Questions to ask prospective preschool programs
- What is the educational philosophy of the preschool? How do the teachers implement the curriculum? How do the learning activities prepare your child for school readiness?
- What is the educational background and experience of the teachers and staff? Ask about teachers’ qualifications, turnover of the staff, and training/professional development.
- How are the daily learning activities geared toward the developmental level of your child? Activities for two year olds should be different than ones for five year olds. Are there active play opportunities every day?
- How large are the classes and what is the teacher-child ratio?
- How does the staff help children resolve conflicts? How are issues like hitting, throwing, and biting addressed? Does it have a specific approach for teaching social-emotional skills?
- How do teachers and the administration keep parents informed about their child and school happenings? Are there parent-teacher conferences? Can you e-mail the teachers with questions?
- Are there opportunities for parents to be involved? Most importantly, can parents visit at any time?
- What extracurricular activities are offered? Some special features to look for include: field trips, involvement in the community/school, music, art, guest speakers (such as a dentist or zookeeper), and parent seminars.
- Does the preschool accept children with special needs? How is staff trained to recognize atypical development and work with students with special needs?
- Are scholarships available for those who cannot afford full tuition?
- What security measures are in place? Does the preschool have a secure entrance and exit? Is the building up to code? Are there policies in place for emergency situations (fire drills, etc.)?
The best preschool program is the one that best fits you, your child, your schedule, and your budget.