Selecting a preschool for your child is more than simply filtering all options by either cost or proximity to your home. The process is relatively similar to searching for a new job; you need to find a preschool that fits in with your core values, is able to meet your requirements and then be prepared to go to numerous interviews. Before you start your search you need to be aware that you will almost certainly need to invest a considerable amount of time to find the perfect preschool for your child. As providers of an established preschool program ourselves we are going to outline some of the key factors to consider during your search.
Important Factors When Assessing Various Preschool Options
This is an important decision that you need to get right if you want to leave your child in a stimulating environment that will assist their development. Important factors to consider include:
- Teaching Standard – The quality of teaching staff at the school is one of the most important factors to look into and not one that is entirely straightforward to assess as what constitutes to the perfect teacher for one person may differ from another person’s opinion. However, in general look for a teachers that engage the children, encourage them to interact and make them feel safe .
- Availability – Ideally the preschool you select will have staff that make themselves available should you have any issues that you’d like to raise. As well as communicating effectively with your child, they should be happy to let you know of your child’s progress.
- Head of the School – While your child might only rarely come into contact with the head of the preschool, due to the amount of influence they have their leadership style and principles should be analysed before making a decision. Some heads are more “hands on” than others, taking a keen interest in the children, while others focus more on running the preschool.
- Timetables – You need to ensure that the timetable of the school (including hours of operation, days of the week and term periods) are compatible with your own work schedule. If the two slightly overlap you might be able to lean on your support network (family members and close friends), but if your timetable totally clashes with that of the preschool it is probably not going to be a viable option.
- Cost – While the amount a preschool costs is not the be all and end all, it is still an important factor. In addition to the deposit that has to be put down and the fee per semester, you also need to enquire about the cancelation policies the centre has in place. If you decide the preschool isn’t a good fit for your child just a few weeks into the first term, how easy is it to withdraw them and will your deposit be refunded?
Last but not least you should always consider the opinions of parents of children that currently attend the preschool. When talking to these parents use this opportunity to pose your own questions and find out whether they have had any issues with the preschool and how those issues were dealt with by members of staff. the Oaktree Childcare Centre has three different locations and serves the communities of Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, New Market, Stouffvile and Maple.