Selecting a school for your child, especially a nursery or preschool, takes much care and investigation. In most places, you must begin your search many months before the child attends school; you may even have to be placedon waiting lists of the best preschools in your area.
Among nurseries in Beirut, a good and suitable one must have the following qualities:
A good preschool must be reputed for its stimulating curriculum and nurturing environment. You can check the preschool’s reputation from parents of current or former students. At the same, do not depend too much on word of mouth; a disgruntled parent may offer a negative opinion. So, you must visit the preschool yourself and form a personal opinion about it. In case you find lots of complaints about a school or do not have a good personal impression, it is time for you to look elsewhere.
Secure and Clean Location
There must not be any compromise with these two qualities as we are talking about alocation where kids less than 6 years old will be spending several hours. No health and safety hazards must come anywhere near the preschool.
Safety implies that the school must be hazard-free and kid-friendly. A good preschool must have a clean toilet, a fresh eating area, a specific place for trash, medicine cabinet and first aid box, no-slip flooring, cabinets to store toys, and well-lit, warm, and ventilated rooms. Safety also implies that kids should not be allowed to wander out, and no strangers should be free to walk in. Medicines must be stored away from curious hands, and smoke alarms must be in place.
Well Set Ground Rules
A preschool must be flexible as well as strict. It must be flexible to accommodatethe needs of parents, like time of pickup.However, it must be strict about all aspects from sickness policy to handling emergencies. You may be turned off by a strict sick child policy, but you must realize that a sick kid should not compromise the health of unaffected children. So, if a preschool is disorganized and does not have wise and strict rules, it is not suitable for your child.
The best preschools have an attractive curriculum and daily activities, like lots of time for games and physical activity, group programs, quiet time (storytelling time), crafts, socializing, snacking time, meal time, and some free time. The school should keep TV and video time to a minimum. A well-designed curriculum makes daily time fun. Kids must begin exploring alphabets and numbers in a fun, playful way. At the same time, preschoolers must not be overwhelmed by a rigorous academic program. Activities must encourage independence and inspire the child’s creativity and individuality.
Qualified and Caring Teachers
Preschools should employ trained teachers as opposed to nannies in day care centers. Teachers must have had a considerable amount of specialized training. Also, it is good to actually observe how teachers of the preschool are interacting with their students. Teachers must be well-prepared, enthusiastic, and energetic. Look for teachers who share your same philosophy on issues, like feeding, discipline, and sleeping time,among others.
Another issue is teacher-student ratio. Experts recommend class sizes of 20 students with one teacher for every 10 students. Also, look for preschools with well-paid teachers who are happy with their jobs and do not exhibit high turnover. This is essential for stable and consistent care for your child.
These are all some tips on how to select the right preschool for your child.