One of the most important decisions parents make for their children involves the selection of a preschool. Three- and four-year-old children can’t protect themselves. They can’t tell their parents about something that has happened in school because they may not be aware of a problem. That’s why it’s imperative that parents ask the important questions before entrusting the care of their precious children to others. These are five of the most important questions to ask when looking for a preschool.
Raising a child isn’t a simple task. Parents are helping create a unique human being who will reflect the values of those who love the child. Allowing a child to attend a preschool that doesn’t share the family’s beliefs can be confusing to the child and potentially destructive to the child’s future. Three- and four-year-olds may not realize their preschool is sharing values that may be contrary to the way they are being raised. That’s why it’s important to ask the potential caregivers how they feel about the things that matter and what they will be teaching the children in their care.
It’s helpful for young children to learn the building blocks that are the foundation of future learning. Knowing this information will result in a more successful kindergarten experience and set children on the path to future success in school and life. These basic skills include being able to count to 20; recognize the alphabet; sort objects by color, shape, and size; understand comparison concepts like big and little; recognize patterns and sequences; repeat short passages and songs from memory; complete puzzles with as many as eight pieces; predict outcomes; and follow directions. Other life skills should include being able to identify basic body parts, use a zipper, and use snaps and buttons.
Preschool children are young, and it’s important that they are exposed to the pre-reading skills that will help them develop good reading habits. In addition to recognizing letters, it’s important for children to understand the value of books. Good preschools will offer plenty of reading time when teachers read to the children, and the class talks about the basic ideas. This encourages them to develop reasoning skills and a motivation to read.
Children organize information that fills their world by developing these skills. Adults laugh when young children call all four-legged creatures dogs. This shows the beginning of the ability to categorize. Children need exposure to as much information as possible, so they can develop and refine those skills.
Are children given the opportunity to make decisions from appropriately limited choices? Are they encouraged to be self-reliant within the protective atmosphere of the preschool? It takes more effort to encourage independence and self-reliance, but it’s necessary if children are going to be able to thrive. Parents should ask the right questions to make sure their children will have the best possible environment.
The preschool should regularly evaluate the progress children are making. Information about their success and any problems they face should be given to parents. If there are issues, early intervention is critical and can make all the difference in the world to a child’s future.
Parents are responsible for the well-being and safety of their children. That’s why it’s important to ask questions when looking for a preschool. Any school that avoids answering these important questions shouldn’t be considered. Parents have the right and responsibility to ask questions about the environment their children will be exposed to for many hours each week. Establishing a good relationship with teachers is helpful. Asking these important questions is the foundation of a good relationship.