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Montessori Preschool Near Me
Choosing the best Montessori preschool for your child can be an extremely tough decision, especially when there are so many factors that must be considered.
First and foremost is the safety and security of your child. You will need to do your due diligence to ensure that the preschool you have selected has a clean record, as there has been an alarming increase in the number of child neglect and child abuse cases at daycares and preschools.
Children who are younger than five years of age cannot protect themselves against such violent and heinous acts. Therefore, as a parent, it is your responsibility to select a Montessori preschool or daycare with strict policies to prevent child abuse.
Second, the growth and development of your child are of utmost importance. The preschool acts as the primary source of social contact for your children. This will be their first real, unsupervised interaction with the world.
You have been by your toddlers’ side all these years, helping them experience new things, absorb new information, and use that knowledge to find their way around things and circumstances.
But this will be the first time they will interact with people, engage in activities, and voice their concerns without you by their side.
To ensure that their first real experience with the world is as smooth as butter, you need a preschool that has a loving and nurturing staff, qualified counselors or child psychologists, and countless opportunities for interactive learning to boost your child’s mental and physical development.
What To Look For In A Montessori Preschool Near Me?
The best Montessori preschool for your child should have the following attributes:
Safety And Security In A Montessori Preschool Near Me
Your child’s safety and security are of utmost importance. Unfortunately, your child is defenseless against abuse; hence, you must look for a preschool or daycare known for providing children under the age of 5 with a safe and secure environment.
The safety and security of your child extend beyond the school premises. Therefore, your child’s preschool must bear responsibility for your child’s safety and security outside the school building.
For example, the preschool should have strict rules about not letting the child leave the school building unless he is picked up by one of his parents, older sibling, or a legal guardian. If an unauthorized person insists on picking your child up from the school, the school staff must immediately notify you and ask for your consent.
The preschool building should have surveillance cameras and security guards at all the entrance points, isolated corridors, washrooms, classrooms, and grounds to monitor your children and prevent child abuse in real-time.
It has been found that 80% of the abuse occurs in isolated places and during one-on-one situations; therefore, your child should never be left alone with an unknown adult or an older child.
Qualified And Reputed Staff
Before picking a Montessori preschool for your child, you must thoroughly research the staff and their credentials. Instead of believing in the hearsay, you must personally do a background check on the staff and analyze their character and qualifications.
A preschool that has qualified and reputed educators will be able to deliver quality education to your child during their early childhood.
For example, the school must have a balanced blend of senior and junior staff members. In addition, all the staff must have at least some months of training in early childhood development.
Senior staff members must have specializations in early childhood education, child psychology, or special education to effectively cater to all the students’ individual needs.
The staff should be experienced and known for handling challenging situations.
Loving And Nurturing Teachers
All the teachers that are directly responsible for teaching and interacting with your child should be loving and nurturing. They must be able to treat your child like their own and understand their unique needs and interests.
Teachers who are loving and nurturing will be able to teach your child at a suitable pace for them. They will shower your child with love and attention, identify their capabilities, and encourage them to pursue their interests.
Between the ages of 3 and 5, children can create their identities. A loving and nurturing teacher will help your child develop their identity so that they become more confident and self-aware.
Warm And Friendly Environment
An ideal Montessori preschool for your child should have a warm and friendly environment. The admin staff, teaching staff, domestic staff, and students should feel comfortable around one another.
The school should have strict policies against racial discrimination, gender bias, and bullying of all sorts to inculcate and maintain a calm, friendly, harmonious, and respectful environment for all.
All the students and staff members who exhibit aggression or are involved in misconduct should be reprimanded for their actions.
Your child should come home feeling happier, energized, and more confident than before.
Focus On Learning Through Play
Good preschools are aware of the importance of learning through play. They understand how important playful learning is for children’s physical and mental development. They design their curriculum so that every day your child gets plenty of opportunities to learn through play.
According to a report published by UNICEF, learning through play hones your children’s communication skills, improves their cognitive functions like critical thinking, problem-solving, decision making, remembering, and attention to details, and helps them become better team players. In addition, they learn to have positive social interactions and become confident.
Moreover, learning through play fosters imagination, creativity, and innovation. Children between the ages of 2 and 8 who have been offered opportunities for free and guided play are known to have better social skills and problem-solving skills and are more responsible than their peers who have had limited options at play.
Early Childhood Development
Your child’s Montessori preschool must have a curriculum that incorporates all the essential elements of early childhood development.
During the day, your child should receive an equal proportion of mental stimulation, physical activity, moral values, ethical guidance, and psychological support needed during the early years of childhood.
For example, during 4 to 6 hours that your child spends at a preschool, they must learn how to count, how to score goals, what it means to be honest, why they must share their lunch with their friend, and what should they do if their parents are fighting at home.
A good preschool will ensure that your preschooler develops a holistic personality and has a broad view of the world they live in.
Stringent Student Selection Criteria
A well-reputed preschool will always be very selective during the enrolment process. They will not enroll a student unless they have run a background check on the parents, the environment of the child’s home, their character and conduct, and their enthusiasm towards learning.
Good preschools have a difficult application process which involves a test for the child to gauge their abilities and previous knowledge and an interview session for the parents. Only after the results of both the test and interview turn out to be satisfactory will they consider enrolling the child in the school.
Always make sure that your child’s Montessori preschool encourages a solid parent-teacher partnership. They should make you feel involved in your child’s early education years and constantly update you about your child’s progress at school.
Preschools with effective parent-teacher partnership programs organize numerous activities and events that allow parents to spend quality time with their children and friends. This also helps the parents to know the teaching staff and other parents at a personal level. It fosters goodwill and cooperation.
For example, numerous preschools organize annual sports day, bake sales, musical galas, talent shows, field trips, and funfairs to let parents be involved in their children’s early education and childhood development.
Your child’s preschool must have a strong set of values. But most importantly, these values must be in line with your family values so that you can be confident that your child is not learning anything at school that goes against your family values.
For example, if your personal and family values have taught you to respect everyone, regardless of their background, but your child’s preschool has strict policies against hiring staff with certain qualities irrespective of their excellent conduct, good educational background, and high level of experience, then you may wish to reconsider your decision.
When your family values are not aligned with the school’s values, and children learn different things at school and home, they become confused. To save your child from this dilemma, pick a Montessori preschool that teaches the same values as the ones you endorse.
A good preschool will always maintain a balance between learning and co-curricular activities. Since early childhood, children can be taught how to play instruments, act in tableaus, recite a poem, deliver a speech, lead a team in sports matches, and form their musical band.
Co-curricular activities boost children’s confidence level, entertain them, teach them new skills and help them identify their strong points.
Essential Questions You Must Ask Before You Decide On A Montessori Preschool Near Me
Always remember to ask these few important questions during the open house to rightly assess the Montessori preschool’s teaching staff, values, environment, and curriculum.
- What is your preschool’s educational philosophy?
- What is the educational background and experience of teaching and administrative staff?
- Will my child have access to an in-school counselor or child psychologist?
- What proportion of the curriculum focuses on learning through play?
- Do the children nap regularly?
- Will my child be given safe and healthy meals? Will their dietary restrictions be considered during meal preparations?
- Will my child have access to clean and safe washrooms?
- How does the staff resolve conflicts between children?
- What measures are in place to promote discipline?
- How do you handle parents’ complaints and concerns?
It would be best if you asked follow-up questions to get a clear idea about your child’s future preschool. Remember, this is the first step to your child’s growth and development through education, so make sure that they learn from the best to be the best without your supervision.
I hope that with the help of these guidelines and preliminary questions, you will be able to find the best Montessori preschool for your child close to your home.
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