My son is turning 3 next year and we are considering sending him to pre-school. What should we look out for in deciding which pre-school to send him to?
As you embark on the journey to find the right pre-school for your child, you might find all the information you’re getting a little overwhelming. There are so many factors to be considered, and it’s every parent’s wish to start their children’s first exposure to school on a positive note.
To help with the decision, we have rounded up three of the most important things to take into account when deciding which pre-school to send your child to.
1. Practicality matters
Despite the various benefits of each pre-school, it has to be practical to your family’s needs.
Consider the school’s hours, location, ease of access to-and-fro your home and/or work, available transportation, and costs. Try to enquire about the application procedures early to avoid missing any deadlines.
2. Ask yourself, “What are my expectations?”
After considering the practical issues, it’s time to address your expectations as parents.
What do you want out of your child’s pre-school years?
Does the pre-school share the same priorities and values as you do?
Do you prefer your child to be exposed to particular subjects or activities?
Is it important to you that the curriculum be bilingual?
Refer to the pre-schools’ websites or make a trip down yourself to find out. As you learn about the different pre-schools in Singapore, you’ll find out which ones align with your expectations.
3. Are the teachers and staff qualified and experienced?
As a matter of fact, your child’s pre-school teacher has to be experienced and qualified.
Teaching assistants in pre-schools (also known as para-educarers) should have at least a Fundamentals Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education, while teachers should hold at least a diploma or a professional diploma in any area of early childhood education.
As with the point above, a trip down to the pre-schools would be beneficial as you can have an actual sense of the environment, as well as the opportunity to ask the teachers or principals about their training and experience with young children.
At the end of the day, it is your child who will be spending most of his time at the pre-school.
It is therefore recommended to bring your child along on your pre-school visits. See how he reacts to the environment, and how he interacts with the teachers and staff. It might provide a good inkling as to whether the pre-school will be a good fit for him in the future.
The above question from a Serious About Preschool's parent is exclusively answered by MindChamps Singapore.
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