How to Choose a Preschool
You are way ahead of the game because you have visited our website.
At Enlightened Play Preschools you can start one of two ways after visiting the website:
Start with a phone call. Ask a few preliminary questions to make sure that the Enlightened Play Preschools program is right for you. You have the benefit of all of the information on the website so you are way ahead of the game. In a phone call to us or another center, you can listen to more than the answers. Listen to how you are treated. Listen to the background noise. Listen to whether the person answering the phone exudes joy, boredom, or contempt for their profession.
….or just Visit!
At Enlightened Play Preschools, we firmly believe in visiting without an appointment. At our school, you never have to make an appointment. If you must make an appointment with another center, ask why.
This is your child.
What to do when you Visit?
Don’t forget to LOOK
Each environment you visit will have its own personality. Look at the children. Talk to the teachers.
Kids having fun should be a bit disheveled, maybe even dirty with paint, sand, food, etc. If you visit a school and everyone is too clean….this may be a sign of highly controlled curriculum or no fun at all. You be the judge.
Notice the SMELL
This is crucial. Does it smell like cinnamon or beef stew, or fried food? You be the judge. I don’t think a school should be too pristine. You have all these busy, active bodies inside and out. There should be some evidence of it. We trust parents to tell the difference between busy and unclean.
Always take time to LISTEN
To the children, to the teachers and to the frenetic sounds of play. For most adults this world is so different. Sit in a chair and let your ears get accustomed to the noise so that you can hear the difference between squeals of fun and the sounds of danger, alarm or anger. Listen to the way teachers speak to children and this includes children who are not yet talking. Even babies need to hear good language and communication with them. Are teachers are speaking about their own lives in front of the children or teaching the children with their words all the time?
Check out the TOUCH
By this I mean texture. Is there a nice blend of textures indoor and out of: warm and smooth, rough and soft? Do the teachers offer touch, comfort and warm hand to hold for a child? This is an age where children need nurturing. Are they giving it?
Have time to TASTE?
If possible, eat something! Yes, I mean it. Join the kids for snack, lunch or breakfast and see, smell and taste our food.
Ask all the questions you have. Even the really scary ones like, “How well do you know your teachers?” “Will my child ever be left alone?” “What if my child gets hurt, sick, upset?” Never leave with a question in your heart.
Finishing Line: Repeat.
If you bring your child with you, you must watch them and react to their response. You have most of the information you need from our web site. Now you need to see us in action. If you bring your child you will be in a dual role. Just be prepared. How does s/he fit in? How did they include him/her? Did s/he cling or did s/he want to engage? You know your child, so you are the only person right now who can gauge his/her behavior.
We want you to be sure that this is the right center for your child.
When discussing Caring Connection and any other schools you visited make sure you are not within the ears of your little one. Yes, even the baby! Your “energy” (worry, fears anxiety) belongs to you. Keep your stuff in your head for a private moment of coffee with a friend or a glass of wine with your spouse.
Your Decision: Final tip.
Trust yourself. I cannot say it enough. How do you FEEL? Listen to your inner voice. Why do you like it here? Why do you not like it there? Sometimes we don’t wait for the answers, but we always have them right inside of us. Now, go and trust yourself!!
Learn more about Enlightened Discipline
Author Julie Jenkins insists that we say goodbye to the naughty mat and call “time out” on timeouts. Leave all those old-school techniques behind. This is the manual for teaching the foundations on self-discipline, common sense and self-respect to young children. Written for every teacher in the early childhood field and every parent with young children.