Many challenges face working mothers in their attempt to balance the responsibilities of a job with those of raising children. Young children require quality care and attention at all times, which creates a problem for some professional career-oriented women. They sometimes feel guilty about not being able to provide constant care for their children and need to know that the care they receive from others is the very best. When the time comes to select the right preschool for their toddlers, it is important to allow plenty of time to thoroughly research all options before making a final decision.
Is My Child Ready?
Preschools are designed for children who are two or three years of age. The primary objective of the preschool experience is to teach them social skills and to introduce important building blocks associated with early education. In addition to teaching early learning skills, a preschool program provides childcare for working parents. Make sure that your child is ready to interact and cooperate before you introduce them to the preschool environment.
Requirements for a Quality Preschool Program
A preschool must be licensed by the state and post a copy of their credentials. All quality learning and care facilities must be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC). Teacher-child ratios are important in order for the teacher to provide more one-on-one attention for each child. According to the NAYEC, two and three year-olds should be in groups of no more than eighteen with at least two teachers.
It is up to each preschool to determine the curriculum used. Some teaching philosophies and teaching styles include Piaget, Waldorf and Montessori. It is best that a preschool does not have unnecessarily high expectations for two or three year-olds. An Irvine Montessori school, for example, might challenge your child to learn and be curious, but it shouldn’t overwhelm or stress them. All learning should be interactive, participatory and imaginative. It should be fun and designed to help children understand the world around them. This helps them gain self-confidence and fosters creativity.
Importance of Recommendations
Word of mouth helps a parent choose the right preschool. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives and even pediatricians for their opinions. These are some of the most reliable sources of information. Honest opinions are important.
Interviews and Interaction
Visiting the facility and interviewing staff members provides valuable information about schedules, fees, discipline and philosophies. Interact with other children, ask them questions and watch their body language. Observing caregivers working with children gives a more accurate assessment of the quality of care the children receive.
The right preschool is one that provides a safe, nurturing environment for children of working mothers. Investing a little time and energy before deciding on the right one will result in achieving peace of mind in knowing it is the best choice.
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