination, testing procedures and how to prepare children for Kindergarten. If a school that you are interested in does not have this accreditation, then you should probably look elsewhere because you will not be able to ensure that the school is abiding by state standards.
The next thing parents should look at is the condition and location of the school. Are there gates around the school so that young children will not be able to run out into the streets? Is the school in an area that is known to harbor gang activity or vandalization? Parents must keep themselves educated as to the crime statistics in the particular neighborhood to make sure that their child will be safe. A particular school could have awards and accolades, but if it is located in an area that is not policed regularly, you may be setting yourself up for trouble.
The last and most important factor is the education level of the staff that is employed at the preschool. What type of education do the teachers and teacher assistants have? How often to they attend continuing education classes? Parents need to ask the hard questions of these teachers not only to determine their background in dealing with young children, but also so they can get a sense of the teacher’s personality and if it will mesh will with their child. Some kids flourish under the tutelage of teachers with specific types of personalities, whereas others will have certain issues that need to be addressed and will need to have those needs met in order to excel academically.
All the factors mentioned above are critical in the selection of the best preschool for your child. By making sure that your child is happy, safe and in an environment where the spirit of learning is held in high esteem, then you will be ensuring continued academic success in the future.