This is How You Choose a Preschool {Courtesy of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool}

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This post is sponsored by Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool. All opinions are 100% our own!
**This post has been sponsored by Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool. All opinions are 100% our own!**

Ok, so choosing a preschool is kind of daunting. How can you tell which ones are going to be good?

Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool SouthlakeLittle Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool in Southlake has all the tips for determining which preschool is right for your child (and for you!). You should basically print out this post and reference it during your school tours. It’s comprehensive.

First though, it’d be rude of me not to give them a shout out since they continue to share so much good info with us. Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool has programs for infants through pre-K and uses a Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum, based off the latest educational research and trends. {Reggio Emilia is a philosophy rooted in the belief that children learn best through play and experiences.} Little Sunshine’s credits their passionate teachers as the core of their success, along with a thorough curriculum review process that ensures each student leaves with all the skills needed to flourish in Kindergarten and beyond.

Now, let’s find out how to choose a preschool!

1. WHAT TO LOOK FOR

QUALITY OF TEACHING – This means teacher credentials, licensing requirements, the official stuff. You’ll also want to ask about the teacher turnover rate. A high turnover is sketchy and most-likely indicates a problem.

Neat tip: Look at the children’s artwork on display in a classroom – are they all a little different? Hopefully the answer is YES, indicating the children were using their own creativity, rather than a rote “cut here, glue here, color here…” on every paper. Child development pros like those at Little Sunshine’s will use art projects to help children focus on the process instead of the final outcome. Kids find out what works and what doesn’t work while creating and catering to their imagination and self-esteem. 

CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT – Let’s assess the vibe in the room. Is it a positive atmosphere? No excessive crying? What are the student-staff interactions like? Happy? When you’re touring a preschool you should be allowed to see ALL the classrooms.

You’ll also want to look at the safety and security of the classroom and the building. What’s the First Aid/CPR situation? What is security like on the premises? Each parent at Little Sunshine’s, for example, receives a door code, and the school maintains an authorized pick-up list with photo ID verification.

ATTENTION TO STUDENT PERFORMANCE – How do the teachers measure development? Ask to see the curriculum. For all outcomes described in the curriculum, the preschool should have a measurable, documented standard for measuring every child’s progress. You’re looking for a balanced curriculum that addresses developmental, social, and academic skills. You’ll also want a teacher who will pick up on possible developmental delays so that you can seek early intervention if necessary.

2. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK

Obviously the above section is peppered with questions. Here they are in list form, with a couple extra thrown in for good measure!

What type of curriculum is used?

What type of teachers will my child have?

How is my child’s development assessed?

What type of communications systems are in place?  Multiple lines of communication should be used at all times. Ex: Little Sunshine’s offers a proprietary daily notes system called LuvNotes as well as parent-accessible cameras through the KiddieCams.

What safety and security measures are in place, both in the classroom and for the building? Each family has a unique four-digit number that is required to enter at the door to get into the lobby. Then they are required to enter it again to get into the area where with all the children and classrooms.

How important is family involvement in the program?

3. PRESCHOOL EXPLORATORY DAY

Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool SouthlakeNot every school offers something like this, but Little Sunshine’s encourages all interested families with preschoolers to participate in an exploratory day. They schedule these for two hours during the most active period of the day so you and your little one can get a glimpse of the daily schedule, which includes circle time, art class, outdoor play, etc. 

Besides acclimating your child to their new environment, the exploratory day gives teachers the chance to evaluate and be sure your child is assigned to the most appropriate setting for them developmentally and academically. It’s important that you and the school are on the same page as far as mutual expectations, goals, and the best interest of your sweet child.

Do you feel a little more informed about this whole preschool process? I certainly do. And don’t forget, if you live or work in Southlake, Little Sunshine’s is definitely one to consider. Click the links below for even more info!

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