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7 Things to Ask Teachers and Staff on a Daycare or Preschool Tour

Daycare and preschool tours are excellent ways to get to know childcare facilities, any one of which you might enroll your child in. A tour will give you a first-hand look at the learning environment where your child will develop their fine motor and social skills, have their first classroom experiences, and make memories with new friends, among other things.

 

And while the tour lets you inspect the physical characteristics of the centre, like the interior and exterior conditions of the building, it will also afford you the opportunity to ask teachers and staff questions that can help you make a sound decision about whether the daycare or preschool is the right fit for your child.

 

Given that you can ask just about anything regarding the childcare facility’s operations, you may have a hard time deciding which questions to prioritize in the limited amount of time that you’ll be there. To that end, here are seven that you should consider asking the teachers and staff that you’ll meet on location:

1. Are You Licensed?

One of the first questions you should ask the staff is whether the childcare facility is licensed. Licensing ensures that the centre meets certain standards for health, safety, and quality of care set by the
regulatory authorities.

 

A licensed centre is also more likely to adhere to country regulations regarding staff-to-child ratios, cleanliness, safety protocols, and emergency procedures. Enrolling your child in a licensed daycare or
preschool ensures that you’re placing them in a safe and regulated learning environment, which grants you full peace of mind with regard to their whereabouts.

2. What Style of Curriculum Do You Follow?

Knowing the curriculum followed by the daycare or preschool is essential for determining whether it aligns with your child’s learning needs and your educational preferences. Ask about the style of curriculum the centre implements, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, play-based, or traditional academic, among others. Ask follow-up questions about new pedagogies you haven’t heard of before.

 

Each approach will have its own philosophy and methods of teaching. You shouldn’t hesitate to inquire about how lessons are structured, how learning is facilitated, and how a young child’s individual needs are addressed within the curriculum framework.

letter blocks and play-doh

3. What Enrichment Programmes or Extracurricular Activities Do You Offer?

Enrichment programmes and extracurricular activities can enhance your child’s overall development and provide opportunities for exploration and growth beyond the regular curriculum. The best childcare centres will offer a variety of programmes to cater to the unique needs and interests of each child.

Kinderland preschool education, for instance, features a children’s music programme that lets children pick up different musical instruments and strengthen their early foundation in music. Another cornerstone of the Kinderland approach is KinderFit, a structured wellness programme that enables preschoolers to look and feel great about themselves. To learn more before your tour, check out a day in the lives of preschoolers through Kinderland’s YouTube channel.

During the tour, think about whether these enrichment or extracurricular programmes align with your child’s interests. You should also consider whether the centre contributes to a well-rounded learning experience so that your child can receive a holistic education. Don’t be remiss in asking teachers and staff questions that will lead you to the right answer.

4. How Much Outdoor Play Do Children Get?

Outdoor play is vital to a child’s physical health, social development, and overall well-being. At the daycare or preschool tour, you’ll want to ask about the amount of time children spend outdoors each day and the quality of outdoor play spaces provided by the childcare facility. 

 

A daycare or preschool that prioritizes outdoor play and provides ample opportunities for children to engage in nature-based activities is likely the kind that you’ll want to enroll your child in. It should also implement proper safety measures and ensure that children are constantly supervised to keep each outdoor play experience safe and enjoyable.

5. How Do You Handle Discipline?

Your knowledge of how discipline is handled in the daycare or preschool will be key to ensuring that your child will be in a supportive and nurturing environment. Inquire about the centre’s approach to discipline and behaviour management by asking how positive behaviour is encouraged and reinforced and how challenging behaviour is addressed.

 

You’re likely best served by a childcare facility that promotes positive discipline strategies (e.g., redirection, positive reinforcement, and clear communication) and that avoids punitive measures. Only enroll in a centre that regards your child’s emotional well-being as one of its top priorities.

child working on project in a classroom

6. What’s Your Teacher-Student Ratio?

The teacher-student ratio is a critical factor in determining the level of individual attention and support your child will receive in the daycare or preschool setting. Ideally, you’ll want to enrol your child in a centre that has a low teacher-student ratio. This way, you can rest assured that your child will receive more personalised interaction, supervision, and support, which can positively impact their learning and development.

 

During the tour, inquire about the ratio of teachers or caregivers to children in each classroom or age group. Consider whether the ratio meets your expectations about how well your child’s needs will be met.

7. Are Meals Provided?

It would also be good to choose a daycare or preschool that offers nutritious meals and snacks as part of its programme. After all, nutrition is an essential aspect of your child’s well-being, and it may put you at ease to know that your child is eating well even if you haven’t prepared the meals yourself.

 

 

Ask the teachers or staff whether meals and snacks are provided by the childcare facility and what types of foods are typically included in the menu. Inquire further about meal preparation practices, dietary accommodations for allergies or special dietary needs, and the importance placed on promoting healthy eating habits.

 

Conclusion

If you ask the right questions during a daycare or preschool tour, you’ll gain valuable insights into the facility’s practices, policies, educational philosophies, and overall culture. Use the answers you receive to narrow your choices down and choose a centre where you can imagine the best experience being delivered to your child. 

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