This is my third post for #MyFriendAlexa. You can read my previous posts here
THE BEST PRESCHOOL IS THE PRESCHOOL THAT IS BEST FOR YOUR CHILD
How do you know? Start with what you know about your child. Does he thrive on playing with other children? Is she more likely to need the attention of an adult? How do you want your culture and traditions supported? Does your child have special needs? You know better than anyone where your child is most likely to thrive.
With over thousands of preschool partners across country, the Preschool Program offers lots of choices. These choices range from family childcare homes and centre-based programs to classes in public schools. But regardless of the exact setting or type of program, all preschool partners should be licensed and undergone a rigorous quality rating process.
5 STEPS TO CHOOSE THE BEST PRESCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD
Schedule a visit with your child so you can see how your child feels in the preschool and how staff relates to your child. Remember first impression matters when you walk in the preschool with your child.
- Is your first impression positive?
- Watch your child’s response. Did adults acknowledge your child or just focus on other adults?
- Observe how teachers interact with children. Are they at children’s eye level when they talk to them? Do they appear responsive to individual children by listening closely, asking questions and using positive language?
- It is important that your child’s classroom has a variety of learning materials, toys and equipments. Are there places for quite time and an area for dramatic play?
- Does the classroom seem clean and safe with enough adults to supervise children? As child’s safely is of utmost importance.
- What is the school’s philosophy about how children learn?
- What is the school’s approach to children’s behaviour and discipline?
- How do activities promote social, emotional and intellectual growth and stimulate creativity?
- Is there space and materials to promote a wide range of development activities from holding a pencil or cup to running and jumping?
- Walk around the room and ask the teacher what the child is learning from the different activity centers.
- Since no two children are at the same stage of development, how does the teacher support individual children in their learning?
- Do children have their own place to keep their special things?
- What is the daily schedule? Do the preschool offer activities your child would like to participate in and is there time for your child to explore?
- How does the school communicate with families and how often?
- Can you visit the classroom at any time?
- Ask to talk to parents who have a child in the school.
It is important that when considering an early education facility, caregivers and teachers in the facility have knowledge of the cultural support for the language and literacy learning of the children and families they are serving. They need to have sufficient skills in guiding small groups of children to give full attention to individual young children’s language and literacy efforts. They need to be able to draw out shy children while they help very talkative ones begin to listen to others as well as to speak. Caregivers or teachers need to arrange environment that are symbol rich and interesting without being overwhelming to infants and toddlers. Even the simplest exchange becomes a literacy lesson when it includes the warmth of a relationship coupled with words, their concept, and perhaps a graphic symbol.
To be effective, an early year’s curriculum needs to be carefully structured. In that structure, there should be three strands
Provision for the different starting points from which children develop learning, building on what they can already do
Relevant and appropriate content which matches the different levels of young children’s needs
Planned and purposeful activity which provides opportunities for teaching and learning both indoors and outdoors.
If your child is between the ages of three and six and attends a preschool or kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children suggests you look for these 10 signs to make sure your child is in a good classroom.
Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children. They do not wander aimlessly and they are not expected to sit quietly for long period of time.
Children have access to various activities throughout the day. Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials and table toys such as matching games, pegboards, and puzzles. All the children should not necessarily be doing the same activity at the same time.
Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the say. They do not spend all their time with the whole group.
The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and stories dictated by children to teachers.
Children learn numbers and alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance or serving snack provide the basic for learning activities.
Children work on projects and have long periods of time to play and explore. Worksheets are used little, it at all.
Children have an opportunity to play outside every day. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.
Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children’s different background and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their children to the program. Children are happy to attend, they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.
I hope all these pointers can help you select right school for your child.
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