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.
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.
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.