The joys of being a new parent are difficult to comprehend. From holding your first child for the very first time to seeing the joy in the face of a young child who is finally old enough to appreciate the wonder of the holiday season, it is difficult to comprehend all of the wonderful things that come with being a parent. Almost as soon as the children are born, however, many parents are already looking toward the choices they will need to make for future half or full day preschool schedules. In a time when all studies indicate the importance of a strong educational beginning, parents with children as young as just a few months are already considering the educational options and opportunities that are available.
Will you be able to afford private preschool tuition or will you be looking at free or very affordable options that are offered from your local public school district? Will you be able to have one parent stay at home and, therefore, only need half day preschool, or will both parents work, dictating a greater need for a full day preschool schedule?
And while many friends and family members may have advice about the kind of preschool that they think your child should attend, most parents realize early on that finding the perfect preschool for your child involves research and many visits. Just because one type of full day preschool schedule may have worked for your neighbor’s child does not mean that this is the schedule that will be best for your child. And even though a half day high price private preschool was the choice that your sister made for her children does not mean that is what you will decide. Understanding your own child, his or her temperament, the needs of your family, and your budget will often dictate the kind of preschool choice that you make. No matter what price range you have, however, with careful observation and attention to a well constructed checklist, you can find a setting that will be both educational and nurturing.
Consider the Following Questions When You Are Making a Preschool Selection?
- Are you looking for half day or full day preschool schedule?
Often, the length of the day is determined by the work schedules of the parents. For many families that have the luxury of one parent who gets to stay home with the children, a half day preschool is sufficient. When you realize, for instance, that a full day schedule often involves a couple of recesses as well as a nap time, for instance, a family can save a significant amount of money by selecting a half day option. Not all parents enjoy the stay at home role, but a morning preschool schedule can allow the child and a parent to have relaxing afternoons that can include a nap and visits to local places of interest.
- What kind of educational setting are you looking for?
From private preschools that offer unique curriculums to public school preschool rooms, parents may not always understand all of the options that are available. Some schools, for instance, offer an educationally challenging curriculum that can be pretty aggressive. Other schools, while still being educational, offer a more relaxed setting that allows for plenty of free play time and many opportunities to explore surrounding outdoor environments. Researching preschools can help you understand specific philosophies like Montessori rooms that focus on following the child and teaching children to be both self motivated, but also to organize their own extended two hour work cycles.
- What kind of preschool budget does your family have?
With the growing amount of research that indicates that preschool time improves language and memory, it is no wonder that families are willing to spend big money for these opportunities. In many communities, however, it is not necessary to pay top dollar to find a top educational experience. Man public schools, for instance, have Title I opportunities for families that qualify because of their income, or children who qualify because they have other needs like delayed development.
For many families, it is never too early to start making preschool plans. In fact, many parents start researching options as soon as their children are born.