Posted on: 17 April 2023
Opting for a child learning center instead of standard daycare for your preschooler can provide them with opportunities to learn and grow that they wouldn't be exposed to otherwise. When looking for just the right center for your child, there are a few key things that are signs of a quality program.
1. Teacher Training
Although there are state minimum requirements to work in a learning center or daycare, in most areas these minimums focus more on child safety and not on educational skills. A quality learning center will have teachers that have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements so that they hold credentials in early childhood education, such as an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in general early childhood ed. If you are looking at centers that espouse a specific educational philosophy, like Montessori, then the teachers should then hold certifications or extra training specifically in those educational philosophies.
2. Family Partnerships
The center your child attends should become an extension of your family. Family members should be welcome visitors in the classroom at any time, for example. A center that is strong on family partnerships will have activities throughout the year designed for the whole family to attend. Communication about day-to-day activities, learning objectives, and other things that affect your child should be provided regularly.
3. Behavioral Practices
Any quality learning center will have a strict code of conduct and a detailed list of discipline and problem-solving procedures that they can provide you with. Make sure this philosophy is complementary to how behavioral challenges and discipline are handled at home, as you do not want to send your child mixed messages by having wildly different expectations between parents and teachers. A well-run center will provide your child with the tools to self-regulate their behavior so they can thrive at home and school.
4. Open-ended Play
Young children should not be at a desk all day drilling facts. This is the age of discovery, and most learning is better achieved with open-ended play opportunities. With open-ended play, teachers carefully provide items and a setting so that children can discover their way and develop motor skills and problem-solving abilities on their own. A school that provides time outside in nature to play and discover is also an option to look for.
Contact a local child learning center such as Northern Lights Preschool & Child Care to schedule a tour and interview today.Share