Choosing a preschool for your child can be as simple as picking the one down the road or choosing from ones with a religious focus, specific education style or any number of features.

Of course, safety and quality are paramount. Beyond that, there is no one size fits all. Just as each child is different, their educational needs are as well. 

Amanda Ledbetter is the admissions director at Oakbrook Preparatory School. She said early childhood education is vital for children. It is when they first learn to associate with people outside their family and it is the time to introduce them to some important habits.

Eliza Mroz, the head of school for Montessori Academy of Spartanburg, agreed. Mroz said that it is important to educate the whole child from academics to motor skills to expected behaviors. 

With their expert advice in mind, here are five important things to consider when looking at a preschool for your child.

●              School philosophy – Does the school fit the needs of your child and your family? Check for religious beliefs or other things that might be key to your family. Make sure you agree with the school’s mission statement and its school rules as well.

●              Classroom curriculum – Find a preschool that will set your child up for success in the future. Do you suspect your child has ADHD, dyslexia or another learning difference? Know if a school is equipped to handle those needs. 

●              Friendly staff – Teachers and staff should be welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable about the school. During a tour, the staff should be open to showing you around safely.

●              Happy children – Students at the school should be content and engaged in classroom activities. Check all age levels at the school, since you might want to keep your child at the school for a few years.

●              Trust your instincts – Ledbetter noted that if you feel comfortable, it’s likely that your child will also. Size and prestige mean nothing if you and your child don’t feel a connection to the school. 

Mroz said parents should reach out to schools directly with any questions about the upcoming school year. Call schools early to arrange a tour, especially since COVID-19 restrictions might limit access to visitors. Many preschools fill up early, so don’t hesitate when it comes to applying for a spot in the school. 

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