There’s ever-mounting research that early education benefits children throughout their whole lives, keeping them out of trouble as adolescents and leading to higher achievement levels as adults. Those benefits are compounded in private schools, which generally have smaller class sizes and more involved faculty and parents than their public counterparts. But how can you choose a school? Even looking at private preschools in Coconut Creek alone, you have a lot of options. Here are three steps you can follow to ensure you find a school that’s a good fit for both you and your little one:
- Research Major Schools of Thought
Most early education programs are play-based, but don’t let that seemingly simple curriculum fool you; years of childhood psychology and educational research have gone into fine-tuning educational philosophies. Some schools put together a curriculum from scratch, but many use an established track as a jumping-off point. You’ve probably heard of Montessori and Waldorf schools, but there are lesser-known options such as the Reggio Emilia and Froebel approaches that you should research as well. This will help you to narrow down your search.
- Speak to Teachers and Parents
Your first contact with a school will probably come through an administrator, and that’s a good way to get started learning about a school’s resources and general approach to early education. But when you’ve narrowed your choices down to just a few schools, you’ll want to talk to the actual teachers who will be in the classroom with your child. It’s also a good idea to talk to parents of current students; most families who choose private schools are highly involved and have strong opinions, so you’ll probably be able to get a very complete picture.
- Take Your Kids Along
Often, preschool or pre kindergarten providers will have open houses or visiting days when prospective parents and students can come to the facility together. Parents can get a chance to see the environment their children would be immersed in, and kids can get a feel for the social climate of the school. As a parent, it’s your decision to make, and not all children adjust immediately to a daycare or school environment — but your child is more likely to thrive if he or she is comfortable and even excited about starting this new adventure.
Also remember to search smart if you’re looking online. Not all parents have the same goals and opinions, so typing “best preschool in Coconut Creek” into Google won’t be as effective as completing step one and then searching for potential schools. That way, you’ll be able to use search terms with more specific details (such as KinderCare or Reggio Emilia educational tracks) and find the best school for your child.