When you must place your child in a preschool or child care center, it can be a difficult decision to make. No parent wants to send their toddler to be taken care of by strangers who they can’t trust. That’s why it’s so important for parents to know their options for schools.
Picking schools for toddlers is a process. There are several steps you should consider taking to ensure you make the best decision for your little one, but where do you begin? In the guide below, you’ll find several factors to keep in mind while on the hunt for a school for your toddler.
To help make the selection process a bit less stressful, continue reading below. Here’s everything you need to know!
Table of Contents
1. Look at Their Curriculum
One of the first things you can look at is the school’s curriculum. Is the school accredited and does it offer educational programs for toddlers? Not all preschools or child care centers offer the same type of education, so this is important to look into.
Ask what their curriculum and schedule are. What does a typical day look like there? What activities will your toddler engage in to help improve different skills?
The school should be able to provide you with a printout for you to take home. You can then follow the same schedule at home to remain consistent, which is beneficial for your little one. You can find more information about enrichment and educational programs that schools might offer on this site.
2. Speak With the Teachers
Don’t hesitate to speak with the teachers. You can get a good feel for the people who’ll be taking care of your child every day simply by talking to them. You should also ask about their credentials.
What’s required of the teachers by the school? Are there specific classes or training they need to complete? Are they CPR and First Aid certified?
After learning about the required credentials to work with your child, ask to see proof of these certificates and check the dates to ensure they’re up to date. It’s never a bad idea to check with the state’s requirements for preschool teachers as well. You want to ensure the people caring for your child are qualified to do so.
This will give you peace of mind.
3. Read Online Reviews
Now it’s time to head online and read some reviews. Search for the school online and start doing some research. What are other parents saying about this school?
Do they seem to feel confident with the teachers? You can also ask the school to provide you with a few references as well. They should be able to give you a few names and numbers of other parents to contact.
Contact each one and ask any questions you might have regarding the school and its policies. If you know any other parents who have toddlers, then you can ask them what school they chose and if they’d recommend it.
4. Ask For a Tour of the Center
If you haven’t already done so, then there’s no better time than now to ask for a tour of the center. Be sure to start searching in advance so you have enough time to tour a few different schools. The school should have no problem giving you a tour of the entire facility.
Pay close attention to the room your child will be placed in. Does it seem clean and well maintained? What precautions are used to ensure the safety and health of each child?
Do the children at the school seem to be happy and engaged in learning? Also, pay close attention to how the teachers interact with the children. Do you see anything unsettling that stands out to you?
Be sure to speak up or choose a different school if you don’t feel right about the tour.
5. Ask About Their Discipline Policies
While there, it’s important to ask about their discipline policies. How will the school discipline your child when needed? What approaches do they use?
Is positive reinforcement their top priority? Will your child be placed in a time-out? Think about the different discipline methods you approve of.
Do these methods align with the school’s methods? Stick around during the tour to see how the teachers discipline children when a problem occurs.
6. Ask About Mealtimes
Mealtime is an important time during the day. What your child eats for each meal can play a difference in their behavior, mood, and overall health. What will your child eat each day while at school?
Does the school provide several meals and snacks during the day? If so, be sure to look at their menu. If your child’s a picky eater, then will the school allow you to pack your own food options?
Does the school require each parent to bring their own meals and lunches for their children? You’ll want to know the answers to these questions before starting your child at the school.
7. Compare the School Costs
The very last factor to consider is the school cost. Wait until you’ve found your top three choices using the information given above. Then, you can compare the costs between those top choices to determine which is the best fit for you.
Don’t forget that some schools may accept different programs that parents can apply to for help with funding. Know all of your options and choose a high-quality school with a fair price.
Picking Schools for Toddlers Has Never Been Easier
We know placing your small child in a school setting can be a difficult decision to make. With the advice given in this helpful guide, picking schools for toddlers is now less stressful. Follow each step given above to help you make the right decision for both you and your child.
For more education topics and plenty of other education topics as well, don’t forget to check back here on a regular basis.