Selecting San Jose Preschools: 4 Helpful Tips For Parents
Entrusting the care of your precious child to others can be stressful for parents, and there are dozens of San Jose preschools to consider. So, how do you select the right one for your child? As you weigh your preschool options, the following tips can help make this decision a bit less stressful.
1. Consider Your Priorities
Every family situation is unique, and you need to find San Jose preschools that meet as many of your needs as possible. For instance, if both parents work, finding a preschool that is near your home or near the workplace can be a huge factor, making drop-off and pick-up times much easier. Many parents also need childcare outside of regular school hours, so it is important to fully understand the school hours and the daycare hours offered at each school site.
Of course, sometimes the preschool location is less important to parents than the educational philosophy at the school. Are you searching for highly academic San Jose preschools, more social and play-centered preschools or perhaps something in between? Do you prefer a stricter, more structured environment or a more nurturing environment or, again, a combination of these two environments? Much of this depends upon the personality of your little one and what will best match their needs in terms of teaching style and environment.
2. Understand The Philosophy
Some San Jose preschools focus on the Montessori method, while others lean to Piaget, and still others provide a more standard academic environment. Of course, there are also preschools that don’t really focus on the academics but instead focus on socialization and play-based learning. Research these different philosophies and select a preschool that tends to provide the type of environment that you believe will be the best option for your child.
At Precious Moments, we use a combination of many educational philosophies, incorporating the theories of Piaget, Montessori, Erikson and others. Our goal is to provide an enriched environment that motivates children to learn and explore. After all, this is a child’s first experience with school, so it is crucial that this experience be positive. To learn more about the goals and objectives for our students, head to our homepage and select the Nutrition & Enriched Programs tab, which includes information regarding our curriculum. We also offer enrichment classes such as yoga, piano lessons, foreign language, Bollywood dance and various sports.
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3. Read The Fine Print
Before you select a school, it’s important that you learn a bit about the schedules and general rules. Be sure you understand the policies regarding drop-off and pick-up as well as the school hours and whether or not additional child care hours are offered. It also is important to understand the meal and snack schedules and whether or not food is provided or you need to pack snacks and lunch for your child.
At Precious Moments, nutrition is one of our priorities, and we provide both breakfast and lunch for our students. Our nutritional meals feature mostly organic ingredients, and we provide a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats to keep students energized throughout the school day. We are a peanut-free zone, but if your child has other allergies or food sensitivities, please indicate these issues on your enrollment forms.
4. Visit Each School
This is an essential step, as it provides you with the opportunity to inspect the facility and to meet the staff. Before you arrive for an open house or a scheduled visit, read over the school’s website carefully and write down a list of any questions that you might still have. Be sure to introduce yourself to the director of the preschool as well as the staff, as it’s important to get to know the teachers as well as the person in charge. If you are visiting during a typical school day, make note of the interactions between staff and students. Do the children seem happy and engaged? Do the children seem comfortable with teachers and staff members?
As you walk through the facility, make a note of its condition. Is the facility clean? Is it organized? Obviously, if school is in session, students will be using materials, completing artwork, playing with imaginative toys and so on, so it might not be 100% tidy. However, the school should be clean and generally well organized. Also consider whether or not the school seems safe and secure. Ask about the check-in and check-out procedures, as well as the general security procedures.
In general, as you visit San Jose preschools, you will find a few favorites that really seem to fit your child’s needs. Often, at this point, it’s best just to rely on your gut instinct when making your final selection. If possible, talk to a few of the parents with students currently at the preschool to ask about the pros and cons of each school, as this also can help you make that final decision.