If you have children, there’s a good chance that you need to find somewhere for them to be while you take care of your responsibilities, whether that’s a job, school, or something else. You can’t just leave your pre-school-aged children home alone to fend for themselves.
That means that you might have to look into picking out a good childcare program for you to enroll your child in. The issue here is picking out the right program for your child so that you can be sure that they’re getting as much as possible out of the program.
This task can be really hard. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time doing this or your third time doing this, it’s definitely a lot of work to make sure that the program you’re picking is going to benefit your child as much as possible.
The right daycare program can help your child succeed in their academic career all the way from kindergarten to graduate school, and the wrong program won’t be able to give them quite the same advantage. So, needless to say, this is an incredibly important choice for you.
We won’t be able to recommend any specific programs to you, unfortunately. This article is just posted somewhere on the internet, and we might not even be in the same city as you. That being said, we can take a look at how you can determine which programs are good for yourself.
There are a few tell-tale signs of a good or bad daycare, and if you don’t know what they are you can easily miss them. So, we’re going to take a look at those in hopes that you’ll have a better idea of what makes a great childcare program and what doesn’t.
Look at How the Teacher Interacts With the Children
Children are human beings, although they are smaller and are less developed than adults. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean that they aren’t people, and it also doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be treated with respect.
A good teacher will know how to interact with children properly, in such a manner that while they are still an authority figure, a lot of the children will also see them as a peer at certain times. It takes a lot of talent for a pre-school teacher to pull this off.
If you go into the classroom to audit a class, which is something you should do and if a program doesn’t allow you to do this you should just move on down the line, you can watch how the teacher interacts with the children so you can see for yourself what their skill level is.
Here’s What You Should Look For In A Pre-School Teacher:
The Ability To Switch From Being Fun To Strict Without Becoming Angered.
This is probably the hardest skill for anyone to have, and it takes a lot of patience to be able to switch quickly and maintain control of a class. We have nothing but respect for preschool teachers that are good at this. That being said, we all have bad days so keep that in mind.
An Obvious Awareness Of Body Language.
Body language makes up the majority of the way that we communicate with other human beings. Preschool teachers should posture themselves in such a way that the child feels respected and on the same level as the teacher, so if you see the teacher literally crouch, sit, or kneel to be at eye level with a child, that’s a great sign.
A Fun Personality.
Your child’s preschool teacher is going to be akin to a celebrity to them in many cases. Ensuring that their teacher has a fun personality can keep them engaged more often than not.
The Ability To Explain Whatever Is Going On, No Matter How Odd It May Seem.
Preschool classrooms can be chaotic. Preschool students are also pretty chaotic. A good preschool teacher will be able to channel that into something constructive and will be able to break down the importance of a task no matter how strange what the children are doing is.
Keep in mind that a teacher doesn’t have to check every single one of these boxes to be a great teacher. You do definitely want to make sure that the teacher knows what they’re doing both in class planning and with their body language, but getting the general vibe of the classroom is important.
As we mentioned, everyone has off days. The teacher doesn’t need to get an A+ from this list, but a solid B can mean that they’re still a great teacher and will be able to help your child grow into a successful student after they graduate from this program.
Taking a Look at the Classroom Itself
It’s been said many times that we are nothing if not reflections of our environments. While in some cases this isn’t entirely true, in a lot of circumstances it rings very true. The environment where you do things makes a difference.
For example, you wouldn’t want to study for a test in the middle of a loud concert, just like you wouldn’t want to practice trombone in a library. Unless, of course, the library happens to have soundproof rooms, but you get our point. Your environment matters for what you’re doing.
Now, imagine being a preschool-aged child. You’re being sent to a program so that you can learn about things and socialize with other human beings. You’d want this environment to be somewhere that is fun, right? Something that appeals to the mind of a child so they can feel stimulated throughout the day.
If you sent your child to a college classroom for daycare, it probably wouldn’t be very productive. The chairs aren’t made with children in mind, college classrooms are usually made up of drab colors, and most children wouldn’t enjoy sitting through lectures about subjects for hours on end.
So, if you’re going to send your child to daycare, it would only make sense that you would want to make sure that the actual classroom is somewhere that the child will want to be and will also be safe. Here are a few things to look for in a classroom:
Bright Colors All Over The Place.
Children love bright, colorful things in general. Making sure that their classroom appeals to this can help them pay more attention.
No Sharp Corners.
Children are clumsy, it’s just a fact of life. Some adults are clumsy, as well, but most adults aren’t at eye level with sharp corners. If you go into a classroom and see sharp corners on furniture, it’s not a good place for your child. It would be too easy for them to not be paying attention and run head-first into a corner. Look for rounded corners instead.
Furniture That Looks Like It Was Designed For Children.
Preschool children are a lot smaller than adults, and the furniture in their classroom should resemble that. Children are better at learning when they feel like the room was made for them.
A Lot Of Toys.
Every kid likes to play, so being sure that there are toys in the classroom that children can access without the help of the teacher means that they can be independent while also being stimulated.
Small Problem-Solving Puzzles.
Studies show that having good problem-solving skills as an adult can make all sorts of situations that much easier. There should be small problems in the classroom that the children can solve.
Having all of these things in a classroom is a must, and unlike the last list, if you don’t see all of these things in a preschool classroom it’s an automatic fail for that program.
The things tha we listed are either to ensure the safety or proper enrichment for the children involved in a program and are considered to be the bare minimum. If a program can’t even hit every box on that list, what else do they fundamentally not understand about children?
The environment of a preschool classroom can easily set your child up for success or failure. Most children have pretty short attention spans, so ensuring that they’re getting proper stimulation can help them learn better throughout the course of the program, which will help them get the most out of the benefits.
Your Child Deserves the Best
Knowing what’s best for an entirely separate human being from yourself is difficult. Whether that’s dietary or picking out a good daycare program. Fortunately, all it takes in a lot of cases is a bit of research and you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible situation for your child.
Children love learning and thirst for knowledge, so putting them in a program that nurtures their natural curious tendencies. Daycares can be really good about this kind of thing, but making sure that you’re getting a good one is important. Not all daycares are equal.