Preschool may be the first place your child experiences a school setting away from home. Choosing just the right environment for your little one is a top priority, and visiting the facilities in person is essential. There’s no better way to get a feel for the educators and the setting than to spend time there yourself. Here are 11 key questions to ask when visiting your child’s future preschool:
1. What are MY goals as a parent?
Ask yourself what you want your child to accomplish during their time in preschool:
- Are you looking for socialization?
- An academic head-start?
- Biblical immersion?
- Play-based learning?
- Or all of the above?
Knowing your own goals for your child will help you ask the right questions at any preschool you’re considering.
2. What is the school’s academic philosophy?
Is it developmental, Montessori, classical, traditional, or something else? How does the philosophy shape the daily curriculum and activities? How is learning encouraged? There are many approaches to raising children, and the curriculums and philosophies adopted by preschools reflect that. Know what you’re looking for and find a school that fits in with your overall parenting philosophy.
3. What credentials are required for staff?
Make sure that your school of choice has the highest standards for both screening and training their educators. Are the teachers trained specifically in the philosophy of learning the school focuses on?
4. Is every staff member background checked?
Anyone who is working with children should be thoroughly background checked. At a Christian preschool, the teachers should be held to high moral and behavioral standards as well.
5. Is your staff trained and certified in CPR and first aid? Are they MAT Trained?
Every educator should have up-to-date CPR and first aid certifications. When caring for young children, a thorough knowledge of first aid and emergency care is critical.
6. What is your teacher to student ratio?
The answer you are looking for is no larger than a 1 to 10 teacher to student ratio. But keep in mind, while class size matters, class management matters more.
7. What is the turnover rate for your educators?
Low turnover is a great sign that the school treats their people well, and chooses educators who truly love their jobs. High turnover can be traumatic for young children who thrive on consistency.
8. How does the school handle challenging students?
Every school handles discipline differently. Does the school’s philosophy fit in with your discipline philosophy as a family? What are the policies on handling a student who is engaging in destructive or harmful behavior?
9. Is there exposure to the arts and sciences?
Science in preschool looks a bit different than microscopes and laboratories. It might include planting a garden, taking care of a class pet, examining leaves and rocks, or going on an outdoor bug hunt. Exploring the arts will be hands-on, experimenting with painting, drawing, and other mediums. It may involve exposure to classical music, instruments, and dramatic arts. A great preschool will help nurture a sense of curiosity and a desire for exploration in your little one.
10. Will meals and/or snacks be provided?
Nutrition is a critical part of a child’s learning. Are meals/snacks provided? Or do parents need to send them with their child? Will students with food allergies be carefully accommodated?
11. What is the school’s “potty policy”?
How do you handle potty time for students? Do children need to be fully potty trained before they can attend preschool? What is your policy on diapering?
“So blessed to be able to send my children here, loving and kind environment. Great teachers as well.” -Lena, First Baptist Academy parent
Are you ready to schedule a visit of First Baptist Academy’s outstanding preschool? We can’t wait to answer your questions! Start here.