How to Choose a Preschool

Preschool is an important milestone for your little one. Not only is it an educational milestone, but a social one, too. For many children this is the first time that they will form new friendships and interact with other adults without you by their side. Choosing a preschool in Irvine is a big deal. Here are some tips for making this process a little less nerve wracking. 

Tour the Facility

All preschools welcome new families and a tour is the perfect way to determine if the preschool is right for your child. When touring a facility make sure to give the director a call to set up a time. Although preschools may have open door policies for their families, prospective families should understand that directors and staff are quite busy throughout the day. Dropping in unannounced is never a good idea. By scheduling a tour in advance you give the facility time to get paperwork together for you to take home and the director will be able to set aside time that is devoted strictly for you and your child. 

Bring Your Child

Don’t tour the facility alone. Always bring your child. It is your child’s opinion that matters the most when making the decision on where they will spend the next year or two of their life when they are away from you. Even if your child acts shy while on the tour that doesn’t mean that they are not taking in the experience. By bringing your son or daughter with you to the preschool you are giving them the opportunity to meet teachers and other students.

Educational Philosophy

Not all preschools are created equal. Each of these facilities may have a different educational philosophy. Some preschools are all about preparing your child for kindergarten. They do classroom work and focus on following rules and directions. Other preschools take a laid back approach to teaching. While key preschool concepts are introduced like learning the ABCs, writing numbers, and recognizing colors, students may have more time to explore centers and self-direct their learning. These different approaches to preschool learning meet the needs of all types of children. When choosing a preschool for your child consider visiting a variety of schools. Perhaps tour a private preschool, a public childcare center with a preschool program, and non-traditional preschool like a Montessori school. This will help you decide which school will meet your needs.

Price

As a parent the cost of activities seems to always play into the decisions that you will make. When it comes to choosing a preschool for your child do not let price be the decision maker. If a preschool seems too high find out what is included in the cost. Some preschools appear to be a good deal, but don’t include lunch or snack. They may only be half a day. The price may or may not include field trips and other activities. Sometimes the better value is the preschool that appears to be the most expensive. 

Choosing a preschool in Irvine is no small task. This time in your child’s life is their first introduction to school. Setting a positive tone early in your child’s educational experience is important to molding their academic future.