7 Questions To Ask When Choosing Preschool Or Pre-K


Here are 7 Questions To Ask When Choosing Preschool Or Pre-K. When researching preschools, it is important to consider your child’s personality so you can find the program that will be the most beneficial. Look at the website. Ask for references from parents. And, since your child will be the one attending, make sure he or she will be comfortable in the environment.

1) How long has the school been educating young children? What is its reputation with parents in your neighborhood? What are the online ratings/reviews? Is it a clean, safe, nurturing, environment? Do students seem happy?

The longer the school has been in operation, the better. It should have a good reputation. It should be ranked among the best in the Asbury Park Readers Choice Awards. It should have high ratings on Google and Facebook. It should be clean. It should have a security system where visitors have to be buzzed in and where children are accounted for when they enter and leave. Most important, when touring, you should get a positive feeling and see young students happy, engaged and learning.

5-Star Rating on Facebook

Every teacher is absolutely fabulous. You know when you go to a parent teacher conference in a public school and they tell you Seashore is the best money and investment you could make in your child’s education. I highly recommend Seashore for school and camp!                                                                                                                                                 – Erica Fitzpatrick-Avery

2) What are the credentials of the teachers? Are they warm and friendly? Do they look like they enjoy working with children? What is the student -teacher ratio? What is the turnover rate?

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Teachers should be experienced, highly qualified professionals, who have a degree. Look for a staff who has been with the school over time, is nurturing, knows how to make the transition from school to home as easy as possible, encourages curiosity and creates an environment where children develop the skills to succeed. The teacher-student ratio should be one to eight.

3) What is the educational philosophy and approach?

The program should address the needs of the whole child, where students learn in the classroom and in other settings, where creative problem solving is encouraged, where lessons are taught using a wide variety of methods, materials and mediums, where children discover new talents, where confidence is instilled, where kindness and respect are emphasized, and where there is a strong sense of belonging.

4) What does the curriculum include? Do children stay in one classroom all day or go to different educational activities? Is there enough variety to keep your child interested and engaged?

Look for a program that is well-rounded, diverse, challenging and makes learning fun. It should include academics, hands on experiments in science lab, computers, music, art, Spanish, physical education, field trips and beginning community service projects. Choose a school that gives students a chance to move from one subject or specialty area to another throughout the day/week to provide variety, keep the schedule interesting and break up the routine so they don’t get restless.


5) How do students develop gross motor skills? Is there a provision to release energy in a positive way if it rains or snows? 

BusShot_2Preschools and pre-kindergartens with gyms and pools offer a major advantage since students can look forward to physical education and even swim lessons as part of their school day. In addition to developing gross motor skills, these activities sharpen the ability to listen, follow directions and improve eye-hand coordination, balance and confidence – abilities all boys and girls need to succeed. They also offer a positive way to release energy no matter what the weather.

6) Will the school accommodate your work schedule? Is there programming during winter and spring recess, and in the summer?

If you work early or need to stay late, you will need a school that offers morning and after school childcare, a program when school is not in session and, ideally, camp in the summer.

7) What is the tuition and payment schedule? Are there any extras that will make the program better for your child and easier on you?

Be sure the school is a good value for the money. If transportation is included, it will save time and be one less thing to coordinate in the morning and at the end of the day. Curriculums that include extras like swim lessons mean you won’t have to pay for additional activities and drive all over town after school and on the weekends.