Early Childhood Development

A Checklist for Choosing the Best Preschool

|

When it comes to choosing the best preschool, parents want to be sure they are investing in a true, academically-focused program. Quality early childhood education has proven to be of great value for helping a child’s intellectual and social development, as well as adequately preparing a child for kindergarten. When you enroll your child in a trusted and rich learning environment, you can rest easy, knowing your child is not only being properly cared for but also offered a quality educational foundation.

Below are some ways The Gardner School provides all the right elements of a safe, clean, and academically-focused learning environment for preschoolers.

FACILITIES

Not only is the physical location of a preschool key in making your enrollment decision, but the quality and aesthetics of the facilities might also be near the top of your checklist. From the building’s security features to the classrooms to indoor and outside play areas, facilities can make or break your decision to enroll.

At The Gardner School, our state-of-the-art facilities are well maintained and constructed with security features to keep your children safe at all times, including a double log-in feature for parents to use when checking kids in and out.

STAFF

Arguably the most important part of your preschool choice, every parent wants the peace of mind that their child will be under the supervision and care of nurturing, well-educated, well-trained, and motivated staff. All lead teachers at The Gardner School are required to have a four-year degree in early childhood education or a closely related field, and they are carefully selected based on education, previous teaching experience, and ability to bond and effectively communicate with their students. We choose faculty members who love the early childhood profession and have a strong, positive curiosity about life that sparks confidence and joy in those around them. This high standard is one of many that sets TGS apart.

We also know that parent-teacher communication is essential, and our PreciouStatus app has been a successful tool for keeping parents informed throughout the day of their children’s activities—from meals to naps to play and even bathroom breaks.

CURRICULUM

Each child should be provided with experiences that enhance self-esteem, which is essential in the adjusting, exploring, and growing stages of child development. At The Gardner School, our comprehensive Creative Curriculum for infants, toddlers, and twos combines nurturing, consistent and loving interactions with appropriately challenging learning experiences to help our students under the age of three to grow and flourish. With a foundation in early childhood neurological research, our DLM Curriculum structures our Preschool and Pre-K programs with carefully selected and sequenced learning experiences that strategically help children grasp early literacy, language, math, and science concepts. In addition to quality curriculum, it’s also a good idea to inquire about the supplemental materials and learning aids available at the prospective preschool.

PHILOSOPHY

Every great preschool will have both a good teaching philosophy as well as a strong educational philosophy. What’s the difference? A teaching philosophy will involve a good understanding of various learning styles unique to each student, as well as a good mix of structure and flexibility in learning. An educational philosophy will focus on a learning atmosphere that fosters creativity, exploration, and acceptance that should stimulate and nurture children’s growth and development, as well as building self-esteem.

At The Gardner School our teaching philosophy features a full day of developmentally and age-appropriate activities that allows every class to build upon the previous age groups’ learning by reviewing and scaffolding concepts and making connections in new ways through hands-on experience. Our educational philosophy involves incorporates a careful blend of Traditional and Montessori styles of learning through structured play, child-directed activities, and curriculum-based lessons.

ENRICHMENT

The best preschools will offer a full suite of supplemental enrichment classes or activities that consist of a variety of subjects. The Gardner School offers a diverse mix of enrichment courses including foreign languages, sports, visual arts, performing arts, computer-based learning, and even cooking classes! As one of our TGS parents, Rusty Strange, affirms, "We love that TGS offers Enrichment Classes on site. Our daughter started out with gymnastics, and now she is in dance. We are letting her try different things to let her see what she likes."

You want the best for your child, and, as you see from this checklist, The Gardner School has you covered! Schedule a tour at The Gardner School location near you today to see how we have created a rich learning environment that will stimulate your child’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth.