Choosing the right school for your child is certainly a very vital decision that you have to make because it is the initial schooling that will decide the future of your child’s academic success and also what he or she may become as a person or a professional in life.
When you are looking for a school, it is important to understand what you should expect from school. Well, talking about a Pre-primary school or a Play Way School you should not expect much of academic learning. Rather you should be expecting a lot of grooming to happen. The Play Schools are a place where your child will be taken care of by people exclusively trained for the purpose. Most importantly a playschool should be able to take care of the anxiety of separation that a child is likely to face on being away from home for the first time.
6 important steps for selecting a playschool:
1. Make a list: As the first step make a list of all the schools in your vicinity. You could take the help of the internet, your neighbors, relatives, friends and parents having school-going children. You will get fairly good information, you can filter for the next step.
2. Know your child: Well as parents you know your child and his/her needs better than anyone else. It could be that your child is very intelligent and does this and requires very little guidance or maybe your child is one of those who require to be given a structured plan if you expect something to be done by him/her. Maybe yours is a special child and needs special attention.
3. Visit the School: Despite all information from various sources, a personal visit always gives better information. In your visit observe everything very diligently. See if the premise is well maintained and clean. The size of the classrooms and the sitting arrangements if they are well arranged, comfortable clean and have interesting displays. The number of students per class is important because a crowded class could mean less attention per child. Ideally, the number should not be more than 15 to 20. The bathrooms should be well maintained and hygienic. The play zone, is it good enough to keep your child engaged and happy?
4. Safety: This should be an important concern. Safety in all respect is it in the classroom or outdoors. Be it the toys in the classrooms or the arrangements in the Play Zone. They all should be such that the kids don’t hurt themselves and they should also be safe for the health. Do strangers or visitors just drop in or are monitored and questioned before being allowed in. When the kids leave the premises are they guided and handed over to the parents or need be ‘Are transported under the supervision of responsible staffs’?. Do they have enough staff to look after the kids when they are running around or playing in the play area or the ground?
5. Talking: Talking with the right person always gives a lot of relevant information. During your visit to the school talk with the teachers and see if they communicate well and are empathetic with a caring behavior. Find out if they are well trained and have a good experience. It is important that they are stable and teachers don’t frequently change, because kids take time to make emotional connections and this has negative effects on their behavior. Also, talk to the supporting staff, see if they are well trained, friendly and caring towards the kids.
Talk to the parents of the kids studying in the school. While the teachers and school staff might give you all the rosy picture of the school, the parents will give the correct information. Need be visit the school on the day of the PTM.
Do not forget to talk to the Principal; a good principal has a great impact on the entire functioning and environment of the school. Also, find the experience and qualification of the Principal.
Find out how much of involvement does the school expect from the parents. What is the Homework policy of the school? Do they have field trips etc.?
6. Financials: Once you have gathered the requisite information and are satisfied, find out the School fee, other additional expenses involved. The fee should be affordable and compatible with the value being provided. You need not pay a hefty fee for a huge infrastructure if you get what you are looking for without compromising on the level of care, grooming and the education of your child owing to the quality of teachers and the support staff.
One such School I can refer to you is Mastermind playschool. A school that has the best of the teachers backed up with previous teaching experience from the best of the schools of the city. The fact is that infrastructure is important, but it contributes only 10% while it is the teachers who contribute 75% to the academics and personality development of the kids.