Questions To Ask When Picking The Perfect Preschool

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Levi turns 2 this summer, which is considered “preschool” age as far as daycare is concerned. Here in MN, they assign that category based on a child’s age. 0-1 is infant, 1-2 is toddler, 2-something is preschool, and then they become school age. (Sorry for not knowing the exact numbers. I’ll be honest on this one – I’ve only paid attention to where Levi is, not the age categories for when he gets older.)

When the PR rep for Kiddie Academy emailed me about some of their programs, I asked if they’d be willing to contribute a post to my site. I had no idea they were going to have their Vice President of Education write it, and I’m totally excited to share her suggestions of important questions to ask when picking the perfect preschool. I know we’ll be looking into this soon as Levi gets older, and I hope these tips help you out, too.

1-Kiddie Academy Patience

Picking the Perfect Preschool

by Claire Haas, Vice President of Education, Kiddie Academy

Choosing the right preschool for your child is the first in a long list of education decisions you’ll make as a parent.  Particularly if you’re a first-timer, understanding the dynamics of choosing the proper environment for your child can seem like a daunting task.

Twenty years ago, preschool was play school, with a focus on interaction with other children.  While group participation and social skills remain an important element of pre-K learning, your child’s preschool years are now recognized as the foundation for developing skills that lead to academic and school success.

In fact, this is a learning experience for parents as well as children.   Like any good research project, the first step when considering a preschool is to ask a lot of questions.

Here’s a handy checklist of questions to ask each program director that will help you to evaluate a potential school.

  • What would a typical day be like for my child?
  • How much time is spent in play/exercise vs. classroom instruction?
  • Does the program meet your state’s preschool standards?
  • May I visit and observe a classroom?
  • Can I speak to a few parents of children who’ve attended the school?
  • Do you offer programs for older children as well?
  • Does my child have to be potty-trained in order to attend?
  • Can my child attend the preschool year-round?

Once you’ve gathered all the information, analyze the data and make the choice that you believe best fits your child and your family’s needs.  As with many parenting decisions, trust your instincts.  If the preschool meets all of your requirements, and it just feels right, you’ll know you’ve made a good choice.

KiddieAcademy.com Taking Turns

About Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy is a leader in education-based child care.  We serve families and their children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, offering full time care, before- and after-school care and summer camp programs.  Kiddie Academy’s proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum includes programs, methods, activities and techniques that help prepare children for lifelong learning.

For more information on preschool and education topics, please visit the Kiddie Academy website.

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Comments

  1. Rachel N says:

    I have not even thought about preschool yet. Where I live in Canada preschool doesn’t start until age 3, until then they are in daycare. I am undecided about whether or not I will put my son in preschool, I probably won’t until he is 4 years old. It will depend on his personality and whether or not I think he would benefit from it.

  2. I am not to this stage yet, but I am not sure what we will be doing for schooling! I am thinking about homeschooling…thanks for the info though
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  3. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    This preschool seems to use principles similar to Montessori. Thnak sfor the info.

  4. Lindsay Oussa says:

    Great post! Thanks! My DD is soon to be 4 and has one year left of preschool before starting Kindergarten. This year is really important, as she has a lot to learn before heading to big school. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lorey Haile says:

    Great list of questions!

  6. Kenda Wathen says:

    I was able to choose to not do preschool for my children and I am glad I did. I know that preschool is a necessary thing for many families that need or desire two incomes. I taught preschool for 6 years and loved being with the children and seeing them grow. My biggest concern with any preschool setting is that it should be developmentally appropriate. Sometimes in the excitement to get children learning we push them too far too quickly. I do like the checklist that was provided, but be sure to add any other concerns you have to this as well. If you choose to go the preschool route be sure you feel completely comfortable with where your child is and keep aware of any changes that may occur.

  7. This is really helpful thanks! I’m looking into a preschool for my daughter right now!
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  8. We have already gone through this stage as it daughter’s second year of preschool but this is a great list for parents!

  9. Great info thanks!

  10. Good questions. very helpful

  11. Great article about picking a pre-school

  12. Great post!

  13. Jessica P. says:

    They definitely all sound like great questions to ask.

