Preschool Selection Checklist

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Preschool Selection Checklist: Fun on the Seesaw

This may seem like a long list, but getting the answers to these questions will ensure that you are confident about your choice of preschool for your child.

  1. What is the school's philosophy? Play-based? Academic? Montessori?
  2. Is the school's philosophy a good fit for your child? For you parenting style?
  3. What ages does the school serve?
  4. Is the school licensed?
  5. What hours and days of the week are the class times?
  6. Is the class size appropriate for your child's age? Recommended sizes are:
    • Two to three years: ten children / one teacher for every five children
    • Three to four years: fifteen children / one teacher for every seven children
    • Four to five years: twenty children / one teacher for every ten children
  7. What is the daily routine?
  8. What parent involvement is required? Allowed?
  9. How is discipline handled?
  10. Teachers
    • What are their educational backgrounds?
    • How do they talk to the children? No yelling or harsh language unless there is an accident or an emergency.
    • Do the teachers seem to enjoy what they are doing?
  11. Observations
    • Look at the classrooms and play-yard
      • Are they clean and well-maintained?
      • Do they look safe?
      • Is there space for exercise and movement, especially outside?
      • Is there indoor and outdoor play equipment?
      • Are there comfortable child-size tables and chairs?
      • Are things at a child's eye level?
      • Are the toys and play materials stored where children can access them by themselves?
      • Are there designated areas for different activities?
        • Housekeeping corner
        • Block play area
        • Quiet / reading area
        • Dress-up area
      • Are the rooms decorated with children's art?
  12. Look at the activities—are the children engaged? Do they seem safe, busy, happy?
    • Artwork
    • Building projects
    • Teachers working with groups of children
  13. Will your child fit in?
    • Do the routine, pace, and activities seem right for your child?
    • Were the children doing thins at the school that your child likes to do?
    • If possible,take your child for an observation visit, and see what happens
      • You child may be shy at first
      • You be the tour guide—show your child the different activities
      • Talk with your child about what you saw at “school” many times, to reinforce your child's feeling for familiarity
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