The Perfect Playschool

Playschool is the first step for your child in the outside world. It is the first platform where he will independently interact and learn from people other than his own family. It is probably the first time your child spends time away from you outside of your first circle. It is a crucial time for the child as well as the baby.

Along with joy and happiness, parenthood also brings in a level of responsibility. It’s not easy for the parents to hand over their little one to strangers and is equally unsettling for the child to step away from the security of the environment he has known forever. While a part of us, as parents, is excited about this new chapter in our child’s life, a huge part of us is anxious about handing them over to strangers. But its inevitable.. isn’t it?

Choosing a playschool requires you to invest time and energy. With Rey turning two in December, we knew we had to start doing our homework on schools soon. We started with scouting for play schools in our part of town.

Here’s how we filtered and short-listed a playschool for Rey.

🔍 Testimonials and reviews speak volumes about a school’s reputation. We asked our family & friends, checked social media thoroughly for anything which was not acceptable.

🔍Location & distance: something close and easily accessible. Distance also plays a major role. Look for a playschool which is in your vicinity so that it is convenient to reach your child whenever needed. Make sure the location is also strategic and has a better surrounding, for example, no stagnant water bodies around that can lead to diseases, etc.

🔍 Security (guarded gates) + Safety (fenced stairs, furniture, toddler proofing): Ensuring CCTV coverage doesn’t guarantee a safe environment but it does help. Pay a visit to the playschool before enrolling your toddler to inspect and satisfy yourself.

🔍 Hygiene (including kitchen & washrooms) in and around the school: Children will be spending a considerable amount of time at the playschool (especially if you opt for day boarding too). It is essential that the playschool maintains a hygienic environment for the children o flourish in. Do not miss the toilets.

🔍 Learning methodologies & academia: Another important factor is to consider the school’s philosophy and the overall approach towards learning. There are different methodologies playschools follow:

  • The Montessori Method – (an approach I have been using with Rey at home too)
  • The Reggio Emilia Approach
  • The Waldorf Approach
  • The HighScope Approach
  • Rudolf Steiner Approach

And many more.

🔍 Curriculum + Extracurricular activities + exposure: Check the curriculum the school follows (it should not be draining for the child). Playschool, after all, is about playing and learning. Another important factor is the extracurricular activities like singing, dancing, painting etc. There should be room to just relax as well.

🔍 Student – teacher+helper ratio: One of the most important factors. Enquire about the student to teacher ratio so that your child gets proper attention. The fewer children a teacher is in charge for, the better for the child as he will receive more attention and time from his teacher. No matter how efficient, a teacher cannot run a classroom effectively and give the kids the attention they deserve running after 20 kids. Also, check for the school’s helpers ratio and involvement. They help with activities like toilet trips and feeding themselves and moving around the school premises.

🔍Infrastructure + facilities: It helps if the playschool is on the ground floor. With so many children moving around, stairs become a threat to their safety. Check if the school has baby gates installed at every stairs entrance and exit.

🔍 Developmental milestones and observation sharing with parents: ANother important factor to consider. SOme playschools have a quarterly reporting system. I personally feel quarterly is too late especially at this stage where the child is in a constant learning phase. Ask the school how often the school shares your child’s development.

🔍 The probability of future absorption in higher classes: It is always a plus point as it will relieve you from the hassle of looking for a formal school a year later.

🔍 Fee structure: This may be the easiest factor. Get a list of affordable schools that suit your pocket and budget.

In addition to the above, another point to consider (even more than the above points) is to understand your child. Is the school’s approach aligned with your child’s personality? Take your child along for a visit. It will be good to see how your child responds to the environment, the teachers, and the school. Observing your child in the school’s environment will give you an idea whether the school and the child will be a good fit for each other.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. Do not get dazzled by the fancy equipment or play zones or a gleaming building. Don’t depend on the numbers they share of fooled by the marketing strategies they deploy. Pay multiple visits if required. Visit during school hours to get a true picture.

It is, after all, the place where your child’s personality will start getting honed.

What points did you consider when you chose a playschool perfect for your child?

Hope these points and tips will help you make an informed decision. Wish you all the best!

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53 thoughts on “The Perfect Playschool

  1. It is important to choose right play school. Because it is the first step where our child personality will start building up.

  2. My son will be starting pre-school from next week. And we have considered all these points. Along with this if you have any friends whose kids have studied in a particular pre school then their inputs are always helpful.

  3. I soon to put my son in the playschool and I have kind of exactly followed all the points you have mentioned. I so agree with you this is the base of our child and we should leave no stones unturned

  4. Initial formative years lay the foundation for learning through out the life. Its obviously important to check the suitability of the school for the tender growing mind.
    Resourceful post.

  5. Found this post just in time. Can’t thank you enough for this informative piece. My daughter will turn 2 this month and we are planning to get her admitted in play school from November post duserra vacation so that there is continiety and she doesn’t have to bear the pain of joing back to school again.

  6. We just started with playschool and all these points are bang on, thankfully I covered almost all these points before finalizing one

  7. Playschools lay the foundation of your child’s school life. Therefore it is necessary to choose right playschool. Very useful tips that will help parents in choosing good playschool for their tiny tots.

  8. Yes, playschool is child’s first in outside world and it is very important to find perfect playschool for a child. You mentioned all the important points in the post to keep in mind while choosing the playschool.

  9. You know what I wasn’t very very judgemental while choosing a pre-school for my son And I went for the one that was nearest. However its one of the important decisions we as parent take for our child(ren). Excellent article!!

  10. This is a great post for all parents ho are looking for playschool. sometime it is daunting to understand what is needed to be checked in a playschool! Hygiene, infrastructure and reviews are v. important!

  11. My son went to a daycare for more than 2 years. And I can relate to all these point. The problem I face was nanny and kids ratio. Due to frequent attrition in that daycare, there was always a shortage of nannies. But as it was in my office only so I had to live with that. Rest I feel was good there and my son is creative and expressive just because he enjoyed so much being there. #vibhuandme

  12. Reading this post at a time when I will start hunting the perfect playschool. Thank you for these suggestions. Will definitely keep these in mind

  13. I read this with eyes wide open! My daughter is 15 months old and I do not have many good schools around. Though I know it is very early to think about her playschool, the thought actually worries me. This post helped me since it is like a checklist on what I must choose. All the best to Rehaan!

  14. These point’s are very aptful that should definitely consider while choosing playschool. Especially the security of our kid.

  15. this will be helpful for all the parents who want they kids to take admission …
    this is so beautiful, love to visit once…

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