If your child is nearing the age when they should enrol in an early learning program, there is much to consider when searching for the ideal kindergarten. It is not simply a question of finding a safe place to leave your child for a few hours each day, rather their introduction to school should be a positive experience that prepares them for entry into formal academic education. To assist you in your quest for a suitable early learning program, here are a few essential aspects of a successful kindergarten school.
- The Learner-Centred Approach – There is no doubt that young children learn best with hands-on activities, so do look for a program that promoted experiential learning. There is, for example, a kindergarten in Bangkok that follows the Reggio Emilia approach, which is a proven strategy to maximise the learning potential in young children. This kind of program sees the children as individuals and each and every child should have the opportunity to express themselves.
- Safe & Secure Environment – It is critical that a kindergarten school is secure, with strict access control and secure perimeters and CCTV should cover the entire facility. There should be suitable soft play areas both indoors and outside, where the kids can play without the worry of injury.
- Suitably Qualified Staff – Ideally, there would be a team of qualified early learning professionals, mixed with a number of younger people who are receiving vital hands-on experience in the classroom. The principal should be a person with a background in early learning, preferably having been a teacher for many years before making the transition into school management.
- Suitable Learning Resources – Every classroom should be filled with learning resources; things like building blocks, picture story books, art resources, modelling clay and things that the children can explore. While many activities would be guided, there should be some time when the children are allowed to engage in their favourite activity, whatever that might be, with perhaps 45 minutes a day set aside for free play.
- Combination of Physical and Mental Stimulation – The ideal early learning program would focus on physical and mental development, with a balance of activities that are designed to help the kids develop. Song, dance and movement would be regularly encouraged, and with activities that develop small motor control, the kids develop well physically, and, of course, social skills should be at the forefront of the program, as they prepare the children for the next stage of their education.
If you start your search for the ideal kindergarten with an Internet search, this will give you a list of kindergarten schools that are within your area, and with some browsing, you can get a good idea of their program from a school’s website. Once you have made a shortlist, the next step is to arrange a tour of the facility, then when you have seen them all, you are in a position to make an informed decision.