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10 Important Points That Should Influence Your Choice Of A Pre-School.

By Alison Kabaara Kiriinya
The increased population in Thika Town has led to an increase in demand for essential services. Top on this list is the demand for good schools. Most parents of young children are wondering where to take their kids, and how to choose the right pre-school. Do you fall into this category?

Below are some tips that can help you make your decision.

1. Location of the School
A 3-year- old child should not be travelling long distances to and from school daily. Make sure the pre-school you choose is close to home, or easily accessible by car or public transport.

2. Student Population
Young children need attention, especially those who are still perfecting their social and life skills. Introverted children tend to get lost in a crowd when the numbers are large. Visit the school and see how many children there are in each class, and how many teachers are available to attend to them.

3. Facilities
The school should have appropriate facilities to deal with its targeted age group. There should be a playground with proper play equipment. The toilets should not be too high or too low. The washbasins should be of an appropriate height. Each class should also have a play area with toys, as young children learn through play.

4. Staff
There should be trained teachers who have experience in dealing with younger children. They should also be compassionate and caring towards the children. Visit the school and see what the teacher student ratio is. The school should also have support staff to handle the cleaning, cooking, and other issues related to the running of the school.

5. Cleanliness
When you walk into the school, does the smell coming from the toilets hit you hard? Health standards of a preschool are a priority. Younger children are yet to master the basics of good hygiene, and are thus more susceptible to infections. Every area of the school, therefore, has to be spotless.

6. School Hours
Your 3-year- old who is transitioning from home to school should not spend too many hours at school. Parents must clarify the school hours before they enroll their child. Long hours spent in school can be counter-productive for the young child.

7. Curriculum
Most preschools will use the 8-4- 4 system, but the method of delivery in each is different. Get reviews from other parents on how their children are coping at the school. Note that play is an important part of learning at that age. Playtime must be part of the daily timetable.

8. Transport
Once your child is used to school routine, you may opt to use either school transport or private transport. Make sure that the transporter is reliable and responsible. Get precise details of pick-up and drop-off times and location. Get the phone number of the driver and the caretaker. Note that young children need close supervision when in a bus or van. There must be a caretaker or minder present at all times.

9. School Fees
Parents want value for their money. If the school you choose costs you an arm and a leg, find out why. Do they have superior services compared to other schools? Do they deliver on their promises? Once again, get reviews from other parents.

10. Communication
A good school will make sure that the channels of communication are always open to parents. As a parent, you need to feel that if you need to talk to the head of the school or the teachers, they will be ready to listen. Parents need to receive information about term dates and school events promptly. You also need to know that if your child is unwell, or is injured, you will get the information immediately.

Take your time as you hunt for a good pre-school. Visit the schools that attract you. Get reviews from other parents. Remember that the first few school years of your child’s life are the most important, as they form the foundation of your child’s educational journey.

All the best as you make your decision!

Our Guest Author is a part-time teacher working in Ruiru and Nairobi, though she lives in Thika.
You can get in touch with Alison via Email address alison.kiriinya@gmail.com.

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