Choosing a preschool for your toddler is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in their early lives. That’s because as a young child, these years are extremely formative and can help determine their course for the next 20 years.
But while choosing schools for toddlers is important, it’s not that hard if you know what to look for. There are many great options for school when it comes to toddlers, from private schools to public, and from full-time to part-time.
It’s important to understand exactly what your child needs at this time in their lives, and what style of school is going to set them up for success. Keep reading to learn how to sort through the many options when it comes to education for toddlers.
1. Learning Style
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is the learning style you’d like for your child. Public preschools are the most accessible but are very cookie-cutter in their learning approach. Plus, kids might far outnumber teachers in each classroom.
To place your child in a more engaging, unique, and uplifting learning environment, a private or charter preschool may be a better option.
If your budget allows, consider a Montessori school, which are generally charter schools. These put a focus on self-led learning and discovery, allowing a child to grow as an independent and responsible individual, even at a young age. Check out this school for more information.
2. Amount of Time Spent Outside
Another factor to consider is the amount of time your child will be spending outdoors. Children are at their best when they get to spend a lot of time outside the four walls of the classroom.
When playing outside, they get to engage all their senses with the natural world, which is crucial for developing young minds. Unfortunately, most kids these days don’t spend nearly enough time outside.
If you want your child to develop a love for the outdoors, consider an outdoor school, or a program that puts an emphasis on outdoor play and learning.
3. Schools With a Specific Focus
Many schools, both public and private, offer a specific focus that may be of value for a child. For example, you can enroll your toddler in a Spanish emersion program, since learning a second language is easiest to do when young.
Talk to school staff when researching different programs, and see what activities for toddlers are available to help them experience new things.
4. Full-Time or Part-Time
Toddlers don’t need to go to school full-time. Some preschool options only run for half the day, five days a week. Other schools are only in session two or three days out of the week. However, if both parents need to work, a full-time preschool is an option as well.
5. Choosing Schools for Toddlers Based on Logistics
There are plenty of logistical factors to keep in mind, too. Location is important, as children generally don’t want to spend 30 minutes in the car driving across town. The closer to home, the better.
Also, be sure you are comparing school prices. It might be hard to shell out some money for preschool, but this time is so important for your child’s development and is worth the expense.
Asking for Recommendations
Choosing schools for toddlers can take a long time. If you live in an area where there are many options, this can be both a blessing and a curse.
One of the best ways to discover the best options is to talk with other parents. Ask friends, coworkers, and neighbors what schools they have sent their kids to and how their experience was. This first-hand information will go a long way to helping you decide.
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