Questions to ask on preschool tours.
As you all know (or if you didn't know already), Ava is starting preschool this September and it's just so bittersweet. I'm a work from home mom so of course, we didn't need to put her into preschool as she's been home with me every day since she was born, but there are a couple reasons why we decided to start preschool at age two, beyond just the learning aspect:
1. Socialization. She's done gymnastics, ballet, soccer and lots of parks and rec classes and play dates with friends so it isn't that she isn't socialized, but I don't think a kid could ever be socialized too much. So I think it'll be great for her to have more regular socialization with friends and adults other than myself.
2. Time for me to work. It seems like it takes me over an hour to get just five minutes of work done, these days, and when I'm working and Ava is begging me to play -- "Mama, please play with me?" -- it breaks my heart. I try to drop what I'm doing but if I did that every time, I would never get a thing done. And so this will be great for me too. Three hours, two days a week where I can work with no distractions. Until the baby comes, that is.
3. One-on-one time for me and the baby. Come March when we have another little one in our home, Ava will be already accustomed to preschool and I will get that special bonding time with our baby. And I think that will be super special for us to have that together.
4. Something special for just her. With a baby coming into our family, I don't know how Ava is going to react. But whether it's an easy adjustment or a difficult one, I think it will be great for Ava to have something special -- something that only she gets to do, something the baby doesn't get to do, something that's just for her. And since I'm sure she will have a blast, I think this will be very helpful in our transition.
So there you have it. I hope we made the right decision for our family (I think we did!) and I will keep you all updated on how she's doing come mid September when she starts!
Alright -- When we were touring preschools, I posed this question on my Instagram. "What questions should I ask on a preschool tour?" And you all blew me away with questions that never even crossed my mind (thank you thank you thank you!) but were all super important to me once I realized I had forgotten to ask them. And I know a lot of you wanted that list so I put it all together for ya in one spot!
- Teacher to student ratio
- Food restrictions when bringing in snacks/lunch (allergies, health, etc)
- Philosophies (this was important to us since we were looking at Christian preschools)
- Teacher qualifications
- Are toys sanitized at the end of each day?
- Sick policy?
- Bathroom policy? (Is there someone to help them? Who watches the kids when one goes potty? Are there set times they go? Will they allow them to go outside of those set times?)
- CPR and First Aid Certifications
- What if the teacher is sick? Are there subs? Is class cancelled?
- How do teachers discipline?
- What if there is conflict among kids? How is this handled?
- Are parents notified is conflicts arise?
- Dress code
- Cancellation policy (if it doesn't work out for you)
- What is communication with parents like? How often?
- What is a day in the life of a preschooler like as far as schedule and what happens when?
- Are there regular assessments so I know where my child is at and what we need to work on at home?
- Is your school accredited?
- State Licensing (not a question to ask but for you to look up. Someone told me about this and I was blown away by some of the accusations and legal marks schools had that we were looking at. Google "State Licensing California" or add your state in there. Click here for the California State Licensing site where you can search schools in your area and see if they've had any legal issues or any voilations against them during random state checks of specific facilities.