Written by Anne and Casa De Bambini
I can help you with that.
Casa De Bambini Leaning Center (CBLC), a school based in Manila, Philippines, shares what parents usually ask when preschool hunting.
Wherever you’re from, this is a great guide to have.
1. What is your teaching method?
It’s important to ask the preschool their method or philosophy of teaching, to find out if they are aligned with the method you feel is best for your child.
2. How long has the school been operating?
This may be a matter of preference as some may feel comfortable with schools long-established, while others are open to younger schools.
3. Are you recognized by the Department of Education?
4. What is the curriculum for different levels?
Find out the full curriculum per level to know what activities are given. Are they more on play – free play or structured? Are they more black board or books?
You may be paying hard-earned money just for “fun and play,” and very little learning.
5. How many students per class?
According to Teacher Katherine Brazil, a healthy student-teacher ratio for toddler classes is 10:2.
That way, when a major meltdown goes down, one teacher can continue with the rest of the class, while the other helps the crying toddler.
6. How does the school discipline children?
Teacher Katherine uses positive discipline in her toddler class so she avoids giving the child a negative association with school – especially at such a young age.
Instead of asking an uncooperative toddler to face the wall or step outside, she asks her to lead the rest of the class, doing the activity she initially refused to.
7. How long have the teachers been teaching? What’s their background?
Years of teaching experience is a built-in advantage; teachers’ college courses/degree and academic background are important.
However, it’s not the end all and be all.
In the end, it’s the teacher’s real love of teaching that counts.
She / he must have a genuine love and empathy for children of different personalities and temperament, and the passion and desire of imparting values, instilling self-confidence and molding young minds.
8. Do you have trial classes?
Trial classes will allow parents to assess and determine if the school is suited for your child.
Parents can observe:
How the child is taking to his /her new environment, how the child responds to the teacher and vice versa, and if the child enjoys being with kids of own his age.
1 to 2 weeks should be more than enough for parents to come up with a decision.
9. Do you have uniforms?
School uniforms give students a sense of belonging, security and identity. It can be as simple as a shirt with the school’s logo or something more elaborate.
The important thing is, the child should be comfortable and it doesn’t add too much to parents’ financial obligations.
10. What is the school’s tuition fee? Is the fee inclusive of books and school supplies?
Quality education need not be very prohibitive.
Of course, you pay for quality and shouldn’t compromise your child’s education, but sometimes practicality comes to the fore.
Why pay hundreds of thousands for education when quality schools with reasonable rates are around? It’s a plus if books and school supplies are already part of tuition fees.
Go ahead, print this out!
Have it handy when you go preschool hunting.
But before you go…
Is there a question that should be on the list?