The summer my daughter turned three, the main topic of conversation among my friends was, "Where is your child going to go to Preschool?" Suddenly there were debates about structured vs unstructured, Montessori, Academic, full day, half day...I will admit that I was totally clueless. I had no idea what everyone was talking about. So, I did some research (which consisted of asking my friends and neighbors which schools their children would be attending). When I finally had my list and began calling the schools, I found out the classes were full. (None of my friends mentioned that registration had begun months ago). I did find a great preschool that met my daughter's needs, but looking back I wish there had been some place I could have gone to get all the information I needed to help me choose a preschool.
Luckily, my wish has come true. The Library is sponsoring the 4th Annual Preschool Fair on Tuesday, October 22 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the 95th Street Library. You will have the opportunity to talk to representatives from over 40 area preschools and organizations.
Some questions to ask:
What kind of license and acceditation does your school have?
What is the child to teacher ratio? Ideally, there should be one teacher for every 7-10 students.
Does the preschool teaching philosophy align with my parenting style?
What is the education and experience of the teaching staff?
What are the costs and fees?
Are there extended childcare hours, and if so, what is the cost?
What safety measures does the school have in place?
Ask about the curriculum. There should be a variety of activities appropriate for the children's ages and needs.
Visit the school. See how the children and staff interact. What is a typical daily routine? Check the cleanliness and safety of the center.
Come to the Fair on October 22 and hopefully, by the end of the evening you will be armed with all the information you need to choose the right preschool for your child.