Dr. Har says:
When do we start planning?
If parents have the time to plan early, it is a good idea to start making inquiries a couple of years in advance. By doing so, parents can get a sense of the different preschool options in their communities and, most importantly, become acquainted with the deadlines of the various schools – that way, there will be zero chance of missing important dates for submitting paperwork.
Where can we get more information?
The best resource for parents is the website for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The NAEYC is the world’s largest organization that focuses solely on young children and best practices for early childhood education. www.naeyc.org
Is specific curriculum important?
While there are many different types of curriculums, (we have an entire blog post next week on this topic) research finds that highly structured and academic preschool programs can be negative experiences for children, just as unstructured and overly permissive environments can be as well. Therefore, if parents are fortunate enough to have multiple preschool possibilities from which to choose, curriculum should be an important part of the decision-making process. Regardless of the type of curriculum that is used, however, parents should strive to look for a classroom that supports well-rounded development in areas such as:
· Social/emotional development
· Creative thinking/arts – music, art, drawing, imaginary play
· Early mathematical thinking
· Science exploration
· Early language/pre-literacy
· Social studies
· Physical development
· Self-help skills/independence