Searching for a preschool that meets your expectations and looks after your toddler, the way you do is undoubtedly a baffling decision. A Kindergarten school plays a vital role in a child’s learning and development. But many a time we are unaware of what constitutes a quality preschool.
With multiple preschool models available for kindergarten schools in Gurgaon, it is necessary to shortlist one that fits in with the expectations of your child’s learning requirements.
With an upsurge in the number of preschools and kindergartens opening in the metro cities, type of education they offer becomes a vital factor in decision making.
Today, the world seems to be moving from ‘rote learning’ to ‘applied learning’. This concept encourages children to not only consume information but to use it effectively in the real world.
This ‘interwoven learning’ or ‘experiential learning’ interweaves academics with the real world and prepares them for an increasingly dynamic and complex world.
A little research in this regard will go a long way in helping you make the right choice for your child’s first formal educational experience. It will set the stage for their lifetime learning.
With decreasing attention spans, Experiential Learning seems to be the
‘Future of Education’!!
Other crucial factors for choosing the right kindergarten school in Gurgaon:
- Overall Development: Besides academics – numeracy and literacy skills, a preschool and kindergarten should provide an enriching environment for a child to learn and grow. Children should be encouraged to learn other skills – social, cognitive and value-based, in a fun, playful way.
- Teacher-Child Connect: A teacher-child connect goes beyond any curriculum or philosophy. Having a conversation with the teachers about their classroom is a great way to learn how they manage students with varied strengths, weaknesses, interests and emotional as well as academic achievements. Knowing their methodology of handling kids with diverse qualities can be an essential point in shortlisting your preferred preschool.
- Understand the commitment of the founders: The founder of the school or its principal are the ones, who, with their experience and passion for education, contribute significantly to elevating various aspects of teachings and moral values in a kindergarten school. Having a greet-and-meet with the principal or the founders is an excellent start to understanding what the preschool envisions and stands for.
- If in doubt, ask: Staying in doubt and making assumptions will not take you to the finish line. Don’t hesitate to talk clarify all your doubts from the staff, administrators or teachers. These could be questions about security, curriculum, goals, food, homework, after school and nap time etc.
- Online and Offline Reviews: Yes, reviews of other parents’ matter! Google about the kindergarten schools in Gurgaon and read the school reviews. Join social media groups of the area or enquire about the school in your local residential groups. For parents who are new to a particular area, online reviews prove to be very useful.
Checklist for selecting a Kindergarten school:
Here is a ‘must consider’ list before choosing a kindergarten school in Gurgaon –
- The distance of the preschool: Look for a preschool that is within 30 minutes of travel time from home. Apart from being a daily task for a toddler to travel for more than 30 minutes, it will be inconvenient for you too to rush in case of any emergency.
- Fees: Though we may stretch to +10-15% of our expected budget if the preschool is exceptional. But see if the preschool balances your budget and offering expectations.
- Transportation: Opting for school transportation is always a plus. Though almost 80 per cent of kindergarten schools have a transportation facility, you may want to enquire if it is outsourced to any agency outside school. If it is, then how safe is it and is there any responsible person from the school who accompanies the children? All responsible preschools will have an escort card policy, GPS tracking apps etc. as safety measures in their transportation systems. Learning about the same will help you know about the safety and accountability measures of the school.
- Curriculum: There are ‘n’ number of curriculum models that a preschool and kindergarten can follow. Some may have their home-built curriculum, and some may follow a philosophy such as – Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Play-based etc. Ask someone to guide you on the curriculum model, if need be.
- School Infrastructure: Infrastructure is yet another essential criteria for a preschool. The classrooms and play areas should be safe, well lit, spacious and ventilated. There should not be any dark zones or isolated areas where kids are allowed to roam around.
- Kitchen: If the preschool provides food, having a look at the kitchen is a great way to get a glance into the hygiene of the school. Also, a quick look at the food menu will give you a fair idea if the food served is more on the nutrition side or junk side?
- Cleanliness and Hygiene: One of the critical points. With so many toddlers around, who are unaware of hygiene practices, it’s necessary to check if kids are encouraged to use tissue papers, hand sanitizers and soaps, especially before and after meals and toilet. Take a look at the bathrooms and check if they are kid-friendly and whether there are separate areas for diaper changing. Also, how often the toys are cleaned/sanitized.
- School Policies: Get a sneak-peak into the school policies related to childcare, safety, after-school engagement, day care and parent’s involvement initiatives.
- Teaching Staff: They are the utmost vital members of the preschool because they spent most of their time with your kids. Assess if the teachers have the experience and training to handle emergencies.
- Security: A critical attribute with all the school crime reports we read in newspapers. Learn about the police verification process of nannies or the housekeeping staff. Look for CCTV camera coverage and the process the guards on the main gate follow to monitor the visitors and parents.
- Teacher-to-Child Ratio: Teacher-to-child ration gives you an estimate of the number of teachers and students in a classroom. This number ensures that there is enough guided learning opportunity for each kid in the class.
- Timings of the kindergarten: Many preschools have morning as well as afternoon batches. If your kid is a late riser, especially during winters, you may want to opt for an afternoon batch.
- Let kids decide: Lastly, observe if your kid likes being in that place. See how teachers and nannies are interacting and encouraging the involvement of children.
Whichever kindergarten school you shortlist for your child, it is important to personally visit the school and observe the surroundings so that you are sure that your child will be comfortable and safe in that environment.