Getting off to a good start is the objective of every parent of a 4 year old who will be entering a Prekindergarten program this fall. Whether it be in a public school district, federal Head Start program, religious institution, or privately run school or early learning center, there are signs of a quality Prekindergarten program that every parent should know.
The indoor and outdoor areas where children enjoy a play based curriculum are safe and well-maintained, equipped with an abundance of materials that children can choose from. Class sizes are small and spaces in the classroom are arranged to enhance learning and reduce conflicts. Policies which insure security and explain emergency evacuation plans are posted in places accessible to all.
Teachers as well as assistants are qualified and meet state requirements. Appropriate and effective teaching approaches are evident and are exhibited in the classroom. A plan for annual staff training is available for review.
Curriculum promotes social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development, and embraces early learning standards. Each child’s progress is monitored and discussions with parents are offered at least twice a year.
Staff members are trained and follow policies to protect children as well as themselves from illness. Screening and referrals are offered if needed. Menus reflect items that insure children receive healthy and nutritious meals and morning and afternoon snacks every day.
In summary, quality Prekindergarten programs use policies and procedures creating a fun, developmentally appropriate environment which help children learn by following state licensing requirements. They include parents and other community resources and strive to reach individual goals set for every child. .
Addressing your child’s needs now helps her/him prepare for the future and sets the foundation fora life time of learning.