Now that it’s time for your little one to go to preschool it can be a hard time. There are many important questions to ask on a preschool tour. You’ll not only need to be prepared mentally for the fact that your baby will be going to preschool for the first time. In addition, you’ll also need to find a preschool that works for your family. Furthermore, it can be a challenging time to find a preschool that’s suitable for you however once you have what questions should you be asking?
Questions To Ask On A Preschool Tour
When you go on your preschool tour it’s important not to be shy. You must ask as many questions as possible so that your 100% comfortable leaving your child in the care of the preschool. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion on any concerns you have. The directors and staff of the preschool want to know that this is right for you and your child. Here are important questions to ask on a preschool tour to get you started.
Parent Involvement In The School
Depending on the school parental involvement can vary. There are many schools that like to limit the amount of time parents are spending in the classroom as it can make the transition from home to school harder. Others may ask for involvement at specif times for example if they have a school trip or event. You may also find that the school your child is attending need fundraisers. If this is the case there are many questions to ask such as what are the fundraising expectations?. Are there weekend activities you’ll need to attend?. You’ll also need to consider how much of your time you’ll need to give up to help put the school. In addition, there might be part of you that interested in Co-op however this will bean your committing to a high level of involvement that will take up a lot of time.
Teacher Qualifications, Turnover And Staff Development
When it comes to a preschool consistency in your child’s life is important especially when they are leaving home for the first time to go to school. You should ask the following questions.
- How long have the teachers been at the school?
- Do they have any plans to leave any time soon?
- Do teachers move with the children each at the end of each year or do they get a new teacher each year?
- What qualifications do the teachers hold?
- How long have they been teaching?
- Does the school constantly develop their staff?
- Every state has minimums in regards to adult to child ratio does the school meet the minimums?
I’m sure you did some research on the school’s philosophy before attending the school tour. Moreover, there are still many questions to ask when. you attend. In addition, each school will implement a philosophy and follow it differently from each other. Some questions to think about are:
- How does the philosophy of the school shape the curriculum and class size?
- If the school emphasizes on individual learning, how is cooperation taught?
- If it emphasizes cooperation does the school do anything to encourage leadership and autonomy?
You can read more about preschool philosophies here.
Open Door Policy And Child Safety
The first thing you need to make sure is that your child is safe. Many schools will have an open-door policy allowing children to speak to teachers when they need, In addition, there are still many questions you’ll need to as such as:
- What measures are in place to make sure the children are safe?
- Are there key pad locks in place?
- Is there a list of approved people who can pick up each child?
- Is a sign in and sign out procedure in place?
- Are substitute teachers aware of all approved people who can collect each child and how is it managed on a daily basis?
- What procedures are in place for fire/ natural disasters?
- In a disastrous situation, how do you communicate with your parents?
- What is the drop off policy for parents?
- For early pic up can parents come at any time or does it have to be pre-arranged?
Computers and other technology are ever-present in our lives and it’s important to pour children’s interaction with them. However, does this mean that technology should be used generously at school?. When it comes to this topic questions such as how is technology incorporated into lessons? Our kids left to watch TV during drop-off and pick up? Is technology being substituted for something more essential? should be asked. In addition, There have been a number of evidential studies to show that some child care centers do no follow the recommended guidelines when it comes to screen time. Making it even more important that your aware of how your school, approaches screen time and you’re comfortable with it.
Discipline and Conflict Resolution
There are always times where preschoolers will encounter difficulty interacting with others as their brains are always developing. They will also be learning social norms and the difference between good and bad behavior. There are many questions to ask when it comes to discipline and conflict resolution these are:
- How does the school handle conflict?
- If a child hits another how is it handled?
- At what point will the parent be notified and how?
- What is considered disruptive behavior?
- How are children taught and encouraged to resolve conflicts independently?
- What is the school policy on biting? (yes this does happen and many children are sent home for biting)
It’s important to consider how much information you actually want from the school about your child’s behavior and the behavior of other kids in the class. You may be the type of parent that wants to be informed of every squabble your child has been involved in. Furthermore, you may feel it’s important that there are procedures in place to deal with these issues and that they can be resolved in school.
It’s important for preschools to spend time outside and develop their motor skills. There have been many studies to show that preschoolers are not spending enough time outside. According to physicians, preschoolers should spend a minimum of one hour outside each day. In addition, you should ask the following questions:
- How much time do the children spend outside?
- What is the school’s policy on bad weather or high temperatures?
- What is their sunscreen policy?
Social & Academic Growth, Tailored Learning & Kindergarten Readiness
If your considering sending your child to a play-based school it can be difficult to evaluate how academics are taught and how much your child is actually learning. However, this is not a bad thing experts have said that children learn best through play and there are also many academic programs that teach through critical social, motor, and language skills. It’s important to ask how your child’s progress will be measured and recorded. Other questions you may want to ask are:
- Do they have parent/teacher conferences?
- What happens if the child isn’t progressing well?
- Do you set specific social and academic goals based on the level at which each child enters school or are there goals for the class as a whole?
- How is the fact your child is not progressing addressed?
- Are you notified in advance of a parent/ teacher conference if there are issues?
- Academic-based public kindergarten can be a difficult transition especially for many children coming from a play-based preschool. What does the school do to prepare your child for it?
You may want to also ask if you can speak to families that have already enrolled in the school. This is the best way to get good or bad feedback and will really help you make a first-hand choice.
Other questions you may want to consider
It will all depend on your needs and whats, furthermore, there are other topics you may want to consider such as the following:
- Birthday policy are treats allowed for the class?
- Are there any extended closures (Spring Break, holidays, etc.)?
- what is the Late pickup policy?
- Cleaning procedures, especially after an illness hits the school
- Are enrichment activities offered and are they included intuition?
- If transportation is provided, are car seats provided for each child? Are all drivers licensed and insured?
- Where do most of the children attend kindergarten?
- Is the school equipped for teaching children with special needs?
- Does the school specifically teach about cultural diversity?
- What is the vaccination policy?
- Illness policy/will they administer antibiotics
- What, if any, meals are served and a sample menu
- How allergies/dietary restrictions are handled
- Does the school do anything to address gender stereotypes?
- What are some of the books read to children?
Important Questions To Ask On A Preschool Tour- Conclusion
You may already notice that many of these questions are covered during your preschool tour. In addition, there may be some concerns that are not addressed, and it’s important you not afraid to speak your mind. Furthermore, you may be able to research some of these questions before attending the school tour. In addition, if there’s anything you’ve left out don’t be shy to contact the school directly before making a decision.