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How to Choose the Right Preschool for Your Child

With so many available options, choosing a preschool can be an overwhelming task. So how can Colorado parents choose the right preschool or pre-kindergarten program for their children? What questions should they ask when touring preschools? 

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a preschool or pre-kindergarten program for your child.

Preschool at New Horizon Academy

What to Consider When Choosing a Preschool

Preschool Curriculum and School Readiness
A comprehensive, structured preschool curriculum helps children gain knowledge and learn the essential skills they’ll need in order to succeed in kindergarten. Ask about curriculum, daily routines, and enrichment programs to understand how and what your child will learn at preschool, and how they will be prepared to enter kindergarten.

Accreditation and Licensing
Preschool licensing is required to operate a school and ensures that the school is following all health and safety requirements. Accreditation shows that a preschool is meeting higher and more comprehensive standards of quality. Look for preschools that are both licensed and accredited to ensure that your child is receiving the highest quality education and care.

Preschool Learning Materials
When touring preschools, look for a variety of high-quality learning materials, books, toys, art materials, STEM tools, and dramatic play. You should see evidence of learning throughout the classrooms, such as learning themes, play stations, and student work.

Teacher Qualifications
Make sure to ask questions about teacher qualifications. Are the teachers experienced in early childhood education? Do they receive ongoing professional training? How long have they worked at the school?

Parent-Teacher Communication
Parents and teachers should work together as partners to support the child’s learning and growth. Ask about the school’s communication methods, such as a mobile app, newsletters, emails, and text messages. There should also be opportunities to share feedback.

Assessments and Conferences
As preschool children near kindergarten, it’s important that they are regularly assessed to identify gaps in skills and knowledge. Also, the school should hold regular parent-teacher conferences to inform parents about their child’s progress and areas of opportunity.

Learn About Pre-Kindergarten Assessments

Potty Training Requirements and Policies
Many preschool programs require children to be fully potty trained. If a child is not potty trained, there may be extra fees. Ask about the program’s policies in order to avoid unexpected costs.

Food and Nutrition
Does the preschool provide meals and snacks, or are parents required to send food for their child? Are meals balanced and nutritious? How does the school handle allergies and common allergens? Ask for a sample menu to learn what the school provides every day.

Outdoor Play Policies
Ask about the preschool program’s policies about outdoor play and learning. How often do children go outside, and how long do they spend outdoors? Is there sufficient space and structures for large motor movement?  What are the inclement weather policies?

Hours and Policies
Some preschools have set pick-up and drop-off schedules, while others offer flexible scheduling. Choose the scheduling options that best fit your family’s needs. In addition, note whether the preschool program offers summer programming, or whether you will have to find additional childcare for those months.

Additional Childcare Programs
If you have more than one child that requires care, you may want to look for a preschool program that offers care for multiple age groups. This can be more convenient for pick-up and drop-off, communication, understanding school policies, and more.

New Horizon Academy offers comprehensive preschool and pre-kindergarten programs that use a research-based curriculum to prepare children for success in kindergarten. In a recent assessment, more than 90 percent of New Horizon Academy pre-k students demonstrated exceptional kindergarten readiness skills across all essential learning domains, including literacy, math, language, and social-emotional learning.

Learn more about New Horizon Academy’s nationally accredited preschool programs, and schedule a tour at one of the seven Denver-area early learning centers today!

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