Finding the Perfect Preschool Your Kids

Looking for the right preschool for kids is no small feat. As this might be the first time youare truly separated from your toddler, finding a preschool can be a cause of tremendous anxiety. Not only do you want your child well taken care of, you want a center that is affordable, safe and an environment where they will thrive in and learn.

Finding that perfect preschool for kids can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you through this important adventure:

Checklist:First, make a list of important things you want from a preschool. Factors to think about include location, times, price, curriculum and environment.

Research: Ask around. Friends, neighbors and families can often be the best resource when it comes to looking for a preschool for kids. The Child Care Aware hotline (800-424-2246) can give you the number of a local childcare resource and referral agency, which in turn can direct you to licensed preschools in your area. The NationalAssociation for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is also an excellent source.Check out your local yellow pages for any additional preschools in your area.

The location: How far away is the school from your home? Do you want a school near your house or close to your work? These may seem like minor concerns, but if it takes a long time to get to school, your toddler may be too excited by the time they get there. As well, a preschool for kids that is close to home may make it easier for your child to foster the friendships at school, thanks to playdates and party invitations.

Length of program: Many preschools for kids offer programs that are a half-day or a few hours; while some provide all day learning and extended hours. Is your toddler ready for an all-day program?  Look at the available options and decide which one will work best for your child and your schedule.

Take a visit: Once you have gathered three or four of your favorite preschool choices, it’s time to head out and visit a few! You may want to go without your child for the first initial visit so as not to raise their expectations or confuse them. Make sure you have drafted some questions before visiting so you are well-prepared. Once you have narrowed down the two favorite preschools for your kid: take your child in for a visit to see how they like the centre. Take note of how they interact with their surroundings and the staff. Allow them to ask questions and pay attention to what they say about the reasons they did or did not like certain locations.

Your child: At the end of the day, priority number one in choosing a preschool for your kids is picking the place where your child will be most happy. Academics aside, preschool should be a place where your child learns to love school and learns to love learning.