Whether you are expecting your first child, are a new parent or are looking to enroll your child in a preschool program for the first time – you are going to have a lot of questions during tours and interviews.
We understand this process can be overwhelming so we asked Teresa Gomez, Program Director at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool – Stone Oak, to compile a list for you. Teresa has over eight years of experience in early childhood education. Here are the five questions she says you should ask during your next preschool tour.
What type of curriculum is used?
When searching for a preschool, it is important to look for one that uses a defined curriculum. Implementing a curriculum and providing structured lessons in an early childhood development program is what differentiates a preschool from a daycare. At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool® (“LSP”), we ensure our teachers use a variety of age appropriate activities with a structured, child-focused curriculum.
LSP’s Creatively Shine™ curriculum is inspired by our adopted Reggio Emilia philosophy. We believe that children are full of curiosity and creativity, ready to explore the world with a sense of wonder and awe. Children have the right to an environment and teachers that will foster and cultivate a lifelong passion for learning and exploration. This philosophy sees the child as a competent and active participant in their own learning.
As part of Reggio Emilia, we strongly believe that children learn best through play and experiences. Using this philosophy, our teachers prepare children for kindergarten by teaching them essential social and cognitive skills they will utilize in the classroom.
What type of teachers will my child have?
It is important to learn about the teachers who will be present throughout the day at any child care program you’re considering. You want to ensure you child’s teacher goes through all required training in your state.
At LSP, our educators not only receive state-mandated training, but they also go through annual company-wide training where they continue to learn about implementing our curriculum and a variety of early childhood development topics.
LSP teachers are passionate about early childhood development and understand the importance of involving parents in the development process. We believe that co-teaching between families and teachers is what ultimately sets each student up for success.
How is my child’s development assessed?
A high-quality preschool will have a developmental checklist readily available for teachers to update on a regular basis. At LSP, our teachers keep a one in every child’s portfolio so parents can review the checklist at any time. Our schools also provide bi-annual parent teacher conferences to discuss their child’s development.
What type of communication systems are in place?
Communication between families and teachers is key to the overall success of each student. Multiple lines of communication should be used at all times. At LSP, we offer a proprietary daily notes system called LuvNotes™ as well as parent-accessible cameras through our KiddieCams™.
Luvnotes™ are sent every day to our parents in an email and provide a directly line of communication to your teacher. Every Luvnote™ is individualized and provides information regarding the child’s overall engagement in classroom activity for the day as well as the child’s overall disposition, and it always includes a series of pictures or a video of your child.
Our KiddieCams™ are also a great resource for communication as they provide direct viewing access to anywhere in the school. Parents are able login from any device that has access to the internet to watch their child participate in activities, eat lunch, or go down for a nap.
How important is family involvement in the program?
Family involvement is very important to the success of our program as it fosters familial relationships. We host a variety of events throughout the year such as Parent’s Night Out, open houses, holiday parties and dances, all of which we ask for parental involvement. These events are great at building relationships with your child’s teachers, but also creating friendships with other parents. We are truly proud of the community of parents we have been able to create at our schools.
Interested in learning more or scheduling a tour at a location near you, go to littlesunshine.com.