Selecting a Quality School
This is an exciting time for your family. There are only a few years that we get to enjoy our children as toddlers and preschoolers, therefore finding the right fit for their development is a big decision. Hopefully a well-researched and enjoyable decision.
At The Gratitude Garden, we want you to know you have selected the best early childhood educational program for your family and child. Accordingly, we want to provide you with suggestions and resources to help make an informed decision.
Begin by asking around your community. Personal recommendations are always a good start but make sure that what works for another family is going to work for yours as well. The internet can be a useful tool as you can read reviews from various consumer sites, parenting review sites, and visit websites of schools in your area. The most important part of this process is your personal visit and tour of a school. It is here that you can:
- Ask questions about curriculum and policies
- See how other students are interacting
- Observe how teachers interact with the students and other professionals
- Pay close attention to the hallways, the art hung up on walls, and portfolios or documentation of student activities
- Is there evidence of student generated art and expressions of learning?
- Is the art and work you see what you would like your child to being creating or not?
- Is the culture of the school welcoming, respectful, and supportive?
- Are there meaningful and engaging activities for students?
- Is this an environment that you would want to be in all day?
- Are there enrichment activities? Music? Movement? Sports?
- Is there one philosophy that guides the program? If so, do you know about it and agree with it?
- Are there bios of the teaching professional hung up for review?
- Do the teachers have any specialized training?
- Is there a curriculum?
- How will you know what your child is learning and doing throughout the day?
- Does the facility offer the hours and/or extended care that you may need?
- Is the school licensed by the state of California?
- Does the playground allow for space to ride and run around?
- Does the facility and its play areas invite the imagination and promote curiosity?
- Is there a garden for herbs and vegetables?
- Does you child seem interested when they visit the school?
- Is there a community space for parents to connect?
- Are there little touches that extend from the school into your home creating a sense of partnership in learning?
The following trusted websites are provided to further your inquiry into finding the best childcare program for your child and family. When you are ready to tour The Gratitude Garden Garden please contact us.
- PBS Parents- Choosing the Right School or Childcare Center ~PBS parents provide questions to ask and other considerations.
- Comparing Preschool Philosophies ~PBS provides a review of the various preschool philosophies and curriculum’s that parents often want to know about the differences between.
- Questions for Preschool Directors and Teachers ~An extensive list of important questions for parents to ask upon visits to schools
- Child Care Aware: Choosing Child Care ~Research shows that if a program follows certain guidelines, it is more likely to be a safe and healthy place for your child.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children ~ The leader in standards for early childhood education and care presents what to look for in a quality program.