The academic year is going to start. You would already have started enquiring all those playschools in your place, comparing the fee structures and all those stuff.
Playschools and Daycare centres are more like a profitable business now. You can see at least one playschool in every street. They have a fancy name that catches your mind, colorful toys and play units that attract your eyes. But what should you consider first, before sending your kid there? After all you are going to trust them so much that you allow them to look after your kid in your absence. Here I bring you some points you should check for before you make your decision.
1. Separate classrooms with good ventilation:
Most of the playschools are franchise based schools.They take a house for lease. modify it a bit, call those bedrooms as classrooms and put some play units in the hall. Sometimes, they just put all the kids (Playgroup, nursery, Daycare) in a single room. When I visited some schools, I observed, there is no way for the natural light to enter in. They are going to dump all the kids in there means, those kids would just feel like those veggies in a godown. A well ventilated place is a must for your kid to grow healthy.
2. Child friendly and hygienic environment:
Is that place childproof? Are the staircases, play area and pathways child friendly? Are those classrooms, kitchen and toilets hygienic? These are some essential checks to ensure your kids safety.
3.Teacher student ratio:
The best Teacher student ratio is 1:10. Ensure they follow this ratio. Those money minded schools just add a lot of children and do not follow this ratio. Also, don’t blindly go for a school just because it is so popular. Those schools get crowded easily. your child won’t get his personal space.
4. Well trained teachers and Caretakers:
Not only the teachers, also the caretakers need to be trained on how to assist a child in his needs, because your child depends on them for all his needs. Right from removing his shoes till he gets into the school bus. It’s the caretakers who work closely with your kid. Usually these playschools hire people for a very low pay, give them no prior training, which would result in major issues.
5. Methods they follow:
If you ask about teaching method, they have readymade answers, ‘Montessori method’, ‘Learn through playing method’, ‘Multiple intelligence method’..etc. Also ask them how they handle a child when he gets cranky, misses his Mom, gets hurt by some other child or not interested in a particular activity. I have a personal experience in this. I sent my son to a school for the very first time. He used to cry a lot when I drop him as if there is something scary inside. I know that my son likes making friends and playing with children of his age group. Even then, I thought this is normal, he cries just because he is going to miss me. Then one day I asked his teacher, what would they do when he misses me and gets cranky. I was so shocked hearing their method. “One of the caretakers will take him to a separate room all alone and lock the door from inside out.” There is no one else inside the room other than my kid and that stranger-caretaker. The locked door would make him scary. The worst part, the so called caretaker can do anything, no one would know. And, that was the last day I sent him to that school. After I changed the school, he started to go to school joyfully. So, don’t forget to get clarified on this.
6. What they teach:
There is something a child needs to learn at this age, other than those colors, shapes and alphabets. It’s the good manners and behaviours. At this age, it’s easy to mould them, in the right way. Though we teach them at home, it is important for him to learn some from his school, because it is the place where he gets introduced to a social setup. Check whether they have them in their curriculum. Also make sure they use the official language in the school premises.
7. First aid boxes and Emergency evacuation procedures:
Check whether they have first aid boxes and other emergency medicines clearly labeled. Ensure that they check them frequently and replace if necessary. Check if they have clearly defined procedures for emergency evacuation.
8. Distance from your home/office:
You don’t want to get stuck in that long traffic line, while your son is waiting for you to pick him up. Also, it’s important that you can reach him quick in case of any emergencies. If you are a working mom, you may prefer it close to your office. This isn’t tough at all since these playschools usually have branches all over the city. And, it’s always better if ‘you’ drop and pick him up. You’ll know why, when you look at his face, if it is you who picks him up.
So Mommies, now it’s time to decide where your kid starts his schooling.
Happy mommying.. Take care!!!