When choosing the perfect preschool for your children, it is easy to be overwhelmed with options and opinions from all the “backseat parents” in your life! In addition, adjusting to a new schedule or even a new school program can be stressful, so arming yourself with as much knowledge and information about Waterford preschools or preschools in Michigan, in general, can be helpful. Here are a few tips to consider as you start your search.
5 Questions to Consider When Looking for a Preschool in Michigan:
- Is the preschool licensed?
- How many children and teachers?
- What does the school environment look like?
- Are the teachers good with children?
- How do the teachers interact with the parents?
How Do You Know If the Preschool is Licensed?
Currently, Michigan law requires all preschool and childcare programs to be registered and/or licensed. It is a good idea, as a parent, to familiarize yourself with the requirements preschools in Michigan are required to follow, including inspection protocol and how often inspections are completed. To see if Waterford preschools measure up, look at previous inspections that are available on the childcare website or request to review a copy at the premises.
What is the ratio of children to teachers?
Waterford preschools worthy of your consideration will follow best practice recommendations as they pertain to the safety and supervision of their students. State licensing standards allow for less optimal student-to-teacher ratios, so be aware that while a preschool in Michigan can operate with fewer teachers, a care center better positioned to meet the needs of its students will follow best practices.
Best Practice Recommendations
- 2-year-olds: 4-6 children per caregiver, max group size of 12 children
- 3-year-olds: 7-9 children per caregiver, max group size of 18 children
- 4- to 5-year-olds: 8-10 children per caregiver, max group size of 20 children
What Kind of Indoor and Outdoor Space is Available?
Waterford preschools that offer indoor and outdoor environments that are large enough (and clean and hazard-free) to accommodate the number of students and teachers are prioritizing the students’ learning environment. This is definitely a plus! Your child needs time in the fresh air during the day with appropriate supervision and the reassurance of safety. Additionally, a fenced-in play area is optimal for those providing services for a larger number of students.
The indoor space should appear clean and sanitized with toys to share that are also clean, safe, and within reach. Adequate space for play as well as naptime should be offered for younger children who benefit from a quiet, restful time during their day. Waterford preschools that strike a balance of playtime, story time, activity time, and nap time are providing their students with an environment that optimizes their learning potential.
How Do the Teachers Interact with the Children?
When considering a preschool in Michigan, plan on scheduling visits to centers so you can observe how the teachers interact with the children. Do they get down on their level to speak with them? Are they greeting them warmly upon arrival and acknowledging them when they leave for the day? How does the teacher react to a complete meltdown?
Waterford preschools employ teachers with a variety of childcare experience. Ask what qualifications the teachers possess and what teaching style they prefer when working with children.
Do You Feel Comfortable Interacting with the Teachers?
As a parent, being able to communicate with your child’s preschool teacher is essential. When checking out different preschools in Michigan, be sure to speak with the teachers as well as the directors. If you feel comfortable asking questions based on your interactions, this will go a long way in getting involved with the program after your child is a student.
Whether this is your first time searching for a preschool in Michigan or you are well-versed in Waterford preschool options, The Breakie Bunch Learning Center welcomes your questions and is happy to provide resources to help in your search for the best preschool for your child.