Friday, March 17, 2006

Picking the Right Preschool

Recently, my husband was hired for his dream job in a town that is about twenty miles away from our current home. Since gas prices are always on a rise, we have decided to move to the town where my husband works. Besides having to look for a new place to live, we also have a two and a half year old son, and we have started looking at preschools in the area to enroll him in. We never dreamed that there would be so many decisions to make when you are enrolling your child in a preschool. You want to make sure that your child will be safe in his school, have enough one on one contact with his teacher, and are around children that are well behaved and nice to your child.

When you start looking for a preschool for your child, you can find many of them in the yellow pages of the local phone book, or you can ask parents around the area for their input. When you are asking around, find out if any of the schools have a bad reputation. When you first contact a preschool, there are some issues that you will want to address right away. One thing you will want to ask about is the price that they will charge you. Some preschools charge per child, per hour, or per day. If the preschool that you like charges by the week, but you only want your child to go two days per week, you might want to find a different school that will fit your financial needs better.

You will also want to find out the hours that the school is open, how many children will be in the class, and if the school offers transportation. It will be best for you to find a school where your child will have the same hours as you if you work. Some schools will not take a child that is still in diapers, so if your child is not potty trained, you may have to work on it with him before he is allowed to enter the school. If the preschool that you pick has thirty children in its class, you will know that your child will not be getting much one on one attention with the teacher. For some children it is fine to be in a large class, but if your child needs work on something important like speech, you may want to find a school that specializes in that area.

If you find a school that you really like, you might want to ask a few more questions such as if they give time for naps. If your child is used to taking a nap during the day, it might be hard to break him from it, or it would be better if you could find a school for him with a naptime. If you put your child in school for more than three hours per day, you should also ask if they have a snack time. Young children work better and have a better attitude if they are not hungry.

Another thing to look at when looking for a preschool is location. If you work, it might be better to look for a school near your work place, but if you are a stay at home mom or dad, it may be better to find a school near your home. If you find a school within walking distance from your home or workplace, you will be spending less money on gas, and more time with your child. You may also find a preschool that offers transportation for your child. This will get your child used to riding a bus, which he may have to do when he starts regular school.

When you finally find a preschool that you want your child to attend, you and your spouse should take a few hours out of your day to tour the school, and meet the person that will be your child's new teacher. If you do this, you will have a better idea of your child's day, and his schedule. You can also ask his teacher for a weekly report, so if your child needs extra help on anything, you can help him throughout the week with it. You will feel much better about your choice if you fully research your child's new school!

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