• A B C D E F G H I J K L M N 0 P R S T U V Y
  • A B C D E F G H I J K L M N 0 P R S T U V Y
  • Friday, 30 August 2013

    How can I choose the best child-care center or nursery school for my child?

     Every child-care center and nursery school is different, and parents
    have to search carefully to find a good place for their child. Schools
    might claim (as Montessori, Waldorf, co-op, traditional, and religious
    schools do) that their programs are based on familiar philosophies,
    but parents have to see how the philosophies are actually
    implemented. The personalities of staff members, the physical
    layout, and the day-to-day schedules are what determine a school
    or center’s quality. The only way for parents to make an informed
    choice is to observe a number of programs.

    There’s no need to look for a preschool program that claims
    to prepare a child for kindergarten. The preschool years and
    the elementary years are different developmental stages, and if
    teachers and parents expect too much of a preschooler—in areas
    of reading, math, and writing—feelings of “I can’t” and inferiority
    will be fostered. Learning happens gradually, and a curriculum for
    preschool children should not mimic what will be taught in kindergarten
    or first grade.

    The best way to “prepare” children for the elementary years is to
    remember that, when they initiate play and activities, they learn to
    believe in themselves and learn to feel capable. This foundation is
    essential during the preschool years, especially because learning during
    the elementary years requires confidence that comes from years of
    initiating activities, play, exploration, and building imagination.

    Parents who want a program that meets three to five mornings
    a week, and parents searching for a day care center open twelve
    hours a day will be looking for the same qualities. All parents want
    caring teachers and staff members, a pleasant facility, and a flexible
    program that will meet their child’s needs for the one to four years
    she will attend.

    The difference for parents looking at full-time day care is that
    their child will spend most of her waking hours at the center they
    choose. The selection of a quality day care program is essential.

    As you look for child-care facilities, narrow your choices to
    centers that are easy to get to. If you’re considering nursery schools,
    you’ll probably want one close to home, while you might find a day
    care center more convenient if it’s close to your work. Narrow your
    choices further by asking friends, neighbors, and co-workers for
    recommendations. Then visit at least two or three programs before

    making a decision.