Whether it’s your first child or your fourth, choosing a preschool can feel both exciting and overwhelming. With so many options in your area (and endless opinions), being flooded by information adds to the confusion. As your children graduate from toddler programs and preschool prep, there are probably a million questions floating around. Take a breath—you’ve got this.
As you look at your Waterford childcare options, it’s important to determine what you value in your child’s early education. Is security your number one priority? Does your child respond to a certain learning style? Starting your search for Waterford preschools doesn’t have to be challenging. That’s why we’ve created a helpful checklist of questions to take some weight off your shoulders as you make this important decision as a family.
Why is Preschool So Important?
Preschool is essential to the development of children as it’s the first place they learn to build strong social connections, academic interests, and general emotional development. While some families opt to skip preschool and wait until kindergarten to enroll, experts say that this education system is essential to gain early life skills. If you feel comfortable with it, choose a Waterford childcare facility that can give your child a leg up when they enter the next stage of school.
Preschool is also where your children will have their first life experiences separate from you. There, they get the chance to make friends, learn how to emotionally regulate themselves, and rely on their motor skills to get by. While leaving your kids in the care of others may seem scary, it’s a necessary step in their lives—so finding the right Waterford preschool is crucial.
When Should You Start Looking for Preschools?
If you’re an early planner, you can start researching your Waterford childcare options as soon as you know you’re pregnant. To get your children into the Waterford childcare program you like, keep an eye out for registration dates a couple of months before your ideal start date. The age requirement varies in different school districts, but around the ages of 3-5, you can consider sending your children off to preschool.
Ultimate Checklist for Finding a Waterford Preschool
Parenting can sometimes be overwhelming, but choosing a Waterford preschool shouldn’t have to be. We’ve broken down seven important things to consider as you shop around different Waterford childcare options:
- Teacher-to-student ratio
- Parent involvement
- Indoor and outdoor space
Consider the Location of Waterford Childcare
Start by determining how far you are willing and able to travel on a day-to-day basis for your child’s care. Think realistically about the Waterford preschools in your area and how a daily drive would fit into your family’s schedule. Your abilities may vary depending on whether you work from home or in person, are a stay-at-home parent, or if someone in your circle can pick them up or drop them off.
Look at Preschool Teacher to Student Ratio
Pay attention to each Waterford childcare facility’s average class sizes and teacher-student ratio. Class size should be relatively small, or the teacher-student ratio should be low to ensure individual attention to each child. Studies show that students learn faster and create more close-knit relationships when the ratio is 1:7-8
Understand the Preschool’s Curriculum
Typically, a preschool curriculum should cover multiple areas of development, such as problem-solving, musical skills, early mathematical concepts, motor skills, listening skills, and literacy skill objectives. Different Waterford preschools may have different methods and priorities within their curriculum, so it’s important to inquire about specifics to see if they’re a good fit for your child.
Breakie Bunch Waterford Preschool Curriculum:
At The Breakie Bunch, we focus on multiple crucial play-based learning and open-ended play to enhance social development. We take pride in creating preschool-level academic goals to prepare children for kindergarten with these main topics:
- Social studies
- Outdoor/indoor activities
Meet the Waterford Preschool Teachers
When debating between Waterford childcare facilities, schedule visits to meet and observe the teachers. Preschool teachers play a major role in the start of your child’s education, so it’s important to witness how they care for students. What do they do during meltdowns? Do children seem to love being around them? What do they value in terms of early childhood education? When you meet Waterford preschool teachers, ask all these questions and more to determine if they’re a good match for your child.
Insider tip: ensure they value teacher-parent communication so you can be as involved as you want. We use the app Tadpoles to make communication a breeze!
Ask About Parent Involvement
When you’re researching Waterford childcare options, make sure to ask about the expectations for parent involvement. Often, privately funded preschools encourage parent volunteering and fundraising. At The Breakie Bunch Learning Center, we schedule regular parent-teacher conferences and have countless volunteering opportunities. Everything from volunteering for field trips to bringing a class snack can qualify as parent involvement, so it’s important to ask what the expectations are for parents during your visit.
Look Into the Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
The best Waterford preschools have clean and safe indoor and outdoor areas for children to play in. Every classroom and bathroom should be clean, child-proof, and have multiple options for play and learning. On your tours, ensure the classroom facilities have various indoor activities, such as books, art supplies, and age-appropriate toys. It’s also proven that outdoor play is crucial for kids’ development, so as you research, inquire about the options for outdoor activities year-round and how often children are brought outside.
Important Security Measures for Waterford Preschools
The right Waterford childcare will have specific security protocols to keep your children safe. Options vary, but we use security cameras in every classroom, fenced-in playgrounds, and fingerprint systems to enter the building. You can also ask about the drop-off requirements to see how strict they are with stranger-danger to keep your kids safe inside and outside of school.
Your child entering their first stage of education is an important milestone to celebrate! Don’t dwell on the stress—use this helpful checklist to find the best Waterford preschool for you and your kiddo. Check out our Waterford Preschool location to see if it’s the right fit today.