Do advanced research
Because there is usually a lot to take in with a physical visit to a preschool, try to do as much research as you can beforehand.
- Read what is available on the preschool’s website and Facebook page.
- Make a phone call to the preschool to ask questions that aren’t answered by the online material
- Questions to ask in advance:
- What type of preschool is this? There are several types with different student-interaction, parent-involvement, and learning styles.
- What are the advantages that the school says it has? Positive points could include small class size, close to your neighborhood, learning styles, hours of operation, learning time vs. playtime, cost, staff, reputation, types of snacks, and discipline methods.
- Talk to other parents whose children have attended the preschool
Prepare your child to come with you
If you like what you read and hear, then schedule a preschool visit with you and your child. Try to schedule the visit at a time when your child would be less tired, if possible. Talk about preschool and how fun it is going to be. Don’t make too big of a deal about it, but certainly the child needs to understand about having good behavior during the visit.
There’s advantages to visiting on a day when preschool is in session, if the visit does not pull staff away from critical preschool activities. It’s important to see what it’s like on a regular school day.
However, oftentimes that is not possible because visits can be disruptive to the children already attending. So a preschool visit at any time that’s convenient for both you, the child, and the school would be fine.
Check out the classroom
One of the first things you should care about when visiting a preschool is the classroom setup. Does it look big enough for the amount of students? Similar to the pictures online? Is it clean? Are the wall decorations just fun or also educational?
Engage with the staff
When you make your visit with your child, does anyone at the school spend time with your child? This is key. The child should be the most important focal point as you get shown around the classroom.
If you are visiting while school is in session, see what kind of teacher interaction there is. If the children are enjoying learning, or if they would rather be playing.
More information on if your child is ready for preschool can be found here.