Tips for choosing a kindergarten

Posted on: 22 May 2019

Finding a reputable kindergarten, or preschool, can be difficult as demand for private kindergartens increases. The choice is also challenging, as it means trusting a stranger with the care of your child. With the following guide, you can find an accredited kindergarten that will assist your child's development.

Research and location

There are different types of kindergartens in Australia, from Montessori schools to Waldorf Steiner schools. These schools offer different curriculums and approaches to learning. Montessori schools are student centred with progressive teaching practices such as allowing students to choose projects to work on depending on their curiosity. Waldorf schools, on the other hand, have customised curriculums depending on each's child interests. There is also a big focus on arts, music and creative learning. After researching the different types of kindergartens, you should narrow the list to schools that may be suitable for your child depending on their location. Is the school close enough to allow for an easy drop-off? Will your child need to use the school bus?

Visit the kindergarten

It is crucial you visit prospective kindergartens before making a choice. Kindergartens allow scheduled visits for prospective students' parents and give a tour of the school and classrooms. You can also interact with the students and teachers. During your on-site visit, you should observe classes for the presence of children's artwork. A classroom with a lot of artwork shows that creativity and activity are encouraged. You should also observe the overall demeanour of the students. Are the children happy? Happy students are an indication of a safe and supportive environment. You should also watch how the staff interacts with the children. The team should talk to the children with respect and at eye level.

You should also ask the school administrator about safety procedures, diet policies (if your child has allergies), school curriculum and expected learning outcomes.

Cost

The difference between private and public kindergartens is the cost model. There is a mentality that private schools are expensive and snobbish. Private schools have become more affordable in recent years, so do not exclude them from the running. The advantage with private schools is that they offer a custom curriculum with a smaller teacher to student ratio, allowing for greater involvement and attention. The cost may be higher in comparison to public schools, but it may be worth it due to the quality of education and care your child will access.

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Child care after school

In some ways, it gets even harder to find child care for your kids when they start school. Not many jobs allow you to do school pick-ups and drop-offs each day and my job definitely requires more time in the office than that. Many parents find innovative solutions to make it all work, but other parents seem to really struggle with finding a great solution that works for them and the kids. That's why I thought I'd start a blog where parents and child care gurus could swap tips on the best ways to organise child care for school aged children.

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