Things to consider when looking for a preschool

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For your child the early years are packed with multiple learning experiences that together form a strong foundation for all future learning journeys.  It is the first school experiences your child will have.  It is understandable that you would want the preschool your child attends to be one in which you have looked for, done research on, and asked others about.  Sometimes you can go a bit further by taking some time to research on your own some of the educational theories driving preschools in the area you live in or near.  Being well informed sometimes starts with your own interests in early education and can lead you to finding a preschool just right for your child and that will put your mind at ease.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I’ve been giving tours lately.  One piece of information I would like to offer you, is to think about any questions or topics for discussion you want to engage in with the teacher.  When questions and discussion topics come from your heart, they tend to be more open, transparent and lead to a more insightful visit or tour at any preschool your interested in placing your child.

The internet is full of wonderful and not so wonderful information.  I would caution using web sites that push you to ask a specific set of questions, or encourage you to feign ignorance on educational topics that you may be quite knowledgeable on. I also would caution using questions as a test for the preschool you are touring.  For instance, if you ask a question based on a list from a web site, and the teacher answers the question, but not the way the web site tells you it should be answered, ask yourself what answer you are looking for with that question.  Ask questions you want to know the answers to.  Start a discussion with information you know and want to share in order to learn more from the preschools you visit.  Being open and honest each time you visit a preschool for your child will lead you to the right place from the start.  

When questions or discussions are genuine and open you gain mutual respect and trust for the teachers you meet and the preschools you visit.  As a teacher I want to learn what is important to you about your child’s educational needs, so I can best support those goals we set together.  When I meet people that are obviously feigning ignorance on an educational theory they know well, I loose respect for them and want to understand why they are visiting my school.  My time is as important as yours so please come to my school with an open mind and a willingness to learn and share what you know.  Education is a broad topic and there are countless things we can discuss, so please come to my school and know that it is perfectly fine to simply ask questions, look around or engage in a conversation.  Remember the goal is for you to be able to find a preschool that fits the needs of your child and is a place you are comfortable becoming a part of through your child’s experiences.

The most important part of finding the right preschool for your child really comes down to how your child engages in each environment you visit.  Does the space appear to be one in which your child will be happy, curious, inquisitive, and learn in multiple ways?  Take that first step with your child.  Take him/ her with you on your visits, so you can gain insight from not only the preschools you visit, but how your child engages in those environments.  Even when young children are shy, or both introverted and shy, he/ she will warm up enough to interact with any environment they are truly curious about.

If you have any experiences you wold like to share with me please do!  I would love to read all about them! 🙂

Thank you for visiting  Heidi Scott, BA & MIT and The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂

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