Schools succeed well by adapting tested and trusted methodologies that provide practical training and prepare children for formal schooling, apart from acquiring language and inculcating age-appropriate behavior, says Preeti Bhandary, Director, Little Elly in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
What do you see as the major challenges for preschool education today?
Every sector has its own challenges; preschool is no exception. As far as the preschool business is considered, there are two factors, one is identification of right place to establish a preschool and the other is quality comes with cost. Families with various financial backgrounds sometimes consider that they are overburdened with the fee of preschool but to maintain high standards, high cost is required. Another key challenge is lack of scientific approach to the methodologies that are being followed in the preschools. Expectation of parents along with competition in preschool is very high as there are many brands and non-brands too. Lack of experienced and committed individuals as teachers is also a major drawback in case of preschools.
What are the qualities that define the best preschool?
If we are able to face the challenges successfully, the preschool automatically becomes the best preschool. Schools succeed well by adapting tested and trusted methodologies that provide practical training and prepare children for formal schooling, apart from acquiring language and inculcating age-appropriate behaviour. An important quality that every preschool must follow is clear mission and vision along with appropriate methodologies that goes with the vision and mission. Monitoring progress of the children, good connection between home and school, safe and orderly environment at preschool and focus on effective learning are the other qualities that every preschool must follow.
How do you think safety and comfort of toddlers can be ensured with modern-day furniture in preschool?
Nowadays, there are more choices for preschool furniture. Again, your methodology will define what kind of classroom set-up a preschool can have which includes furniture too. Modern day furniture is designed with utmost safety for preschoolers. Some of the safety features include, lead-free paints on furniture, child-friendly and child-sized chairs and tables, padded-furniture, rounded edges etc. Preschools should select appropriate furniture depending on the space availability too.
How much surveillance is vital in modern times in preschools?
This is the need of the hour. Closed Circuit or CCTV should be made compulsory in all preschools. In fact, this should be one of the factors for parents while deciding the preschool. Background checking of staff should be made essential while hiring and recruiting. Above all, staff and even children should be sensitised about the child safety issues and measures that are to be undertaken.
Which major mobile apps are being used in preschools today for e-learning?
Many preschools use different mobile based applications for various needs such as lesson planning, assessments and communication. At Little Elly, we use a customised mobile app for teaching, learning instruction and communication. The mobile app can also be used in laptops, desktops and tablets.
What are the investment opportunities in the preschool space in the country?
Preschool is one of the fastest growing sectors in education domain. Opportunities for setting preschools have increased in India, as the number of working and educated mothers is increasing, nuclear family set-up is in trend and preschools are good source of secondary income. Typically, investment cost varies from 10 lakhs to 20 lakhs, depending on the space and the location where one wants to open.