The 2017-2018 school year is gradually coming to a close. If you’re the parent of a toddler, now is the time to start looking at early childhood development centers in the area. What most parents don’t realize, though, is that not all preschools are the same. It’s imperative to do some independent research so that you can make the most informed decision. Obviously, the last thing you want to do is send your child to any childcare center or preschool in Austin. Here are five mistakes parents make during this process:
- Making just one visit – Scheduling multiple visits is a great place to start. During school tours, parents can interact with staff members, ask questions, and get an idea of the environment. However, as important as first impressions may be, don’t base your decision on one positive visit. Feel free to stop by a second time so that you have a chance to observe the teacher as they manage the classroom. It doesn’t hurt, either, to get in touch with several parents and ask their opinions of the school. The more information you have to work with, the better.
- Judging only by appearance – A sizable chunk of childcare centers in Austin are clean, attractive, and equipped with the best supplies. Just remember that looks aren’t everything. The best child development centers have a passion for what they do and bring out the best in their students, including those with learning and attention issues. Frankly, the teaching staff is the most important element of any preschool.
- Failing to ask enough questions – By this point, you’ve visited the school several times. Not only are you impressed with the environment, but the teachers as well. You’re set to register your child for the following school year, right? Not necessarily. Keep in mind that children at this age learn and develop in different ways. Make it a priority to ask the principal about their preschool curriculum and toddler learning program. If it seems like the school takes a “one-size-fits-all” approach to teaching, it’s probably best to move on to another option.
- Downplaying location – There are times when a great school is worth a long commute. However, what if a school that’s a half hour away is only slightly better than the one in your neighborhood? Is it really worth it to send your child there and wind up having to limit their time for afterschool activities?
- Focusing too much on one thing – Some preschools rely heavily on teacher-led instruction while others focus more on independent play. The fact is that it’s good to have both in your child’s daily routine. Don’t hesitate to ask the principal about their approach to preschool learning and early childhood education.
Austin’s Preferred Child Development Center
Here at Austin Kids Retreat, we know how difficult it can be to find the right preschool for your child. Rest assured that our staff does things differently here. As opposed to what’s provided at traditional daycares, we offer a level of nurturing care and active learning that your son or daughter will enjoy.
We invite you to check out our drop-in child development facility for yourself. Contact us today to get started.