Nursery schools are baby steps of a child to education. Preschools influence a child’s personality development and build a strong foundation for the future. Therefore it is important for parents to choose a nursery school where the child can learn and grow in a healthy atmosphere, and infrastructure plays an important role in building such an atmosphere, observes Priyanka Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).
Apreschool should have an environment that is calm, engaging and responsive to each individual child at all stages of his or her development. Entrepreneurs planning to open a preschool need to concentrate on infrastructure development, which includes constructing a building which has spacious and colourful classrooms, a nicely maintained playing area which offers interactive learning environment and furniture that has been designed keeping safety of children in mind.
For the success of a preschool, significant investment is required in infrastructure.
“An important element which is counted among the quality of a pre-school is the infrastructure. Many unbranded pre-schools don’t give much thought on the building infrastructure. As we deal with small kids, we have to make sure that the whole building should be very neat and clean, colourful and there should not be sharp edges on furniture or anywhere,” says Anu Gupta, Director, Little Leaders Play School.
The number of children enrolled in a school depends entirely on the space available. According to the common procedure followed, 20-25 square feet of space is provided for every child. So, if the school has a classroom of size 20 feet x 10 feet, 10 kids can be accommodated easily. The room size is usually considered a benchmark to decide on the number of kids that can be enrolled.
“We use baby-proofing products like door jammer stopper, door guard, toddler-sized tables and chairs with no sharp edges. We also ensure to keep space for movement in the classroom and not make it crowded with furniture as toddlers need space to explore and move around,” says Raj Singhal, CEO, Foot- prints Preschool.
Toddlers learn more when they play and observe things around them. Therefore, it is important to equip the pre-school with good quality colourful furniture also.
“The furniture should be stable, well- designed, and securely attached to the wall where necessary. Disorder in the environment can result in chaos, mate- rials or furniture falling, dangerous cuts or splinters from sharp furniture edges, or other avoidable accidents. Since children are spending good time in school, so school furniture should be cozy and have home-like touches in the environment which increases the comfort of the child (e.g., pillows, baskets, curtains, and cushions),” says the Director of Little Leaders Play School.
Among other features that need to be considered while developing infrastructure for a preschool include fixing all electrical points higher so that they are out of the reach of children and covering gaps in the railings of balconies so that kids do not slip through.
Also, fire safety measures should be adequate so that kids can be quickly evicted if disaster strikes.
According to Deven Khullar, Chairman, Brats and Cuties Basic, infrastructure should have proper fire exit plans, ramps for the specially-abled children, proper electric load, proper transport, etc.
“Safety can be ensured with usage of natural wood against particle board or MDF quality furniture. Also, furniture should not have sharp edges, is ergonomically designed to seat the children and also have interesting design themes to create curiosity in the minds of kids,” says Amar Kapasi , Co-founder , Planet Kids.
Toddlers learn more when they play and observe things around. Therefore, it is important to equip the preschool with good quality furniture.
While renovating classrooms, bright colours, posters and stickers on the walls should be used. The classroom can also be decorated with children’s original artwork.
“A quality preschool ensures to create an environment rich in creative and cultural experiences through creative arts, imaginative play, motor movement development, rhythm and dramatics,” says Sangeeta Basu, School Head, Medhaam Pre School.
Also, outdoor playing equipment needs to be properly arranged so that kids get adequate amount of physical activity. However, one needs to ensure that the area is safe. Using balconies and terraces as play areas should be avoided unless they are perfectly safe.
“Build up area and outdoor space available for free play of kids is one of the major parameters of a quality pre- school. All the other amenities revolve around that. Safe furniture for security and hygiene of the kids are important as they are very vulnerable to infections. Multimedia educational tools and toys, well ventilated classrooms are some other common parameters that can be adopted to qualify for a quality preschool,” says Ajit Kumar Singh, Managing Partner, Kids Aura.
A good number of toys and games which are not harmful for kids is an integral part of the learning experience for the kids. Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children. So assorted building blocks, construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials besides table toys like matching games, peg- boards and puzzles should be made available to the kids.