I have spent the last month searching for a perfect preschool to send Little M. I have been overwhelmed, stressed out, and quite frankly a bit frustrated. When I left one preschool disappointed that it was just not right, even though I was certain it would be, I had a thought. I have taught in both a center and a home family child care. I am educated in early childhood. I know what to look for! If this is hard for me, this must be unbelievably difficult for someone who has never so much as walked into a preschool.
I have divided this post into three parts. Starting with part 1 Finding Preschool Phone Numbers. Next Sunday I will post part 2 Calling Around (what to ask). I will end the series with part 3 The Visit (what to look for). When I started writing up notes for this series I realized how much I have to say on the subject. I tried to limit these posts, so they wouldn’t be overwhelming. If you have further questions, please ask in the comment section or via email.
part 1 Finding Preschool Phone Numbers
The first step is to make a list of numbers to call. As I found numbers I wrote them out in one place and noted my experience on the call. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t repeating any calls and if I decided to go back over the list I would quickly see what made that one a YES, MAYBE, or NO.
- Friends can be a great place to find preschools in your area. You’ll get honest opinions about the facility and teachers. Be sure to approve the school on your own standards though. Each family and child has different needs and qualifications.
- Yellow Pages, both online and in your phone book, will have a list of preschools.
- Referral lists are a great place to get a long list of numbers. On your county website you should be able to find a list of all the child cares licensed in your area.
Tip: The easiest school numbers to find will be for Child Care Centers. While Centers have their perks, consider looking into Home Family Child Cares as well. There are a lot of well run Family Child Cares. Some of the benefits are low teacher/child ratio, and a small homey environment.
Next week I will give you the list of questions I ask when calling a school.