Choosing a school for your toddler!
It is always a big decision choosing a school for your child, but when they are as little as 12 months old, does that make the decision easier or more difficult?
What is more important?
The educational aspect of the school, the size of the school, the nurturing aspect or the experience of the staff and teachers? So many questions to ask!!!
I believe that the answer is that all these aspects are equally important!!
Please, never put your child in a school to just be cared for, because they are so little they just need a place to play!!!!!
No! No! No!
Our children need a stimulating environment from the moment they are born! They need to be exposed to rich learning environments filled with sensory experiences. Environments that cater for the child’s age, and developmental level. Children need to be in an environment that is encouraging and nurturing, and they need to be in a place where their needs and yours as the parent are catered for by teachers who must have a vast knowledge of children’s development and a passion teaching but also for learning through play.
Children need a daily routine at school that allows for free play but is also structured and consistent.
Children feel safe and secure and are able to learn and grow when they have appropriate routines and boundaries and they are loved!!
Children, particularly the really young children, who are still learning to communicate, need to feel love, they need to feel safe and have teachers who understand them and meet their individual needs. Sometimes they will take time to settle in a school, and they need to be given that time. They need to be understood and accommodated and then they will thrive and learn. Teachers and schools who understand children’s development, who have an educational goal, who have the appropriate learning environment and who show understanding, those that teach children as individuals but with a common goal to teach and stimulate grow and development in the child are the places to go to.
Take a careful look around the school and its environment.
*Is it stimulating and well maintained?
*Do the children have a light and airy playroom with appropriate learning resources for the children that change and are not always the same? (Puzzles, books, a house corner, a block corner, an area to draw and paint and be creative. Even children as young as 12 months need these areas in their classroom!)
*Do the children have enough space to play and learn?
*Do the children have access to a garden where they can feel, touch, climb, ride, swing, balance, kick a ball and socialise with their peers?
*Is the garden big enough?
(Children do not need a small environment, but do need appropriate environments!)
*Are the staff welcoming, cheerful and accommodating to your child’s needs.
*Are the staff understanding of your child as an individual and know your child, their likes and dislikes?
*Do they create a stimulating environment with free art experiences and play times that enable creative play to flourish.
*Does the school encourage critical thinking and expose the children to the arts, drama, music, and movement experiences?
*Are the staff qualified and experienced with this age group, or have appropriate support from the other teachers and the Principal of the school?
*Is the Principal available and present at the school to offer support and guidance and a good example?
Don’t be afraid to ask the questions! This is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your child.
Your children are important!!! They are the future entrepreneurs and leaders!!!
GOOD LUCK!!! CHOOSE WISELY!!! BE INFORMED!!!