A Christian academy preschool may be the first place your child experiences a school setting away from home. Choosing just the right environment for your little one is a top priority, and visiting the facilities in person is essential. There’s no better way to get a feel for the educators and the setting than to spend time there yourself. Here are a few questions to ask when visiting your child’s future preschool:
1. What is the educational philosophy of your Christian academy preschool?
Is it developmental, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, or something else? How does the philosophy shape the daily curriculum and activities? How is learning encouraged?
2. Is the school accredited?
This question is often overlooked when searching for preschools. Knowing that the school holds accreditation will give you peace of mind that the school is held accountable for having a certain quality of care.
3. What kinds of credentials do your teachers hold?
Make sure that your school of choice has the highest standards for their educators.
4. Are all of your teachers background checked?
Anyone who works with children should be thoroughly background checked. At a Christian preschool academy, the teachers should be held to a high moral and behavioral standard as well, preferably in the form of a written contract.
5. Is your staff trained and certified in CPR and first aid? Are they MAT Trained?
Every educator should have an up to date CPR and first aid certification. When caring for young children, a thorough knowledge of first aid and emergency care is critical.
6. What is your teacher to student ratio?
The answer you are looking for is no larger than a 1 to 10 teacher to student ratio. But keep in mind, while class size matters, class management matters more.
7. What is the turnover rate for your educators?
Low turnover is a great sign that the school treats their people well, and chooses educators who truly love their jobs. High turnover can be traumatic for young children who thrive on consistency.
8. How does the school handle discipline, temper tantrums, and children acting destructively?
Every school handles discipline differently. Does the school’s philosophy fit in with your discipline philosophy as a family? What are the policies on handling a student who is engaging in destructive or harmful behavior?
9. Is there early exposure to the arts and sciences?
Science in a Christian academy preschool looks a bit different than microscopes and laboratories. It might include planting a garden, taking care of a class pet, examining leaves and rocks, or going on an outdoor bug hunt. Exploring the arts will be hands-on, experimenting with painting, drawing, and other mediums. It may involve exposure to classical music, instruments, and dramatic arts. A great preschool will help nurture a sense of curiosity and a desire for exploration in your little one.
10. What kind of meals and snacks will you be providing my child?
Nutrition is a critical part of a child’s learning. Are meals/snacks provided? Or do parents need to send them with their child? Will students with food allergies be carefully accommodated?
11. What is your “potty policy”?
How do you handle potty time for students? Do children need to be fully potty trained before they can attend preschool? What is your policy on diapering?