I would like to introduce guest writer Dan Gilbert, of Primrose Schools. Dan has written an excellent article designed to assist families currently living in South Forsyth County, as well as those searching for a new home in this area, in their search for premium child care services. Primrose schools, whose innovative day care centers are committed to making a difference in children’s lives, is an education partner our family has used, personally, and one that I know to be extremely popular with discriminating parents in this area. Dan has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.
The most important part of a child’s life often occurs during the infant years, and on through the age of five. During this time, a child’s brain is undergoing development, and research tells us these formative years are very crucial to future success. To properly nurture a child during this period, there must be constructive experiences that engage the child on a consistent basis. Most would agree that researching, and deciding upon the most apt form of child care to encourage child development, is the most important decision that can be made.
The best place to start, is to find out what’s available to you in your area. Check with people around you to find out what they know. Chances are they will have done a lot of the work for you. See what your peers think of institutions in your area. Inquire directly at local educational facilities, and visit them online for further information. Be sure to get a first-hand look and schedule a tour with facilities that might meet your standards.
Upon visiting, don’t simply pay attention to what you are being told; there are many other factors that you should be able to sense indirectly. How is your child greeted? How does it feel? Your senses will tell you many things, but what it all amounts to, is does the facility have the right feel for you and your family. Remember that these initial impressions may continue to plague you if you choose to ignore them.
While at the facility, get to know the staff that will be looking after your child. Try and get a sense if they truly want to aid your child in their development, as these people will be your partners in providing solid cognitive experiences in your child’s life.
After you’ve established what your instincts tell you about the institution, it’s time burrow in further and inquire about crucial topics like teacher accreditation, institutional policy and their approach to education in general. To help you ascertain if it’s a good match, here are some guidelines for you to follow.
1. Principles and educational instruction: What principles does the school employ to guide its educational instruction, choice of materials, and methodology? Do the school’s principles mirror those you have for your child? Will your child be prepared for elevation to elementary school, and has the school researched this thoroughly?
2. Teacher and institutional qualifications: What kinds of qualifications has the facility achieved, and are there measurable standards in place to ensure these qualifications are met? If the school has proper accreditation, not only will the governing body have a system in place to make sure their standards are met, these standards will also ensure the school evolves along with the growing research of the governing body.
Likewise, do the instructors also have adequate certifications? How about CPR and First Aid? Are they undergoing continual education to keep up with the times?
3. Educational atmosphere: Upon your visit, make sure to observe what’s going on around you. What is the learning environment like? Is it positive, with teachers interacting with, and engaging children? Are the children being spoken to, or spoken at? Get a copy of the schedule before you leave, and check and see where this schedule is posted around the classroom.
4. Policies of the facility: Be sure to inquire about some basic policies, such as those related to the safety of your child, how they communicate with you, the parent, if they comply with state regulations, and lastly what payment options are available.
The bottom line is that these years are integral to your child’s developmental success. Take the time to do the proper research, examine all your options, and make an educated choice that’s best for you and your family.