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How to Pick a Preschool

If your child is not in full-time childcare, around the age of 18 months, you may start thinking “Should I put him or her in preschool?” There are SO many options: Montesorri, church programs, independent schools, and on and on. However, not all are right for your family and your child.

20140317-062101.jpgI was not planning on putting my son in preschool at all when I did. He was struggling with his speech development and his speech therapist suggested a couple of mornings a week consistently around kids his age would help {another post for another time on how great speech therapy was}. So, I set out on my quest to find the right place for him.

To me, looking for a preschool was similar to shopping for a home. There were many that fit my criteria, but the visit was key. Some just didn’t feel homey to us. I have a loud, energetic kid; when I walked into a place that was a little too quiet and structured, I knew it wasn’t the place for him. When I finally walked into our preschool, there was lots of singing, dancing, and fun going on. I felt “at home,” and I knew it was the place for my kid. Putting him in preschool has been incredible for him; he LOVES it. He has made sweet friends, gained independence, and more than that, has been able to experience things I wouldn’t be able to give him at home.  So where do you start?

Questions to Ask

  • What are the schedules/days available? Programs range from offering one day a week, Tuesday/Thursday, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, or Monday/Friday. Many preschools transition kids to five days per week for pre-K. Think about what you would like for them to do as they get older. For my family, we wanted to continue to do two days a week for preschool and add a day of museum school as our children get older, so we made sure to pick a preschool that has a two day per week option for all ages, even pre-K.
  • Hours? Pre and after care? Not all preschools have the same hours. Many places have an option to drop off early and stay later (if the preschool day ends after lunch). Some will also provide a nap during after care and some just have extra play time. Consider the needs/demeanor of your child and how he or she would best handle his or her day.
  • Teacher to student ratio? Laws in Texas state that the ratio for 2 year olds is 1:11 (teacher:student). Preschools all differ in their ratios and is definitely something worth asking.
  • Potty training? Around age two, kids range from being fully potty trained to not even saying the word “potty.”  How do the teachers work with your plan for your child? Can you send them in undies when they are still “training”? Do they have a potty near the classroom? Do they have designated potty times?
  • Extra activities? Some preschools offer designated music class time or they take the children to chapel (short church service). Mildred Haupt has a soccer coach that comes in and works with the children once a week.

 

For a list of the area school options, check out the Fort Worth Moms Blog “Guide to Preschools and Parents’ Day Out in Tarrant County.”

4 Responses to How to Pick a Preschool

  1. Lauren Hagood July 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Hilltop Montessori has been the biggest blessing for our little family. My daughter has been there for two years now, and I can honestly say I couldn’t be more thankful for the preparation it has given her for Kindergarten. The staff is phenomenal.

  2. jennifer
    jennifer July 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    We love Trinity Lutheran Children’s Center. Been there since the nursery. The director and teachers are so great and such solid support system. They really take care of the kiddos. And our little one knows all the enter-kindergarten skills … at 3 1/2 years old.

  3. Molly July 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    University Baptist Church (by TCU) has a Tues and/or Thurs program from 9-12 (with extended care til 2) for littles starting at 6 mos through pre-K. There’s also a Wednesday class for 4-5yr olds. My kids LOVE it. http://www.ubcfortworth.org/ministries/the-early-learning-center/index.html

  4. Kelly July 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Lena Pope Early Learning Center – great preschool!

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