All parents go through a tough time when they need to start looking for the right preschool that will meet their child’s unique needs. Since there are several schools that promise to offer quality education, how can you be sure it is the best option for your child? Hence, being aware of important questions to guide you in choosing the best Singapore preschool is essential at this point.
Get Into the Basics
Primarily, you need to know some key facts about the school such as the curriculum implemented, schedule of classes, and the cost. It is also ideal to have a certain timeline when searching for a school. For instance, you need to factor in the number of options in store for you in terms of finding the best educational program aligned to your own principles.
If you live in a place where there is an influx of schools with competitive programs, then this should give you enough time to make the best choice after evaluating carefully the preschool you have in mind. On the other hand, you may need to start searching for a school about 9 months or more before you plan to enroll your preschooler. This way, you will not end up feeling pressured about signing your child up to any program in a random school just because you do not have enough time to research further.
Questions to Guide You in Selecting the Right Preschool
1. What is the school’s philosophy?
A school should implement an educational philosophy that would help learners thrive and become more competent individuals. Discovery-based programs, as well as other educational programs that allow children to explore and learn at the same time are excellent options for your little one. The International School, for instance, gives students a chance to make sound choices and choose the right path for a more effective learning.
In addition, you should be sure the school encourages open communication between the parents and teachers. There should be regular reports given to parents regarding the development of their children. Parent conferences, in particular, provide parents a chance to track their children’s performance and development.
2. Are the teachers and staff members educated and trained?
Qualified, experienced and well-trained teachers can ensure parents of their children’s development and progress in school. Aside from the mental abilities of teachers, it is also essential to take into account their skill in first aid and CPR. Certification in these areas is important, as these have an impact on the overall safety of children while under the care of teachers and school staff.
Lastly, see to it that all teachers and staff possess a warm, friendly, caring and responsible character. They should be more than eager to attend to each child as their own, as this adds to your level of confidence that your little one is in good hands while in school.
3. Does the school provide activities that promote development of fine and gross motor skills of children?
Preschools should provide students plenty of opportunities to play as this physical activity promotes development of every child’s motor skills. Aside from gross motor skills that are developed through running, jumping, and skipping, there should be activities that improve fine motor skills. Such activities include tying shoelaces, scribbling, stringing beads and buttoning coats.
4. Is there time for children to take naps in school?
Your growing child needs ample time for rest, particularly on a weekday when he or she is busy in school. With this in mind, there should be sufficient time provided by teachers for students to take quick naps regularly. A good amount of time for napping is about less than two hours, and more than this amount of time can already interfere with your child’s sleep time at night.
If children are allowed to take a nap in school, be sure to provide your little one with pillows, sheets or nap mat. In case you have these items for your child, be sure to wash them regularly and label the bag where these materials are placed.
5. Are children encouraged to eat healthy meals in school?
It is important that your child eats a healthy and balanced meal whether inside or outside your home. Thus, the school should provide opportunities for children to eat wholesome and healthy foods at all times. In addition, routines before, during and after eating such as washing hands, using placemats, practicing table manners and socializing should also be implemented.
6. Should all incoming preschoolers be potty-trained already?
Ask the school if they only accept students who are potty-trained. There are some schools, though, that are willing to help children who are not potty-trained, yet. Just be sure you choose a school that suits your child’s current condition, and pack a set or two of clothing for your child in case there is an occasional accident that his or her clothes are soiled.
7. How do teachers discipline children?
There must be rules implemented, which involve proper way of disciplining children each time they misbehave. Moreover, these rules should be clearly discussed with parents, so they know what to expect. A behavioral guidance must be set in place, which helps maintain a positive means of dealing with occasional misdemeanors of children. To be effective, the form of guiding children into behaving properly should be continued even at home.
8. Are there references provided by the school?
Lastly, it helps if the school provides references that can help parents determine if it is the right preschool for their child. Futhermore, the school needs to be licensed and accredited, as these have an impact to the quality of education parents can expect. Once you have received references from the school’s administrators, be prepared to ask important questions that will guide you better in choosing a good school for your child.
Determining the best school to send your child is a crucial matter. Your child’s future is on the line here, so you need to think carefully when choosing a school instead of acting on a whim. By keeping these questions in mind, you can increase your chances of finding a suitable school that is worth your time and money.