Preschool can be seen as an important part of childhood, and it is a place for a young child to go and learn. It is the step before actual school, and they are not only going to get a head start on reading, writing, and math, but they are also going to learn some important social skills.

Picking the right preschool for your child can be an important decision and not one that many parents take lightly. They want to make sure that their child is somewhere that is safe, happy, and healthy and this means a lot of work and research.

However, we have tried to make this easier by giving parents 10 tips on how to choose the perfect preschool for their child. These are things that parents should ask, things they should watch out for, and some possible red flags on when to stay away.

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10 First Impression

via Flickr/Aberdeen Proving Ground

First impressions are important, and this is something that parents should remember. According to The Washington Post, mom will want to take a quick look at the building. While staff and learning models are important, mom wants to notice the building first. Does it look to be in good working order? Is it in need of repairs? These things are all important.

9 Safety

via Winnie

Safety is a priority for parents, and they want to make sure that if their child is spending their day here, they are safe. Look for items like who has access to the building, and what the security clearance is like. When you are taking a tour, ask yourself if you feel safe leaving your child there.

8 Watch The Staff

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via Pexels/Yan Krukov

The staff there are going to be the ones with your child every day, and it is important that you get a good “vibe” from them. This could mean watching how they interact with you, your child, and the other children. Take a look at the walls and see if the artwork is displayed, this shows how much they value the children who are there.

7 Watch The Children

via Flickr/Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency For EDU Images

The other children at the preschool may be one of your best indicators of success, and they are often overlooked. When you go on a tour, go during the day and watch what the other children are doing. Do they seem to be having a good time? Are they playing with each other? These moments can give you some great insights into preschool.

6 Education Matters

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According to Parenting For Brain, studies have found that teachers who have higher education provide higher quality care. This means that mom should be asking how educated and experienced the teachers are. It is not wrong to ask about their credentials, and you have a right to that information. You are leaving your child with them.

5 Discipline Policy

Young boy with crossed arms and angry expression

Preschoolers still need guidance when it comes to their behavior, and this means that moms should be asking about the preschools’ discipline policy. She wants to make sure it aligns with her parenting, and it should always be positive discipline. Mom will know what is wrong and right when it comes to disciplining her child.

4 Free Play

preschoolers running outside
Credit:  Shutterstock

Preschoolers learn the best through play, and a good preschool should be play-based. Children should not be sitting down and listening to a lecture at this age. They should be engaged in play with both the teachers and their peers. This is the best way for them to learn. Mom wants to look for a preschool that is play-based with teachers who help facilitate play.

3 Talk To Other Parents

Your best place for information may be the other parents who have children at the preschool. See if you can chat with some parents, or try and find a social media group for parents. Parents who have been with the preschool for a while can offer the good, bad and ugly about the preschool. This is a resource that cannot be overlooked.

2 The Cost

parents at school
Credit: Shutterstock

While parents want the best for their children, they do still have to think about the financial aspect. While parents may know what the fee is for the preschool, that may not be the only thing they have to think about. According to Hopkins All Children’s, mom needs to ask about any extra fees that may be attached. This may come in the form of parents being responsible for certain supplies.

1 Cleaning Schedule

Via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

Something else that tends to get overlooked is how often all the toys and supplies are cleaned. Preschoolers carry a lot of germs, and it is common for viruses to make their way through a preschool class. Mom will want to know how often the toys are cleaned and sanitized to make sure her household is illness-free.

Sources: The Washington Post, Parenting For Brain, Hopkins All Children’s