As parents, we all want the very best for our children. We want our kids to be safe, nurtured, and eager to learn about the world around them. The early years for learning are critical to making sure our kids develop and acquire skills that help them grow into happy, healthy, social individuals who will succeed in both life and school. As we entrust our little one’s future development to early childhood educators, what should parents look for in a high-quality program? Here are a few tips to ensure we’re all asking the right questions.
For preschoolers age three to five, a high-quality program…..
- Allows children to follow their own development pattern; as individuals, these can differ greatly from child to child.
- Creates an environment in which children feel safe and secure in their surroundings.
- Includes activities that match a child’s capability while offering just enough challenge so as to encourage further learning; a child should neither be bored nor frustrated.
- Connects learning to a child’s past experiences and current interests.
- Creates opportunity to explore, play and engage within the learning environment.
- Empowers teachers to create a nurturing place in which children can talk, listen, and share feelings and ideas and where teachers nurture an aptitude for language in both English and children’s home language(s).
- Makes reading to children a daily priority, either individually, in small groups, or as a class.
- Provides engaged and attentive teachers who help children get the most out of every learning experience, offering feedback and asking questions while adding new challenges as children are ready.
Teachers are first in line, behind parents, to guide and to help children learn on their own terms. Choosing a preschool program that fits your child’s needs is essential as this first educational experience can form a lasting impression and help shape children’s attitudes toward learning for years to come.