Every parent wants the best for your child, but how do you ensure the preschools among your choices fit your requirements? When you visit a preschool physically, what are some of the things you need to observe? We have collated a list of questions from professionals on what a parent should be asking when you are deciding on a preschool for your kid. Live in the north? This preschool in woodlands may be a good choice.
What are your philosophy and morals?
The senior director for education (early childhood) at Mindchamps, Elaine Chia, has stated that the preschool’s principles, expectations, and morals must agree with your personal ones to ensure they are not crossed off the list. For example, is the center’s programs and syllabus revolves around building the child’s intellect, or is it more relaxed with more fun and games? If you are for the former, then a preschool that does not assign take-home exercises or assessments should not be one of your top choices.
If you are keen to be more participative in the school’s curriculum or events, you can also ask if parents are authorized to engage in the activities and provide feedback. For example, being a guest presenter in lessons or as a volunteer during activities.
How do the teachers educate the kids?
I am sure you are curious if the preschool’s syllabus and programs will build your child’s brain holistically, in terms of intelligence and emotional quotient, social skills, physical fitness, and the ability to communicate effectively, as stated by Sally Pang, the curriculum director at Maplebear Singapore. To achieve all the above mentioned, the teaching methods play a vital role.
Fiona Walker, the chief executive officer and principal of schools of Julia Gabriel Education, states that it is vital to question how suitable the programs and syllabus are for your child, with respect to how they learn and absorb knowledge and how they behave. On top of that, what is the proportion of activities conducted are taught physically which allows first–hand experiments, and student-led programs such as projects.
How is my child’s development/growth documented and distributed to me?
You should ask if the educators constantly supervise and observe how your child is performing and share their observations and evaluations with you. Furthermore, the preschool should update you promptly should any teacher observe that your child is facing any difficulties with any of the activities. Regarding this, you should also ensure that the teachers are able to help you identify the reason why your child is struggling and what are steps you can take to aid your child.
What systems do you have to tackle a disease outbreak?
In the event of a virus outbreak, you should ask what measures the preschool would take to tackle it. For example, does the preschool conduct temperature taking exercises every day? How do they sanitize the school’s facilities to ensure it is harmless for its students? Will all students learn how to disinfect their hands the right way before eating and after using the toilet? Will the preschool be vigilant and look out for any onset of an outbreak? How will the management handle the outbreak?
It is essential for all to know how the school handles dangers or mishaps. For instance, if your kid suffers from a falling injury or from an allergy during their time in the school, will the school alert you immediately or send your child to the hospital first?
How can I be sure that my child will not be in any danger in your school?
You should ensure that your kid is being monitored regularly by their teachers. Pamela Lim, a 38–year–old housewife, has shared that when she was choosing the best preschool for her daughter back then, she asked about the teacher to student ratio per lesson.
“It was crucial for me to understand whether there are sufficient educators taking care of the children since my kid was so small. I needed that security to set my mind at ease for putting her in the preschool.”
Additionally, Fiona also states that parents should discover how the preschool maintains its general safety. For example, is a guard posted at the preschool’s gates during its active hours? Are all entry points locked during and in between lessons? Are there any recording devices installed in all facilities?
Does this preschool promote creativity?
Fiona suggests that parents should choose preschools with a bright and vibrant environment, as this also reflects the school’s promise to instill creativity in their students. You can also check out whether their facilities, such as playgrounds and classrooms, are serviced regularly and safe for your child to use.
How are students punished if they did something wrong?
If you are one who cannot accept physical disciplinary actions, you should not include a preschool that does that. The preschool’s way of disciplining their students should be aligned with how your family does it too. For example, are the teachers stringent about students who have misbehaved? How do educators resolve disagreements? Tan Li Li punishes her four–year–old son with a “time out” every time he is naughty at home, so when she was searching for the preschool for her son a few years ago, she felt it was essential for the school to be using the same punishment for her son.
Are the educators well–qualified?
The government has dictated that every preschool teacher has at least achieved a diploma in early childhood education. Hence, you can enquire more if you are interested to find out if any are specialists with a bachelor’s or master’s degrees. You can also ask about the educator’s working experience with preschools and how long they have stayed with this current preschool. This can show their devotion.
What menu do you have for my child?
Do enquire about the number of times your child will be given food and what kinds of meals are given, including the meal size and if it fits your child’s dietary preferences. If the preschool is under the government–led Healthy Meals in Childcare Centres Programme, then the meals provided should likely be healthy. This is important so that you can ensure your kid is well–fed when studying in school. At preschool-going age, your child will be at one of their important early formative stages. Hence, a good preschool is key for their development and growth. If you prefer a certain type of education or teaching style, then be sure to check in with the preschool to see if they are a good fit for your child.