Choosing a preschool: Factors to consider

Preschool years are the most crucial time for a young one's developmental milestone. Image for representation

It all begins when a toddler grows and is of preschool age. The preschool years are the most crucial time for a young one's developmental milestone.

Developmental milestone refers to skills such as naming colours, showing affection, playing simple games and the ability to identify simple differences between things such as gender. During this age, they learn to recall parts of stories, sing songs, make abstract artwork and use of commonly used utensils and technology.

 It includes growth in all areas such as cognitive, language, physical and social-emotional status of the child.

Worry galore

This is the time when most parents are anxious to admit their tiny little elves into preschools. Every year, the most important task of admitting children to kindergarten falls between January and May.

On visiting a school during these days, one can witness the school grounds and admission offices swarmed with anxious parents seeking seats for their little kids. The process of admission and the uncertainty of their children's success in the interviews worry parents the most. 

Not only, but also the reputation of the school is a tricky matter. In a competitive world, the ranking of the school is considered as the key to a successful future by many. 

In addition to these, some parents are keen on admitting their child to a school that provides advanced technology, infrastructure and other similar upgraded facilities.

How can we forget the biggest worry of it all -- the school fees.

Making the cut

Considering the future of a child all the criteria such as infrastructure, reputation and technology are very shallow. 

Nowadays, every school has set a standard and the child has to prove that he/ she is capable of keeping up with. 

Here are the things that parents have to know before admitting their children to the school:

1. The first question a parent needs to ask is, 'is it a child-centric school?' 

The parent makes the choice of the school but it is the child that is going to spend the next 14 years or so in the same environment. If the school is child-centric and going to pay detailed attention to each and every individual, helping them learn and improve, nothing could be more important than that. 

2. The second thing to know is the qualification of the teacher. 

Check if the teachers possess the necessary qualifications and if they have got a regular training session to improve their teaching skills.

 A teacher who is well educated, well behaved and modest is always an excellent role model for every child. They prove to be an inspiration for the children who aspire to develop such positive qualities. 

A teacher with good language skills can always help a child develop fluency in communication. Someone who will correct their pronunciation, help them make use of correct words and phrase proper sentence is necessary. 

3. Thirdly, a holistic approach to education along with a modern curriculum is required. 

It is not just a matter of the furniture, the types of equipment and the technology but the method of teaching and a modern curriculum that has been modified to suit the present scenario that is required. The virtual classroom method of teaching has gained a lot of attention over the last few years. The main motto should be to provide children with a holistic approach to learning, which combines both the latest and age-old methods of teaching. 

Parents should make sure if the faculties handle modern tools like audio-visuals and in general if the teachers are qualified enough to handle the subjects as prescribed in the syllabus. 

Sometimes technologies such as digital classrooms mask the inability of the teachers to teach. So, parents should keep an eye out for a situation like this. 

It's always interesting to learn by exploring through creative methods. Kids should be able to experience learning in a fun way. 

4. The school should encourage cultivating the child's inborn skills. 

It is easy to just teach a child what has been prescribed as a part of the curriculum. However, what really matters is understanding the child's interest and inborn abilities and providing a platform to improve in their particular field of interest. 

5.  Check for a school with a reasonable fee structure.

It is not always necessary that education will be better if the fee is higher. There are many private schools that have a reasonable fees structure but provide quality education. Though they might not provide fancy and advanced technologies they possess the qualities of an education system that can impart excellent education.

 6. A school where the management regularly interacts with parents. 

Make sure that the school maintains the habit of informing parents about the child's progress. The school should inform as to how they can help the child improve and cope up with the others if they are lagging behind. 

7. Make sure the teachers make it a point to help children read and build their vocabulary. 

Development of language is the essence of expression which a child may have an inbuilt taste for, which must be explored. That is why choosing a second language for the child while filling the admission form is necessary. It's always best to evaluate the options of languages provided in each school. 

The age between 3 to 5 is when parents and teachers can cultivate a child's love and interest in reading and writing. It is the best time to introduce them to books. So, make sure the school makes time for them to read books, those with filled with loads of pictorial representation and images. It helps them to improve their memory skills as they tend to recall stories and pictures. 

8. Check if the school maintains a healthy student to teacher proportion.

The teacher-student ratio in a class is extremely important as it allows the teacher to pay individual attention to every student. The lesser the number of students in a class, the easier it is to concentrate on an individual. Providing a child individual attention can play an important role in helping them improve in studies as well as develop certain good personality traits. 

 9. Check out the school's safety policies prior to admitting them into the school. 

The school's safety policies, concerning the child’s physical or emotional security, are always important for a preschooler. Another thing to keep in mind is if the school is a safe place for your kid as he/ she will spend most of the time there. Find out if they take special care of the kids and not let them out of their sight as these tiny little children tend to stroll off by themselves. 

It is an everyday dream of parents, especially a mother, to witness her child join an academy of excellence. So make sure that the place is a wonderland that shapes a better future for them!

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