Although it may be sweltering outside and the farthest thing from our minds is back-to-school, school is indeed right around the corner. For many parents, next month will be their first experience leaving their child with a “stranger” and parents may not know what to look for in a good early childhood education center.
The first thing to do is schedule a tour, which will allow you the opportunity to view the center, meet teachers and get a feel for the environment. On your tour of the center you should have several opportunities to ask questions. A red flag for you should be evasiveness in response to your questions.
Things to look for at the center:
Cleanliness – Are the floors where your child will be clean? Are the bathrooms clean? How about the nap and diaper changing areas?
Security – Were you able to just walk in to the center? What is the center’s policy for child pickup? Who is allowed in the center during school hours?
Ambience – Were you welcomed with warmth? Are they excited for your child to enroll? Do you feel that personnel at the center has a vested interest in the care and development of your child?
After your tour, most centers should welcome you back for a “play date” prior to registering your child at the center. This allows you and your child to interact with new friends and to get to know their teacher before enrolling in the program.
At the time of enrollment, you should be informed of things that your responsible for in the classroom and what the center provides. You should also receive a daily report of your child’s day informing you of lesson plans and your child’s progress.
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