Finding the 'Right' Preschool

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Sending your child to preschool is an exciting experience. It's your little one's introduction to playing, learning, and socializing with others. Many parents feel overwhelmed about which school to choose, especially when there are so many options nearby. Parents might also feel anxious if preschool is the first time that they will be away from their child on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the preschool search and find a school that suits your family.

 Look at traditional and co-op preschools: A co-op preschool is a unique opportunity to be involved in your child's classroom. If you have the time to do so, getting involved in a co-op preschool can benefit you and your little one. Preschool is a special time in a child's life, and many parents find it rewarding to work in the classroom and be a part of their child's preschool experience.

Join a local parents’ Facebook group for recommendations: If you are new to the area, or new to navigating the school system (or both!), you should consider joining a local Facebook parents group. It is an excellent way to read firsthand recommendations and ask questions to the community. Instead of Googling schools, you can save time and energy by seeing what parents in your area recommend. Then, you can narrow your search and compile a list of possible schools that might fit what you’re looking for.

Tour the school: The best way to get a feel for a school is to go on a tour. Many schools offer tours and open houses in the winter and spring for prospective families. You may even be able to shadow a classroom to see what the teachers are like. As you’re on the tour, keep the kind of school that you are looking for in mind. Are you looking for a play-based school, or one with a stricter curriculum? With your needs in mind, you can be better prepared with questions to ask during the tour.

Pick a program that works with your family's schedule: How many days a week do you want your child to attend? Do you need a program that is a full day, or half-day? Do the program’s hours work with when you can drop-off and pick up your child? Asking yourself these questions will help you reduce your list, so that you can reach the best option.

Finding the right preschool be tough when there are so many different schools in your area. These are a few suggestions to help you navigate your little one's preschool search. With some time, research, and recommendations, you will be able to find a school that fits your family's needs—and give your child a wonderful introduction to the world of learning.