Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finding A Good Preschool

I’ve been busy for the past few weeks trying to find my son a new preschool. There is nothing wrong with his current school, but its too far away. It made sense at one point in our lives, but not any longer. So I have been on a quest to find a new school and I found one. My father and I toured a few schools and finally decided on one we liked very close to home.

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I’m posting this because its scary to have to find a school or new school for your child. I’m trusting these people with my most precious everything and it’s a tough decision. The current school he attends was a referral from a trusted family friend and some parents at the daycare he initially attended, so after a tour we were sold. But this time I had to go in blind.

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Something I didn’t know and learned through this search was that you can call the state licensing board to see if there are any infractions against the school. I liked the idea of being able to call and see if there had been any complaints logged about the schools that I was researching. It went back 3 years and eased my mind when I made my final decision. Another thing that sold me on the school we chose was the PE type program they offer year round. An outside group comes in once a week and for a small fee, they teach the kids different sports. My son loves sports, so this was very important to me. Also the room he will be in, is huge and shared by the next class up as well. There is plenty of room for both classes, but I like that he will be able to learn from kids a year older as well, at his own pace.

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Before going to any of the schools, I wrote a list of what were important questions that I needed to know before enrolling him at the school. The child/teacher ratio, how they handle bad behavior, how easily (or not) someone can access the school or classrooms, the curriculum, types of food they serve, how often toys are washed, how easily accessible everything is for the kids, etc. I liked that most things were at the kids level and some things put aside that need teacher assistance. Kids are responsible for their own things, so they have cubbies and special hooks for their jackets. The room was clean and everything put away when we initially visited ( the kids were outside).  When we took my son for his first visit, we got to see how he played with the kids outside and how he reacted in the classroom. The school is even letting us bring him once a week for a few hours ( at no charge) so he can get better acclimated with this school before officially starting.

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There are also a lot of functions that I can participate in. This school has parent meetings every other month, lots of pot lucks and occasions for parents to come to the school and I cant wait for that. I’m pretty excited we found this school. Just knock on wood that it will be an easy transition for my son. He already made a friend, so it may be easier. I know he will miss his old friends and teachers, but we can still see them on occasion.

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There are many resources online that are helpful in picking out schools. A lot of my questions came from this site. And other parents can sometimes point of things you may not think of. I felt a little overwhelmed at first and was grateful not to have to do this alone ( thanks Dad!). Just crossing my fingers it all works out!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your "big move". I'm sure things will work out; you took the time to do the research.

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