When your child is getting around the age that they should start kindergarten, you have to begin asking yourself some questions about your child’s education and future. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to picking the right program for your kid, and you don’t want to make the decision lightly, because the wrong program can not only fail to impart critical skills, but set back your child’s progress during a crucial stage in their learning development.
Here are five important questions parents should always ask themselves before choosing a kindergarten for their child.
1. What schooling philosophy do you prefer?
Different schools subscribe to different schooling philosophies. Depending on how populated and dense your region is, you may have quite a variety of options to choose from in your immediate area. All of them will probably do a good job of providing your child with a foundational education, but if you have the choice, look into them. Do you want your child to have ample play time to stay stimulated and engaged? Do you want a focus on academics and advancing quickly? Do you want a diverse experience? Different schools will offer your child different experiences.
2. Is the school in the right location?
Although you want to pick a good school, you also want to pick a school that is feasible for you and your child. A school nearly an hour away may come highly recommended, but how much good will it do you and your child if you both have to get up super early every day just to get there on time? A school right around the corner from your home will keep your kids in your neighborhood, while a school right around the corner from your workplace might keep your child in your vicinity. It’s up to you to evaluate what location is ideal, but location is definitely a critical factor in selecting a school. Don’t neglect it.
3. Are the teachers friendly and supportive?
Don’t be afraid to arrange meetings with teachers and principals in a school before you commit to them. Getting a feel for how the teachers behave, present themselves and interact with children can give you peace of mind about what quality of education your child will receive and who will be monitoring your child for the majority of the school day.
4. Do you need an aftercare option?
Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a kindergarten program for your child is whether you need an aftercare program available. If you have a 9-5 office job or regularly work through the afternoons, you’ll probably have to make arrangements for your child to be cared for after the standard school day ends, like using a Toronto tutor. Look into whether the schools around you have an aftercare program before you commit, and don’t forget to take a look around, ask about the program and the costs associated. Aftercare programs can range in cost significantly, and you want to make sure that the people watching your children after school ends are qualified as well.
5. Is your child ready to start kindergarten?
Perhaps the most important question a parent should consider when choosing a kindergarten is whether their child is fully, emotionally, physically and mentally prepared to begin kindergarten. It’s not unheard of for a child to attend pre-k for a second year, or delay kindergarten until they’re six years old and a little bit more mature. Children reach milestones at different ages, and your child may not have the emotional security to be separated from mommy or begin their academic career at the age they’re currently at. If your child isn’t ready for school by the cutoff date, don’t force them in early and hope they’ll adjust to the change through the school year - just wait, and sign them up next year. Remember, your child’s education is about their needs, not about running them generically through a system. Don’t be afraid to take command of their education and their future. Evaluate the kindergartens around you critically before committing to any school, and make sure you pick one that’s best for your child and for your family.