“Research says that many parents look for the least expensive and the closest to home, which isn’t the best facility,” Good said, indicating a new pilot program, Parent Aware, launched in August in Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, can provide answers for parents who are unfamiliar with the options available.
I visited two (Little Bits and Dayspring). I made a chart of all tuition options including registration fees and different number of days per week/half day vs full day. The deciding factor for choosing the one I did (Little Bits) was that they were willing to heat the kids lunches up in the microwave while the other one (Dayspring) wouldn’t.
Little Bits was the least expensive one as well. What a bonus!!!
Some decision factors were location to home and the other schools, cleanliness, teacher/student ratio, being able to show up unannounced, but most importantly was the interaction between the teachers and my child while we were looking and how inviting they were to her. Some schools we looked at just let her stand off to the side and watch, where others tried to include her right off the bat. I found that the ones that were more inviting wanted her there even though we were not signed up yet.
Location was part of it. It was less than three miles from my house and in the University community where my husband worked. School’s philosophy was part of it as my daughter needed a strong learning environment.
Our decision was based on what we saw such as, a state certified teachers, a lot of tricycles for children to ride, students’ arts works displayed around ( not teachers or mothers), a lot of books and learning materials, students’ smiling faces, busy children, playground,and the professionalism of the faculty and director.
TJ, it might be different for you since your daughter has already been in daycare. In my situation, preschool was my son’s first “group” exposure to other children. I just wanted a nurturing enviroment that would provide an opportunity to develop good social skills, and the fact that the preschool was affiliated with our church was a real plus, since it was nearby, and I already “knew” their philosophy.
I chose the right preschool by looking around and observing. I wanted to know what did they have to offer my child. What kind of things will they be doing with my child. Ultimate goal would be to prepare my child for kindergarden, and for him/her to be safe.When entering into the daycare you and your child should feel comfortable. Go with your motherly instincts. Yes it will be hard but our children will enjoy being with other children. The waiting lists are awful, but don’t give up! Most of the time people on the list don’t need it anymore, and the list gets shorter.