How to Find the Right Preschool

What is the Right Preschool for Your Family?

There is always a big debate among the staff here at Cleveland Moms Rock as to what is the best type of preschool, private, public, Montessori, or religious. Picking the right preschool for your child can seem like an overwhelming task. That’s because it is overwhelming. There are so many options and every school has its benefits, no doubt. However, there is no one right choice as there are a multitude of factors to consider what is right for you and your child. Your child is unique and only you can decide what is right. Don’t let what your friends are deciding change your decision. Space is often limited so you will want start researching sooner rather than later and apply to the best preschool for your child.

  • How to Make a Short List of Schools

You must approach this as you would any other major life decision and do extensive research. Search online and ask other parents whose children have already attended preschool. Talking to other parents is a great way to make your short list. It is good to research to see if any complaints have been filed against the preschool you are considering: Ohio Department of Education and  Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

  • What is the School’s Educational Philosophy?

The school’s learning approach is very important.  You will want to research a few of the most common educational models, such as the Montessori Method, the Waldorf approach, and the Reggio Emilia system.

  • Schedule a Visit To Each Place On Your Short List.

Call in advance to arrange a tour. Experts recommend that you arrange an initial visit without your child and a follow-up visit to see how your child functions in the program.

 Here are questions to ask:

    • – What is the student / teacher ratio

    • – Can the school accommodate your child’s specific needs: fitness, napping, socializing, etc.?

    • – How does the school accommodate special food needs or allergies?

    • – How long have teachers been with the preschool? You are really asking to find out if there is a high turnover rate.

    • – What is the background, and training of the staff?

    • – How much playtime do the children get?

    • – What type of security measures do they have in place?

    • – Cost and fees.

    • – Location and schedule.

    • – What kinds of activities does the school do?

    • – What kind of communication does the school do with the parents? Website, emails, newsletters, Facebook, etc.

    • – How do parents get involved in the school? Is there an active parent’s organization? Do parents volunteer in the classroom?

    • – Also, see if you can get a copy of the schools policy and procedures.

Things to look for to ensure that this school will be right for your child:

  • – Are the children busy and active?

  • – Does it look clean and organized? Pick up some of the toys and see if they look clean.

  • – Do students seem happy, busy or bored?

  • – How old are the facilities and are they in good repair?

  • – Do they have a gym or playground?

Finally, you have to ask yourself:

  1. Will your child’s learning style be suited well to this school’s teaching style and approach?

  2. Will your child be happy at this preschool?

  3. Will your child grow intellectually?

If you have found a great preschool, let us know so that we can share it with our readers.

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