The parents should find out the school’s philosophy on educating toddlers. The fundamental principle they subscribe to may be traditional or hybrid. The parents need to know how the school teaches and cares for the children.
A preschool or playschool may boast new books and toys, have a gleaming building, and is affordable, but it may not be the best school for the child. The parents should meet with the school’s director, the teachers with whom their child will be spending many hours and most importantly the handlers who will be taking care of the child. So instinct too plays a role in choosing the right playschool.
Choosing the right playschool also depends on the following 4 steps:
Step One: Basics.
- Distance from the child’s home.
- Distance from the parents’ workplace.
- Does the playschool offer childcare services in the morning or afternoon, or both?
Step Two: What are the various teaching concepts?
- The Montessori Method: Focuses mainly on maintaining the individuality of each child in the learning process. This method believes that each child learns at their own pace.
- Rhyme and Reason Method: The curriculum provides daily lesson ideas, with interesting worksheets, film clips and other resources for the teachers to use. Children learn in large and small groups.
- The Play way Method: This is a more spontaneous learning process, one which demands creativity from both teacher and the child. At the age of 2 to 3 years, children are still learning how to communicate and play becomes their preferred medium of communication.
Step Three: Research
- Reach out to other parents and get a feedback.
- Search the internet.
Step Four: The Visit.
When the parents have narrowed down their choices, they must go and visit the schools personally.
During the visit, the parents should ask themselves some important and relevant questions. For example:
- Do I feel welcome here?
- Does my child seem interested in what they have to offer?
- Do the children in the school seem happy?
- Is the classroom spacious enough?
- What kind of activities are the children doing?
- What is the focus on reading?
- How does the adults and children interact?
- Is the setting clean and safe?
Some basic questions the parents need to ask the director of the playschool:
- What is the student-teacher ratio?
- How qualified are the teachers and staff?
- How does the school handle discipline?
- Is the setting accredited?
- What are the payment options and procedures?
Parents need not ask all these questions but it is a good way to make a note on the observations during their visits so that they can compare afterward.