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September - 2016 - issue > In My Opinion

Finding a Perfect Place for Your 'Pari'

Sudheshna Mazumdar
Assistant Editor-APAC, CIOOutlook
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Sudheshna Mazumdar
Watching our little one walking out of the door in school uniforms for the very first time is an amazing experience; both excitement and anxiety take their own seats in our mind. Invariably, a gush of mixed feelings rushes through us; thinking whether the preschool we chose for our small 'pari' would be safe and capable of creating the right foundation for our child's future. For a caring parent, this is an experience to behold for a long time.

On the other hand, the emotions and anticipations running through the little mind are also indecipherable. For the very first time, the child would spend time outside of parent's protection and be facing the real world out there. Therefore, as a parent it becomes our duty to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for our child to make this transition. However, a lot of preparation goes into it before we get to this point.

Preschool forms the building block for child's academic and social growth. Therefore, planning kid's early education should ideally start much before he or she actually steps out for school. Hence, finding out a preschool that provides wholesome learning experience during kid's formative years and gives solid foundation to their later educational journey is as important as choosing a right career path.

However, choosing the right preschool for your child is not as easy as it sounds. Due to abrupt IT boom, Bangalore city continues to attract young population in droves from across the country. Given the opportunities in this space, of late, many entrepreneurs have forayed into preschool business. Today, there is a whole spectrum of pre-schools, which have sprung up at almost every nook and corner of the city. At one end of the spectrum, there are well-known brands, who follow standard based curriculums, and on the other end, there are many home run preschool businesses, which do not adhere to any well know curriculum or methodology. As per records, in last 5-6 years alone, the city has witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of pre-schools. Understandably, not all stands up to our expectations and this make our search for a good pre-school all the more difficult. So, before we go about searching for a preschool of our choice, it becomes important for us to understanding our end goals and set right expectations from the school.

Here are few important factors that can be considered while selecting a pre-school:

School Location: The first aspect to be considered is the school location. For a little kid, it is very difficult to travel a long distance, and the same is true for parents. If the child is sick or needs immediate attention from parents, it should be feasible for a parent to visit the school as soon as possible and make them comfortable.

Hygiene: For a 2-3 years old child, more than education, it is sanitation and hygiene at the school that we should care about. Being at school for hours and using common toilet, kids are at increased risk of attracting infections from other kids. Parents must thoroughly inspect the school premises and toilets, preferably during normal school hours, to access the school on hygiene factors.

Friendly Teachers: As the child is venturing out into a new environment for the first time, having a friendly environment and a teacher who understands the child's feelings and have the ability to pamper them are very important factors. Pampering is what a child needs at that stage and this will keep the child wanting to go back to school every day.

Ventilation: Ventilation is important. Make sure every corner of classroom gets proper sunlight and air. This ensures proper growth of the child and avoids spreading of infection among the kids.

School Curriculum: Though there are many methodologies that are followed in pre-schools, choosing the right methodology and curriculum is important. Give preference to the one that is more activity based rather than bookish; so that they can learn easily as well find the experience interesting.

Toys: Colourful toys lure kids and it can be an attracting factor for them to love their school hours. Playing also helps them in their physical development.

Number of Teachers and Nannies Employed: The school must maintain a good teacher to student ratio. There must be good number of nannies to help children. Kids need regular help in, say, opening their bag or water bottle, going to bathroom or finishing their lunch box.

Safety: In today's world, child's safety is of utmost importance. Parents must insist that the school install CCTV cameras. Also, the school should have strong security guidelines and processes to protect the child from any untoward incident.

With so many things to consider, parent are usually left bewildered while choosing a preschool of their choice. At that juncture, it helps to go through the reviews on the internet, and seek feedback from friends and other parents whose wards are attending that particular school. As a good start, prepare a list of preschools in your locality, collect feedbacks from either internet or your social network, visit the school during business hours, and talk to school management and teachers before settling on a particular school. Few schools may restrict your access to the teachers, but as you explain them about your plan to take admission, most of them would definitely support, as preschool owners understand your concerns and apprehensions. Remember, just as every child is different, every preschool is also different; they cater to different needs. As a parent, you should be very clear about what your child needs in his formative years and ascertain that the preschool you have chosen for him is helping him build the right foundation for his future.

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