For both mother and child, the first introduction to learning can be a stressful experience, and it is very important that you choose an early learning program that is suitable in every way. As you may already be aware, not all kindergarten schools are the same, and with that in mind, here are some important aspects to take into account when searching for a suitable kindergarten school for your child.
- Travelling Time – While the location of the school should not be the deciding factor when looking at early learning programs, you should avoid putting your child in a situation where they are spending a lot of time travelling. The ride to school should ideally take no longer than 15-20 minutes, which is not a long time. This would be very relevant if you are looking for a kindergarten in Bangkok, for example, where traffic can be very heavy during rush hour.
- Fun-Based Approach – You child’s introduction to learning should be centred around having fun, with a wide range of activities that stimulate the kids in various ways. If the children are not enjoying their time at kindergarten, this could create a dislike for school and that could cause problems in the future. Song, dance, art and movement should all be evident in a good early learning program and there should be certain times in the day when the kids have the freedom to engage in the activity of their choosing.
- The General Environment – Kindergarten should be a safe and secure place where the children can explore the world around them, so the facility should have good security that prevents unauthorised access, with a secure perimeter. There should be suitable soft play areas inside and out and CCTV should be evident at every location.
- Peer Learning – When a child teaches a younger child something, they both gain from the experience, and most early learning programs group children of different ages for this very reason. When a new student arrives, the older kids can go a long way to making them feel welcome, which is just one of the benefits of peer grouping. This is usually very evident on the first day of a new term, when quite a few newcomers are present and the older kids help them to adjust.
- Visiting Potential Schools – If you begin with an online search, this will bring up a list of all the kindergarten programs in your area and you can start by browsing their websites. Pay particular attention to their mission statement, as this outlines their learning ideology, which should give you a general idea of how they see learning in young children. Once you have created a shortlist, make appointments for a tour with the school principal, which will allow you to see first-hand how things work. Prepare a list of questions to ask and spend some time observing an activity if at all possible.
If you take all of the above into account, your choice of kindergarten school should be an informed one and your child will enjoy their time in the company of other kids.