The first few years of early learning are vital, as this prepares the child for 12 years of formal education, and your choice of nursery and kindergarten is very important. Many parents find sourcing a preschool a daunting prospect, and with that in mind, here are some tips to help ensure that you make the right choices for your child.
- The Right Environment – If you are looking for a preschool in Bangkok, you want to be sure that the institution offers a safe environment in which your child can explore. Obviously, there should be safe areas outside where the kids can enjoy nature, plus the school should have a closed door policy that restricts access.
- The Right Attitude to Learning – You may have heard of the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, which is very much hands-on, and places the child at the very centre of everything. Each child has unique abilities and should be able to express themselves in many different ways, and any school that adopts the Reggio Emilia approach would have the right foundations to provide a suitable learning environment for your child.
- School Visit – After using the Internet to source local preschools, the next step in the process is to make a shortlist and visit every school that you feel warrants further investigation. The school principal would be only too happy to give you a tour of their establishment, which gives you a chance to observe classroom activities. You should also prepare some questions to ask the principal regarding their policies and their attitude towards early learning in general. Once you have seen the schools on your list, you can make an informed decision and then plan another visit, taking your child along this time.
- Language Issues – If you are living in a non-English speaking country, there’s always the risk that your child will not develop an early understanding of English, which is, after all, the international language. Children have the ability to learn several languages simultaneously, and a French mother and German father with a young child in Bangkok, for example, should study everything in English, which will provide them with the necessary foundation to carry on developing the most important language of all. When parents are different nationalities, providing the child receives consistent input from both mother and father, they will learn their respective languages, plus they will learn the local language, whatever that might be, and with English at school, the child will have no problems taking on multiple languages.
- Parental Involvement – Research shows that parental involvement is a cornerstone of good preschool education, so look for a preschool that encourages parental participation. This enables you to really understand the learning processes and you can support the system with the right actions at home.
If you take the time to find the right preschool for your child, you are equipping them to have the tools to reach their fullest potential, and that is something that every parent should do.