Now that my kids are 11, 10, and 8 years old (gasp!), I feel like there’s a lot I wish I would have known when it came to choosing schools for my children.
Believe me, we’re not even close to the finish line, and I’m not wishing time away. But looking back, there was a whole lot I didn’t know school shopping before my own kids hit Kindergarten.
There’s really a lot to consider.
So I’ve created a quick and easy parent check sheet to make things (hopefully!) easier for folks down the road.
Here’s the skinny. . .
What to Consider When Choosing a School for Your Child–Parent Checklist:
I’ll admit it. My husband slept out in his car overnight in order to get Maddy on the list for her preschool at 2 1/2 years old.
And though we loved the school, what we didn’t know was how class enrollment would chosen the next year. And what happened was that Maddy’s name was put in a lottery, and her name was picked for the afternoon class.
With a 1 year old and another baby on the way, an afternoon start would not work for our family.
So we had to pick up and move schools. Had I known this is how enrollment for the 3’s classes was handled, would I have started there? I’m not even sure.
Here are some questions I’d suggest you look into finding answers to before your littles start school:
- How far is the school?
- How long is the commute?
- How easy is parking?
- Does the school feel welcoming?
- Are classrooms clean, airy, and open?
- How often will class meet?
- How long is the class day?
- Are there before care or aftercare options?
- Are there ‘lunch bunch’ options?
- Are the teachers state-certified educators?
- How often do the teachers have professional development opportunities?
- What is the teacher-student ratio?
- Are parent volunteers permitted in the classroom?
- What safety precautions are taken at the school? Are all teachers and volunteers fingerprinted and given background checks?
- Who is the director, and what is his/ her background?
- How are classes organized? What is the daily schedule?
- What is the school’s educational philosophy?
- How do I feel about school’s educational philosophy?
- Are lessons age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate?
- Does the school take field trips?
- Are doors locked after drop-off? What is the sign-in/ sign-out procedure?
- How is tuition processed each month?
- Is there a discount for paying in full, upfront?
- What is the sibling discount?
- What are my fundraising obligations?
- How are snacks handled–by the school or by parents?
- What is the school’s allergy policy?
- How does the school handle birthdays? Holidays?
- What is the school’s potty training policy?
- How does the school handle hitting/ biting/ bullies?
Would it be easier to have these questions on a quick and easy printable?
You can download it here: school search checklist _ teachmama.com
Back to school time is an exciting for so many families. Making sure that you choose the right school for your child is key so that your child–and you!–walk into the new year feeling ready and revived.
Need a good place to start? Look for a Childtime in your area, and schedule a visit.
Childtime. Opening Minds. Unleashing Imaginations.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Learning Care Group. The opinions and text are all mine.