In the U.S., around 75% of young children participate in preschool programs. However, not all preschools are the same. While there are undoubtedly several highly rated preschools in your area, there may be some that aren’t quite up to par. How can parents tell the difference between the reputable schools and the ones they should steer clear of? Knowing what to look for in a preschool is important — but you’ll also want to recognize the warning signs to cross certain schools off your list. When you tour a preschool, be sure to look out for these red flags (and walk away if you spot them).
There’s no doubt that teaching (at any grade level) is a huge challenge. Some people are better suited for this profession than others. The quality and experience of the preschool teachers with whom your child interacts can make a huge difference in their early development. If you come across teachers who react in extreme or emotional ways, keep in mind that this does not serve as a positive model for young students. Rather than yelling or punishing preschool children for bad behavior, the teachers in the preschool classroom should know how to handle challenges calmly and rationally.
Overly chaotic classrooms and high turnover rates among staff can also tell you a lot about what to look for in a preschool (and what to stay away from). While preschool classrooms are often lively and even noisy, they shouldn’t be disorganized and out of control. And if the teachers seem unhappy or have been known to leave at frequent rates, this is to the detriment of both the students and the school itself.
Lack of Routine
One of the most important things to look for in a preschool program is what the average day is like. There should be a set routine that gives children structure, but the activities and lessons should vary to keep the students’ attention. A lack of consistent routine is a bad sign, as it can make children feel anxious. If children know what to expect on an average day, but can still be introduced to new projects, that’s when young students will thrive. Look for these signs when taking a tour and be sure to ask staff members about the setup of a typical day to assess whether this program is really in your child’s best interests.
Knowing what to look for in a preschool can be a challenge for parents. Keep in mind that watching for red flags may be just as important as searching for positive signs. To find out more about how our preschool program can help your kids develop in a variety of ways, please contact us today.