8 Steps To Finding The Best Preschool Near Me

Jul 9, 2021 by

Finding the right preschool for your child is a stressful situation for most parents, especially when it’s their first child. There are too many choices, the deadlines feel way too early, and the pressure of picking wrong is nearly overwhelming.

Maybe you’re not stressed, but you just want to make sure your bases are covered. No matter where you’re at in life, we’ve built an easy guide to help you feel prepared to answer the question, ‘what is the best preschool near me?’

Parent’s Guide To Finding The Right Preschool Near Me

Most children around the ages of 3 or 4 are enrolled in preschool. So if your child is getting to the age where you’re considering putting them into school, you’ve likely already searched for “the best preschool near me.”

Though the entire process of getting your child ready for school can feel daunting, there are a few tips to help make the process easier. Keep reading as we give you some ideas to ensure your child gets the best possible start to their early education.

Start Early

Our suggestion is to start your search AT LEAST one school year before attending. Typically schools will have a touring period from October to January, but some schools have rolling admissions so that you have plenty of time to enroll as slots become available.

Don’t freak if you’re a little late to the game. Call around and visit as many schools as you can. Get on the waitlist if you can, and be persistent when checking back in.

Pick A Schedule For Your Children

Decide early on how often and for how long your child should attend preschool. Most children usually attend preschool for two years, between 2 ½ and five years old. You should also consider whether you want your child in a half-day program or a full-day program. Some preschools even have extended after-school care options to make it easier on parents.

Additionally, consider how long during the year your child should be attending. Nine months is pretty standard, but some children with special needs might qualify for a 12-month program.

Do a little research beforehand to find out which schools offer the schedule you’re looking for.

Use An Online Tool Like PreK.com

One of the best ways to find “the top preschools near me” is to use an online search tool that takes the hard work out of the process. It’s a little easier than searching endlessly and collecting reviews on your own. They’ll help you find the right school in your area and even help you book tours and pay tuition where applicable.

Using an online search tool like PreK.com can even help you save money.

Schedule A Tour

Schedule a tour or visit an open house of the preschool you’re proposing. That way, you can hear in person the philosophies they believe in, the admission process, and everything else you might need to know.

A tour can show you how they handle the ins and outs and give you a better insight into how students actually behave in the school. Get all your questions answered when you visit and get a chance to see teachers interact with students.

Ask About Potty Training Policies

Potty training is one item list that many people forget about. First, ask about the school policies. Many schools require that your child be potty trained before enrolling, but that’s not always the case. If your child struggles in that area, ask them about their approach and strategies to work with your child while working on using the restroom.

Pay Attention to Child-To-Teacher Ratios

Another thing to look for is adult-to-child ratios. The more adults there are, the more attention your child will get. Preschool classrooms groups should be fewer than 20 per class and have an adult-to-child ratio of at least 1:10.

Let Your Kids Visit

Before officially deciding on a preschool, the last main tip we have for you before officially deciding on a preschool is to let your kids visit. Most preschools will allow a family visit and allow your child to spend time there before formally enrolling them.

Pay attention to your child as they interact in the space. Ask them how they like the activities, the other kids, the teachers, and more. Though they are still very young, they can still share their experience and feedback with you.

Trust Your Gut

You’ve heard this before, but it’s really crucial to trust your gut. Especially if you have a plethora of options and need to narrow it down, start with your daily childcare needs, then narrow it down by things like location and cost. Ultimately, you have to go with your instincts. You’ll know the right school when you see it. Look for a school that treats its students with respect. Seek out values that align with your own. Imagine your child there – are they happy, healthy, learning, and growing?

Need Help Finding A ‘Preschool Near Me’

Hopefully, now you have the tools you need to find the best preschools near you. But, if you want to skip some of those early steps and want help narrowing down your options, then PreK.com is here to save you.

The experts at PreK.com have developed more than just a childcare search engine. They’ve created a resource that helps parents make informed decisions, by providing unlimited access to a team of childcare experts. Want to learn more? Get started here.

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1 Comment

  1. Lesley Parker

    Awesome tips! Haven’t thought about child-to-teacher ratios