Contact Us   |   Location   |   Español

Selecting Preschool

Print
School _icon

Many factors need to be considered when you're looking for a quality preschool and it takes time to find the right one.

Teachers Make a Difference

Qualified teachers are an important part of your child's early education because they're the ones who will instruct your child, and offer comfort and encouragement.
Picking _right _presch
  • Ask the preschool director about teacher qualifications, such as the number of teachers who have completed college courses or degrees in early childhood education.
  • Find out if teachers have been trained in CPR, first aid, and infection control.
  • Ask how long teachers have worked at the school.
  • Watch how teachers interact with the kids. They should be warm, affectionate, and show enthusiasm about the children's projects.
  • Make sure the teachers are having conversations with the kids in their class.
  • Watch to see if the teachers are kneeling down so they can play and talk to kids at eye level instead of looking down at them.

Curriculum Matters

Curriculum _icons

A quality preschool should have its lesson plans available for parents to read. This will tell you what your child will learn throughout the year. Look for a curriculum that:
  • Has a variety of learning opportunities where kids are taught in a class setting, in a small group, or one-on-one with the teacher.
  • Offers a range of activities from solving puzzles to playing outside.
  • Lets teachers “connect the dots” by linking your child's experiences to learning objectives. For example, if a child drops a ball, the teacher could talk about gravity.
  • Find out whether the teacher can tell you not only what the class is doing, but also why they're doing it.

Take a Look Around

Next, consider the place. When you visit a preschool, look at the classroom and play areas and find out:

School _photos

  • Does the school meet state regulations for teacher-to-child ratio? In general, there should be one teacher for every 10 kids.
  • Are there separate learning centers for writing, art, and reading? Is there a good playground? Do children have access to computers?
  • Does the classroom have plenty of books and educational toys, such as blocks and puzzles?
  • Do they provide breakfast or lunch? If so, check the menu. Make sure the meals and snacks are nutritious and include lots of fruits and vegetables, and that beverages are healthy - mainly water and reduced-fat milk.
  • Do the children in the classroom seem busy and engaged in an activity?
  • Can parents stop by at any time during the day?

As you're searching for the right preschool, don't be shy - ask the preschool director and staff lots of questions!

If you can't find a quality preschool, check with your local First 5 county commission to see if Summer Pre-K programs are offered through the school district. Pre-kindergarten programs are often held for several weeks in the summer to help get kids ready for school.

Activity Center

The Guessing Game

Spark your kid’s imagination!

Learn More

Free Downloads

Potter the Otter loves water!

Download our bilingual e-book!

Learn More