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Criteria for a Good Preschool

on July 4, 2012

My little munchkin is turning 3 in a month. And I get more and more excited knowing that next year, Aidan will be a preschooler.

As early as now, I started scouting for a good preschool in our place in Cavite.

And as per an article in Babycenter.com.ph, a good Preschool should have:

  • A Good Reputation

It’s really best to go to the school and check it personally. Observe the children when you visit. If they seem to be happy, that’s one of the sign that the school is doing well. You can also approach some parents and ask some feedback from them about the school, teachers and other school staff. But make sure to know the reason behind the issues they share – an angry parent for example, may simply have had a personal conflict with the teacher. Another thing I did was I joined forums and shared and information about the preschools with other parents. You may try to check Girltalk or Smart Parenting forums.

  • A Qualified Caring Staff

The school staff must be well trained on how to handle children, must have a good educational background, must have good grammar skills and have background for CPR or other emergency training.

When you’re at the preschool, note how the staff interact with the children. They should be well prepared with their lessons for the day, enthusiastic and responsible.

It is also a must to check If the school has enough staff to give your child enough attention and care he needs.

According to National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a preschool should have 1 teacher for every 7 children.

Check also If the preschool has good staff benefits. One way to know If the staff is getting a good compensation and benefits, is If she had been with the school for quite long.

Important note for children that needs special attention: Good teachers will ask detailed questions about your child’s health and care requirements to help determine whether their preschool is right for you.

  • Established Ground Rules

It is sometimes good to know that a preschool is flexible – letting you pick up and drop off your child at different times. But it is still best that the school have clearly established written regulations to everything. In that way, you’ll know that their staff takes responsibilities with your child.

Check If the preschool had implemented guidelines for your child’s food. Some may ask you to pack nutritious foods only. Some school has a food plan. If they have, find out what they serve for meals and snacks. Is the food nutritious? Does it cover all food groups? Is the cafeteria clean? If not, keep looking.

Clean, safe facilities:
I’m sure all moms are very strict to this criteria. It’s the first time that we will leave out tots in a preschool and for first time moms, you’ll really get nervous.

Make sure that the walls, floors and the kitchen area are clean. Food preparation areas should be far from toilets, trash isn’t left sitting out, the room should be perfectly ventilated and the comfort room should be child safe and clean.

Toys and equipment should be in good shape as well. It should be safe and clean for children to play. Room windows should have screens to prevent mosquitos to get inside the room. The room should be equiped with smoke detectors, and an emergency kit and fire extinguisher should be close at hand.

The school should have an outdoor play area. Your child should have a chance to play outside everyday – running, jumping and skipping are the likes. If the preschool does not have enough space outside the room for a mini playground, there are some schools that has spacious indoor playround.

Another additional for a safe preschool:
As much as possible I want a preschool that’s inside our Village. My child’s safety is the most important for me. I’m too afraid to send him to a preschool too far from our home.

  • A Stimulating Curriculum

A good preschool should have these daily schedules:

-Physical activity (Coordination games and fine motor skills)
-Quiet Pursuits (reading sessions)
-Group and Individual activities (letter sounds,singing and dancing)
-Socializing
-Crafts
-Meals
-Snacks
-Free Time

Teachers can begin helping children learn things like LETTERS and NUMBERS in some of their activities (counting toys, cutting out pictures of things that start with a chosen letter of the alphabet, and so on).

But NEVER evaluate the school based on how many numbers and letters your child is learning. REMEMBER – A Preschool is for Socializing not for a rigorous academic program.

The said curriculum should change over time, giving your children a chance to try something new.

  • A Current License

Ask If the preschool is licensed and If the credentials are good. Don’t be shy to give a call to your Local Social Services Department to check If it’s really licensed. Of course, a license isn’t a guarantee of quality — that’s why you have to evaluate the schools and the teachers yourself.

Happy Scouting for a Good Preschool Mommies! =)

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