1) What are the top three questions parents should ask themselves when choosing a pre-school?
- What is the Educational Philosophy?
Parents should have a sense of the type of preschool that appeals to their general philosophy of education, i.e. (play-based, traditional, progressive, etc.).
- Would our family thrive as a part of the Parent Community?
It is crucial that parents consider their own level of comfort within a school community. Ask yourself:
” Is this a school where our whole family will be embraced and feel validated?” “Are the other parents who are part of the school people with whom we feel our family can connect and cultivate relationships?”
Remember that your child is small and travel to school each morning can be challenging. (Think Winter!)
2) Should I be concerned about what support the school can give us when we are going into kindergarten?
Yes! The administrative team and faculty are extremely important in your search for Kindergarten programs and the subsequent application process. Be sure to ask at each preschool what role the administration and faculty play in supporting families throughout Kindergarten admissions…and be sure that role is substantial!
3) What is the right age for my child to start preschool?
This answer varies from child to child and there technically is no “right” answer. Many programs begin at Two Years and if you are interested in allowing your child the opportunity to begin socializing in a school setting, on a part-time basis, this could be a good point of entry. However, it is important to create an open and honest relationship with the teachers and administration so you feel free to discuss whether or not this timing is right and your child is adjusting well. The best preschools are those who are willing to work with each individual family to create the ideal trajectory for your child’s preschool experience.
4) What do you consider a critical element to a successful pre-school that most parents overlook?
Communication. From the start, parents should feel they are part of a mutually respectful relationship between themselves and the administration and faculty of their child’s school. There should be an “open-door policy” whereby parents feel comfortable asking any question and addressing all concerns in a safe space where their feelings are heard, understood and validated.
Click here to link to The Weekday School!