A Solid Reputation
Good word-of-mouth is the way many families narrow down their search for an excellent Play School program. Hearing from trusted friends about their good experiences is a great way to start the process.
Some questions you may consider asking are:
Is your child happy to go to school?
Do they share new things they learned while at school?
What do you like about it?
Are the teachers experienced and nurturing?
How does the school communicate with parents?
Is the program play-based, academic, or both?
What extras does the program have?
Are there languages, outdoor play spaces, nature education, art, music, science, library, etc.?
A Warm and Safe Environment
Play School is often a child’s first experience away from both the home and their parents’ loving care. It’s crucial that you feel like you can work shoulder to shoulder with the classroom teachers.
Visit the campus while school is in session so that you can see first hand how the school operates.
How do the teachers interact with the students?
How do the students interact with the teachers, with each other?
Does the classroom feel fun, engaging, and safe?
Passionate, caring, qualified teachers and staff should be a priority. As wonderful as a campus might be, it’s the teachers and administration that make the program. While it is obvious that you should only be working with schools that employ qualified, trained faculty, passion can be harder to identify.
But it is one of the key differentiators of a good Play School and a best Play School. When you visit the Play Schools and nurseries on your shortlist, keep an eye out for educators who speak kindly and respectfully with the children. These are the teachers who want your child to succeed and who will do everything in their power to keep them happy and healthy in the process.
Some of the most important qualities that a best Play School or school teacher will exhibit include:
• Experience and dedication
• A sense of humor
• Great communication skills
• A warm personality
Consider asking the faculty and staff questions about:
• What do you enjoy most about being at this school?
• What do you love about teaching nursery or Play School?
• How long have you been teaching?
Digital & Intellectual Learning
Young children learn best by doing or experiencing—through discovery and play. We call this “Digital & Intellectual learning,” and it’s an important characteristic of any high-quality Play School or school program. Lots of reading time, arts and crafts, music, dance, exploring the natural world, outdoor play—these are all critically important to young children.
In addition to laying the foundations of a solid education by exposing children to reading and writing, play builds curiosity, teaches empathy and problem-solving skills, and helps children to learn important pre academic skills and concepts like counting, recognizing colors and shapes, and building coordination and fine motor skills.
A joy of learning and a love of school start early and can flourish in the right environment.
You will also want to learn about the school’s resources. Modern classrooms are chock full of screens, gadgets, and tools designed to teach children more effectively, but be sure to check that they are used judiciously.
Also, if outdoor education is appealing, look for gardens, animals, and opportunities for your little one to wonder about the natural world.
Science tells us that getting little hands dirty in outdoor play spaces improves health and brain function.