The axiom of parenthood is that people want their children to have it better than they had it themselves. Simply put: Parents want what is best for their children, whether that means education, wealth, social status, or anything else. When dealing with schools, people generally think of making sure their children receive a high quality education. However, grade school readiness plays a big part in a child’s future success.
Grade school readiness refers to whether or not a child is ready for school when they are of school-age: Are the children enrolling in preschool, kindergarten, or taking part in daycare? The connection between an effective preschool and an effective later-life education is astonishing. While about three-fourths of young children do attend some type of preschool program in the United States, the remaining 25% are at a risk of several problems.
Beyond grade school readiness, approximately 70% of at-risk children who didn’t receive a quality preschool education were more likely to be arrested for a crime later in life. 60% of these students are less likely to go to college than those who received a better preschool education experience. As such, finding the right preschool can have a dramatic long-term effect on a child’s life.
Here are a few things to look for when trying to decide on a preschool:
- Decide whether you want an academic-focused preschool or a more social setting
- Determine your cost threshold — some schools are more expensive than others
- Find the ratio of staff to children, and find out what kind of requirements are in place for staff
- Visit a few different options to try getting a feel for each individual location
- Perhaps most importantly, talk to some of the parents are potential preschools
That final point is paramount: People who have experienced this before you are your most valuable resource. Ask questions, find out about their prior expectations: were those expectations met? Did the preschool hold true to their presentation or sales pitch? How does the child like the school?
Make a list of questions to ask parents about the preschool you’re looking into. Firsthand accounts are often the most reliable source of information, as they typically will not have an innate bias toward a company. If their child loves it, they’ll tell you. If their child hates it, they’ll tell you. If it’s too expensive, they’ll tell you. Use these resources. Your child’s future will thank you for doing your homework.