Key Questions for Selecting the Right Pre-school

When choosing a school for higher grades, parents look for many things: academic board, style of teaching, the choice of subjects, student-teacher ratio, and so on.

When it comes to selecting a preschool, the situation changes drastically.

Parents tend to think that the pre-school is less about academics and more about learning basics like alphabets and numbers. So, they do not know which questions to ask when deciding about a pre-school.

All the preschools look the same to them. Some have more colourful books. Some insist that children wear uniforms. Some have longer working hours.

Here’s a list of questions that can work as a checklist for you if you’re confused about pre-schools.

1.   Are the children active, happy, playful?Most children do not take kindly to the idea of going to school. They cry for days outside the school before entering. While the crying is inevitable, find out if the children settle down after a while. Or does their presence in the school bother them at home?

2.  If the child is hesitant about jumping around, is s/he forced to play or dance? Some children are not expressive in terms of physical activity. Are such reserved children given their own space?

3.  Is every child treated the same way? Nobody is special, yet everybody is special. Some parents can try to win some extra favours. Is that encouraged in the school?

4.  When an exceptional situation like an emergency or illness strikes, is the school willing to consider? Do the teachers help when the child is unable to attend school? How do they help children cope with the work they’ve missed?

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5.  Do the teachers take the parents into confidence? Do they talk frankly to the parents about their children? How aware are they about the personality of your child? Are their observations different from yours?

6.  Do the parents take the teachers into confidence? Can the parents talk to the teachers frankly? The teachers ought to be warm in their approach towards their work and the children.

7.  Is there a playground? Is the infrastructure safe? Are the classrooms colourful? Is the furniture child-sized?

8.  Is the supporting staff caring? The teachers go through some training in child care; the members of the non-teaching staff don’t. If the non-teaching staff are caring about the children, it means they themselves feel at home.

9.  Does the school teach? Or does it let the children learn? There’s a huge difference between teaching approach and learning approach. Teaching approach is teacher-centric and learning approach is student-centric.

There’s no way you can find answers to all your questions in one counselling session. Some of these you’ll get to only observe for a little while before and after you meet the counsellors. You may get in touch with parents whose children are studying in the school or have previously studied there.

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