The Preschool years are the most crucial years of a child. They are the foundational years which will shape the outlook and the skills of a child in the years to come. Given this fact, it is but obvious that one needs to be very selective about choosing the right preschool for their child.
Owing to the increase of nuclear families, working parents and the need to give an early start to children, the demand for preschools are ever increasing. Yet, there are very few preschools that will fully meet your expectations or your needs. Therefore, one must take ample time to visit and carefully gauge various preschools before deciding on ‘the one’.
Here are a few pointers (in no order of importance) which we hope will help you in your quest for the ideal pre -school for your little one-
Distance– This is probably the most basic but often overlooked aspect of choice of preschool. One must look for a preschool close to either home or your workplace. This way you can be available in case an emergency arises. Also, long travel distances will only lead to fatigue and higher adjustment issues in a child.
General look and feel of the school- Do you find the preschool appealing? Do you see colourful charts and wall displays? Does the school surrounding look clean and safe and would you be happy to spend 2 or 3 hours of your day there? Are the classrooms well ventilated, have appropriate lighting, and the temperature adjusted according to the season? If the answers to these questions are yes, then the preschool you are looking at could be the right choice.
Cleanliness– One cannot undermine the importance of cleanliness especially when a space caters to small children. One must look at not only the floor and the benches but also the toys and other equipment. A clean bathroom and washbasin are the basic needs of a child.
One parent recounts, “I went to enquire about my son’s admission to one of the well- known preschools in my area. When the counsellor was showing me around, I noticed a lizard crawling and hiding in one of the crevices in the play area. That was when I decided to strike the school out of my list.”
There must a proper cleaning routine pre and post classes and even during vacations as these are the times when parents visit the school for enquiries.
Safety- CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices are just one aspect of safety. Other safety features in a pre-school you must look out for-
- The school must have a security guard or a watchman at the entrance, especially where the campus is big.
- Preferably choose a school which has one level in which the preschool runs and has no stairs or slopes inside the pre-school.
- The school must follow proper arrival and dispersal protocols. They must hand children over only to parents or known people. In case of a substitute the school must insist on a letter or an ID card.
- The neighbourhood must be safe.
- There must be a compound wall or fence around the school, the infrastructure should be child –friendly, using non- toxic materials and toys, electrical sockets must be high or covered and there must be no sharp edges on the furniture.
Outlook and appearance of teachers– The teachers must appear competent and pleasant. They must possess a valid degree in ECCEd or a similar qualification. Today, it is mandatory for teachers in Pre-schools to procure an ECCEd degree. The ELP (Early Learning Program) offered at Little Aryans centres is an intensive 6 month course and certifies in ECCEd (Early Childhood Care and Education) in affiliation with Department of Human Development at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. It is beneficial for budding Edupreneurs, college students, homemakers and aspiring teachers to make a career in education.
Teaching Methodology– One must look into the teaching methodologies employed by the school and select a school which is play –oriented, activity –oriented and concentrates on a holistic approach to teaching.
Affiliation to schools for further classes– It is always preferable to select a preschool which has an affiliation to schools for higher standards too, so that your child gets a direct admission to the school after finishing pre-school. Little Aryans, the leading pre-school in Ambernath, Kalyan and Dombivali belongs to the AryaGlobal Group which consists of Arya Gurukul, Kalyan or Ambernath which are CBSE board schools or St. Mary’s Kalyan, which is an SSC board school.
Fees– And last but not the least, one must look for a school that is within the budget and does not pinch your pocket.
Hope these guidelines will help you find the Best for your Child!