4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursery or Preschool

Due Diligence Pays Off

When many parents in the Dartmouth or Fairhaven areas are looking for a preschool for their little ones to spend time in, they may have some very specific criteria they are looking for. For example, it is common for parents to review the curriculum that is established for the current age group classroom as well as for classrooms that the children may be advancing to within the next year or two. Parents may also visibly check the facility for cleanliness, and they be concerned about the affordability of the nursery school or if the facility has a schedule that works well with the family’s needs. While these are all primary concerns when selecting a preschool in the Dartmouth or Fairhaven areas, they are not the only points to consider.

The School’s Reputation

As a parent, you may know several other families in the local area that have taken their kids to a specific nursery school that you are interested in. While management, rules and more can change over time at any given school, you can learn a lot about a school by asking for personal references and reviews. Keep in mind that parents whose children have attended the preschool most recently may be a better source for information. If one person had a bad experience at the facility, you may consider taking one bad review with a grain of salt. However, if there are multiple people all saying similar things about their experiences at the school, this may be a reliable indicator about what you can expect if your children attend school there.

The School’s Policies and Rules

The best schools in Dartmouth and Fairhaven have taken time to establish policies and rules for staff members as well as families to follow. These may relate to everything from attendance when a child is ill to late pick-up and early drop-off policies. You should inquire about all of the policies that are in place, and you may consider requesting a copy of the handbook. Then, inquire about how strictly policies are enforced and what actions are taken if the rules are not followed. Keep in mind that a school that does not have an open-door policy may not be playing by the rules, and this may be a warning sign that you should look for a different school for your children to attend.

Structured Education Coupled With Nurturing Compassion

While many parents want their children to attend a nursery school for enrichment, education and socialization, it is important to note that young children also need to receive plenty of love, compassion and nurturing throughout the day. When you tour the facility, pay attention to how the teachers interact with the children. You may get a sense that teachers are putting on a show for you if the children are not openly engaged by the teachers or if they do not appear to have a bond with them. However, if children listen attentively and turn to teachers when they have a problem, this is a sign that the children regularly receive care and compassion even when parents are not around to view their interactions.

Qualifications and Licensing

In addition, you may consider inquiring about the school’s licensing status as well as the qualifications for the staff members who will be caring for your children. In the best local schools, the caregivers are more than babysitters. They may be professionally trained and well-educated teachers, and some may have a degree in early childhood education or in another related area. You may also consider inquiring with local authorities to determine if the school is in good standing and that no formal complaints have been filed against it.

It can take time and effort to find a great nursery school in the Fairhaven or Dartmouth area. The care and early education of your children is vital, and the best preschool is well worth searching for. Keep these points in mind as you research the options and tour schools.