7 answers

What Should I Keep My Eyes On? (Daughter Staring School)

I am so exited, my daughter starts school in 2 weeks (pre-school).
After looking to many schools I fell in love to this new school, to me is like a dream come true school.
Is new, is clean (because is new), it is like a Montessori school type, the classroom for the 3 year old have different learning areas, they have a water/sand table, small couches for reading time, a wooden kitchen with dolls for pretending play, blocks area, quite area with their flat kind of beds? puppets for civil educations, great food options, etc, besides their separate play area for 3 year old and their own bathroom inside their room!
A dream come true, only thing is that when I say new I mean it, the school just open yesterday for first time, when we went to sign in they were not even finished and there were boxes still, that is why we are waiting 2 more weeks to bring our daughter.
There is not info about the school at all, the principal is the owner (a married couple) who are also new in the business, never had anything to do with schools until this. I am also kind of a review junky, even if I know better to base all my decisions on a review I like to check those before.
So while I am exited for the school, I wonder if I should keep an eye on something or just relax and enjoy this great find.

What can I do next?

More Answers

Is your daughter happy to go to school (this might take a couple weeks) and is she happy when you pick her up?

Do the children seem organized and the teacher in control when you pick her up?

Watch for any safety issues (doors left open, dangerous objects within reach).

Most of all, ask your daughter lots of questions that will give you insight into the level of care at the school. Did she use the potty? Did she wash her hands after? Did she wear her mittens outside? Did she stay in her classroom or take a walk? Who held her hand crossing the street (if that applies)? Are her friends at school nice? Is her teacher nice? etc. Expect a little bit of toddler logic here but over time you can get a good picture of what goes on from your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful

I like to hang out for a few minutes when I drop my son off at his pre-school. One thing that gives me great comfort is to see how the kids react to the arrival of their primary care teacher (she works 8:30 to 5:30 but school is open 7-6 so there are dedicated assistants during that time period). They call her name and run to her and give her hugs. I KNOW she is a good teacher when I see how much the kids love her! You might not be able to have this exact experience but you can look to see how the kids interact with their teachers. Also ask to come spend some time as a helper or something.... a good school will not only allow you to spend time there, they will encourage it. The school should communicate with you often. I get a daily sheet that tells me what my son played with that day, his potty activities, how long he napped and how much lunch & snack he ate. I also get regular emails fromt he director of the school letting us know any news and even sometimes just some funny stories of something a child said or did that day. She also has a share site on Shutterfly and they post pics of the kids doing fun activites (not every day or anything but enough so you get the idea of what their day is really like). And trust your gut. If you feel something is off, it probably is. And watch your daughters reactions. Other than the normal seperation anxiety of leaving you for the day, she should be happy about school in general and talk about her friends and teachers at home.

1 mom found this helpful

This sounds similar to the preschool that my daughter attended. Is this school a franchise? If so, there will be guidelines that the school will have to follow. Also, just know that although the school is nice and new, it may take some time for them to find a team that works well and there may be frequent turnover for a while. It took almost one year for my daughter's preschool to get all of their staff sorted out and find teachers that fit in well at the school. My daughter's classroom actually went through 3 lead teachers last year and many more assistants/helpers. Her first teacher was absolutely awesome but she was offered a position as a kindergarten teacher and left. The second teacher was young and very inexperienced and I believe she was a detriment to the classroom. She was fresh out of college and this was her first experience as a lead teacher. Unfortunately, she was there the longest amount of time (she knew the owners personally and they kept trying to give her the benefit of the doubt). Eventually, she decided that working with kids was not what she wanted and she left to go work at a law firm. The third teacher was another awesome teacher. She is just one of those people that is meant to work with young children.

Anyway, just be cautious. It seems like as soon as my daughter would get attached to someone they either left the preschool altogether or they were moved to work in a different classroom. There were so many different people in and out of the classroom and each person handled things a little differently. I think the constant change in the classroom contributed to some of the behavioral problems we have had with my daughter because there was very little consistency.

Hopefully you will have a better experience than we had. I think my daughter's old preschool is in a much better place this year than they were last year because they've had a chance to work out all of the kinks now and they finally have a good set of teachers.

1 mom found this helpful

As a parent you ALWAYS have to keep an eye out. Your gut will tell you if something doesn't feel right. Live and Learn.

1 mom found this helpful

Just pay attention. Also, don't be afraid to ask to hang out to watch for a few hours...and don't be afraid to make suggestions.

One of my favorite childcare facilities would have every child wash their hands as soon as they walked in the door, before they did anything else. They'd also wash prior to going home. This helped to prevent children from bringing germs from home and vice versa. They also washed hands after toileting, of course...but also before eating and after coming inside from playing outdoors. Reading it, yes, it sounds a little excessive...but think about how often kids touch their faces/rub their eyes and nose while playing.

My kids hardly ever got sick while attending this place. But when we changed to a preschool with less stringent standards they got sick quite often. I finally suggested that they institute the same policy...and viola! The illnesses reduced drastically.

1 mom found this helpful

If the school has been around a while, I'd pull state records on it to see if there have been any violations or complaints filed. While it is still no guarantee they're as good as you think, it's just one more way to know if they're doing the job right.

Do pop ins regularly at different parts of the day...not the obvious drop-off or pick up times. Talk to your child often. Talk with other parents too. And be as involved as they will allow in day to day activities and what not. If there is a curriculum, test your child's knowledge and monitor her work and what is being taught. That will keep them accountable to you and your child.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I think if YOU get involved and help out wherever you can (as much as they'll LET you anyway), it'll be the coolest preschool in NJ!

And Uh Oh, time for a new baby then?

tehehehe

:)

1 mom found this helpful

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