  14. Good questions. I’d also ask the ratio of parents to students, and if teachers are required to have training or credentials.
    Jan Messali recently posted..Gardening to Stop Hunger

  15. great post! thanks for sharing this.

  16. kamilah says:

    awesome post, thank u!

  17. Great post! it’s so important for parents to be informed and ask questions. we have a right to know how our child’s day will go and how their time is structured.

  18. Tracy Awalt Juliano says:

    Really great tips. I wish I had info like this when my daughter was in preschool.

  19. Suzy Allen says:

    Excellent advice. I’m thankful I have a few years before my lo’s enter preschool. I will miss them so much I can’t imagine being apart for that long!

  20. Great post! It really made me think about my daughter and when she starts preschool later on. I’ve got 2 more years to figure out what I wanna do. Ahhh!

  21. Danielle Papsis says:

    It was nice that the VP wrote this. I never would have thought about asking if your child needs to be potty trained to attend preschool.

  22. carol roberts says:

    it is hard picking a preschool i walked in a place there was one lady feeding 8 babys and the owner son walked in off the streets and sat there and was just talking loudly in front of kids sleeping i knew then that wasnt the place for me

  23. Seyma Shabbir says:

    Ask more! How about if your child throws a tantrum how do teachers respond. What happens if another child hits yours or visa versa, what is the punishment or how is it handled. If your child is hurt are you called or do they wait until end of day to notify. What is the max amount of students in a class (some try to go over).

  24. Kate Burton says:

    Make sure that you ask/try to find out about their turnover rate.

  25. I shared this with my niece.

  26. We liked the Montessori school for childcare (toddler group), and I’m hoping we can (afford to) keep sending our little one there for preschool
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  27. Considering the state of public edu in the US I’m hoping I can afford private school by then but I kind of doubt it. We have a few years but I plan on building my daughters foundation at home. I hope to find a preschool that will not limit her if she wants to read beyond her level, that happend to my husband as a child.

  28. Christina Isaac says:

    With our first little one on the way, preschool hasn’t even crossed our minds yet. I am glad I read this because I want to make sure we have plenty of time to do our research before that time actually gets here! Thanks!

  29. tay mama says:

    We are just at this stage and it is so helpful to have someone with like concerns offering some questions!

  30. Kristen N says:

    I remember looking at preschools for my oldest. We were so lucky to find a great one! I already have my 17 month old on wait lists so that he will hopefully get in to the one we prefer when he is ready.

  31. I’ve got a long time before my little guy is ready for preschool and I’m not sure if I’ll be sending him. Thanks for sharing this information and I hope to read more about preschool in the future to help me decide.

  32. Great article and info.
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  33. I found you through the blog hop! Great article and perfect timing for me right now!
    Heidi recently posted..Influenster 2012 Mom VoxBox

  34. Thanks for sharing!!

  35. Dandi D says:

    These are good questions to ask. But we are going to homeschool our kids!

  36. Jennifer says:

    I’m homeschooling preschool. We just plain can not afford it, especially now that headstart is being shut down in CA. Unless I can find one for $125 a week (what I pay my sitter), it’s not happening. But the artical did give my some thing to consider in setting up my own preschooling program at home

  37. jess nixon says:

    my daughter is starting pre-school this year and it is always helpful to have others advice. Thanks so much for this post.

  38. Amy McGowan says:

    wow, thanks for all the info, I have an 18 month old now and I want to put her in daycare before preschool and this will help with all of that, thanks again :)

  39. Megan McClure says:

    This is a very good post! I worked in childcare for over three years, and too many parents just come in, do a quick glance around the facility and put their kids on the waiting list before taking the time to communicate with childcare providers and staff. Another good question to ask would be if they have a curriculum posted, and if so, where is it located so you can get a week by week (or monthly) glance at what your child will be learning/doing while they’re in preschool. That way you can know what to work on with them at home!

  40. This is really helpful information. We have a nanny now, but I know that in a couple years, I’ll want the kids to go to a preschool environment at least part-time. I am holding on to this!

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