As your kid ages, one key question you’ll have to grapple with is whether to send them to preschool or not. Some people believe preschool education isn’t that important and can be easily missed out on, but others think it’s a crucial part of a child’s development. Regardless of which side you are on, the truth is that preschool education is essential to a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.

If you’ve already decided to take your child to a preschool, you need to know how to pick the best school. The institution your kid attends plays a significant role in shaping their future and how they interact with the world. According to research, the average preschool-age child spends about thirty-two hours per week in some form of early care and education. This means if you select a school that doesn’t have a welcoming environment and necessary resources, your kid will spend a considerable chunk of their childhood in an unhappy place. This guide will give you some tips on how to find the best preschool in Singapore and any country in the world.

Teacher Qualifications

Unfortunately, some preschools don’t have qualified teachers. Their aim is only to make a profit and not to offer quality education. Teachers are the driving force of preschools. They instill good morals and manners early, aid in learners’ intellectual and physical development, and help the children socialize. It’s, therefore, vital that the teachers in a preschool be qualified.

The best way to determine if preschool teachers are qualified is to visit the schools and enquire. If the staff is reluctant to share the information, that’s a clear sign that they have something to hide. A good institution should have teachers with valid early childhood education certification. Also, the lead teacher should have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field or a master’s degree.

Apart from the normal degree or diploma preschool teachers have, they should also be proficient in first aid and CPR for infants and toddlers. This way, in case of an emergency, they’ll be in a position to help.

Operating Hours

The operating hours of a preschool are also an essential factor to consider when making your decision. Some institutions may only offer care during standard business hours, while others may extend their hours to accommodate working parents. If you and your spouse stay at work until late, an institution with extended operating hours may be more suitable for your family. You may want to consider a preschool that offers full-day care if you have young children. Before making your choice, consider your family’s needs and schedules.

Besides offering services during the regular operating hours, a good preschool should also offer before and after-school programs. For instance, they should provide weekend classes to accommodate parents who work on those days. In addition, the institution should have a summer program to keep your child occupied during the long vacation.

Location

Where a preschool is located matters for many reasons. If you live in the same neighborhood as the institution, drop-offs, and pick-ups can be easier. But if you reside in a different area, you may have to factor in travel time to and from the school. Although this may not be an issue for you, especially if you can drop your kid off, the commute can be stressful for some parents. If the institution is too far, getting involved in your child’s education and activities can also be problematic.

Additionally, a good preschool shouldn’t be in a crowded and noisy environment as this can be overwhelming and distracting for young children. Instead, it should be in a safe and relaxed setting conducive to learning and have an easily accessible and safe playground for outdoor activities.

Class Size

The number of students in a class can impact the effectiveness of learning. If learners are crowded in one space, offering each individual attention can be quite challenging. This means the teachers won’t also be able to determine which students need more help.

In general, classes shouldn’t exceed twenty students. Such environments have been found to create the best opportunities for learning because they enable the teacher to focus on each learner, monitor their progress, and offer adequate assistance.

When looking at class size, you should also consider the teacher-to-student ratio. The ideal ratio is 1:10, but anything below 1:15 is also quite good. If the number of students exceeds this, it will be challenging for the teacher to provide adequate attention to each individual.

Curriculum

Several philosophies guide early childhood education, including Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, HighScope, and Montessori. The approach that a school takes will influence its curriculum.

When looking at schools, you should ask about the curriculum to get a sense of what your child will be learning. You should also consider how the curriculum is delivered. Some schools use a more traditional approach with teacher-led instruction, and others use a more child-centered approach where the child leads their learning.

The Bottom Line

Your kid needs to study at a place they’re happy. The environment, curriculum, and teachers should influence them positively and enable them to develop academically and socially. With the right mix of these factors, you can be confident you’ll enroll your little one in the best institution.