Selecting the right pre-school for your child can be quite a daunting task for parents. With the vast array of schools offering various different environments, how do you know which one is best suited to your child, observes Rohan Parikh, Director, The Green Acres Academy.
While the academics and curriculum of a school are important in the selection process, there are other criteria on the basis of which we find would be helpful in finding the best fit for you, and your child.
- Future entry into schools – Unfortunately in today’s schooling landscape entry into the top schools is a challenge as they usually fill up their batch at the pre-school grade level. So, if you are clear on which institute you want your child to attend in the future it is best to secure their entry at the pre-primary level itself. This has the added advantage of your child getting well set into a system at a very young age and not having to break away and re-adjust in the future.
- Teaching methods and expertise – Teachers have one of the highest impacts on any child’s life and a good pre-school teacher is trained to ensure that your child learns fundamental skills at an early age as well as develop the socio-emotional growth of your child. Understand how the school plans to teach your child by understanding the teaching methodology. Look carefully at how much the pre-school invests in training, developing and supporting their teachers and developing new programs. A good school is one in which the teachers are always learning new things as well.
- Infrastructure and safety – At this young age children are still unable to advocate for themselves and thus it is important that the place they go to school is set up to ensure they are looked after and monitored constantly. Look for how much the school has invested in safety and care of the children by the use of CCTV, security and housekeeping staff. Pay equal importance to the school building, after all we want our children to spend a majority of their day in an environment which inspires and empowers them. School buildings reflect this through their use of natural light, colors, temperature, art work, and play areas.
- Does the school match your philosophy? – This is probably the most important. Each school is a different ecosystem and has different culture. There will be schools that are more academically driven and some that are more holistic in their approach. Find one where you feel there is a match to what you want for your child.
- Student to teacher ratio – In pre-school classrooms personal attention and knowing each child is key to getting them to engage in different activities. Thus, a healthy student to teacher ratio ensures that your child is given the proper attention and is connected with his teacher.
Make the right decision and ensure the correct life path for your child. By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure that the school you select most closely reflects the same ideals as your own, and builds an enriching environment for your children to learn and thrive in.