How do you begin to size up a preschool? These questions will help give you a sense of parent involvement, teacher preparedness, and classroom goings-on.
1. What happens if my child gets sick or says he isn't feeling well?
2. What is the daily routine?
3. What is the role of play in the classroom and how do the teachers encourage it?
4. Is the class mostly lessons and activities or are there big chunks of creative playtime?
5. What’s the teacher’s role when kids are participating in free play?
6. What happens when a child has a toileting accident?
7. How do you evaluate children and assess where they are, developmentally?
8. How much computer time are kids allowed?
9. Is the school accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children?
10. Do you expect or encourage parents to volunteer at the school?
Sources: Linda Hassan Anderson, M.A., senior director for The National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Sherry M. Cleary
Julie Halpert is a freelance journalist with more than two decades of experience writing for such national publications as Newsweek, Family Circle, Parents, Redbook, MORE, and iVillage. She is also the author of Making Up With Mom.