Getting your child admitted to a pre-school is definitely a momentous task for both you as well as your child. However, to choose the right pre-school is a task that seems to be all the more challenging. To give the right kind of guidance, it is very important that you choose the right kind of schools for your kids – and the process starts as early as the pre-school days. To avoid a bad pre-school, it is important that you are aware of the various warning signs and are able to identify them easily. For example, it is important that you consider and verify the truth behind the buzz that you heard from other parents about the school. A consistently negative report about the pre-school should never be overlooked without being verified.
Here’s a list of a few parameters that you need to evaluate very carefully, to judge if at all your child should be enrolled in the particular school or not:
The teacher-student ratio is an important factor that needs to be considered to avoid a bad pre-school. According to the recommendations of the NAEYC, the teacher-student ratio must ideally be 1:8. This is particularly favorable for children aged from 5 to 7 years.
It is better to avoid pre-schools that do not offer back-up facilities. Pre-schools that do not come with such facilities may charge you extra for late pickups. You may also have to stay back at home if your children are sick and are unable to attend their classes.
Do not go for schools that do not allow your child to develop, learn and explore at his or her own pace.
Cost of the pre-school programs is another factor that you need to consider seriously, before enrolling your child there. There are good pre-school programs that tend to create holes in your pockets.
The cleanliness and the overall environment of the pre-schools also need to be analyzed, to ensure that your children are not exposed to illness on a regular basis. Clean and safe environment help the child develop his/her interpersonal and communicative skills. Ensure that the school building is well ventilated. The teachers must also adhere to the standards of hygiene and see to it that their hands are washed every time they help a child in the washrooms.
Safety is another key factor. It has to be ensured that the games and toys meant for the kids are safe and hygienic. Hazardous substances and medicines must be kept out of the reach of children. The outdoor playing area of the school needs to be safe and secure as well. Heaters and the radiators in the building premise must be kept well covered. There should be provisions for emergency situations. Do not go for schools which do not have provisions for emergency exits. The fire fighting equipments must be checked regularly. The pre-school must also meet the licensing requirements of the state.
These are a few basic pointers that need to be considered in order to avoid a bad pre-school and to ensure that your child gets the best in his or her formative years.