Preschool Checklist14 Sep 2011
Is this the right preschool/ nursery for your child? Read on to know more about the questions you should be asking.
What have you heard about the preschool/ nursery? Have any friends or friends of friends used it? Good opinions from people like you are worth their weight in gold.
Montessori, Reggio, other? Read up on each style of teaching and think about two things: Do you agree with the philosophy and, even more importantly, will it work for your child? Note: these two are not necessarily going to produce the same answer, so be honest about the second one.
Are the activities available age-appropriate? Is the facility big enough to be able to offer a wide range of activities? Small places are intimate but they are run with fewer resources.
How do they keep unauthorised people from entering? And how do they know children are collected by the right person? Safety should be one of, if not the, top concern when choosing a preschool.
How long do teachers last? Their preschool teacher is likely to be your child’s fi rst major nonfamily adult bond. As well as being qualifi ed and personable (do check both by asking for credentials, experience and meeting the teacher), how many years do teachers usually stay? This is a good guide as to how happy they are in their work and the environment they create.
What is the ratio of adults to children? This tells you how supervised your child is likely to be and how potentially neglected. It also tells you whether a teacher might get overwhelmed.
Do they provide snacks and lunches within the fees? Most do but some don’t and it may explain the apparently cheaper fees.
Do they allow parents to drop in unannounced? It is standard practice in the west to allow this but is less common here in Malaysia. You have to decide if this is important to you. Many parents like the option even if they generally would make an appointment, so an increasing number of preschools allow unannounced visits as long as they are not disruptive.
On the visit, look out for safety hazards (loose floorboards, nails, sharp corners, etc), any build up of dust, and things like filled soap dispensers. Somewhat trivial but they say a lot about standards.
Click here for a complete list of preschools and nurseries.