Choosing a Preschool in the UK
5 considerations when choosing the right preschool for your little one.
Choosing early childhood education can be an overwhelming experience for any parent. From the different types of childcare available to the sometimes-staggering cost, there is a huge range of factors to consider when deciding on a preschool for your little one.
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Here are a few things to think about before making this important decision:
There is no denying it, preschool costs in the UK are huge. And, as a recent study by Compare My Mobile has discovered, where you live can have an enormous effect on the amount you pay.
The study revealed that average monthly preschool costs are £1355.42 per child in London. Whereas if you are raising a child in Exeter the average cost of preschool is £544.41 per month. This is an eyewatering difference of £811.01.
As most folks are unable to pack up and move according to the preschool prices around the country, it is helpful to know about the financial support that is available for parents. For example, some 3 to 4-year-olds are eligible for 30 hours free childcare a week with an approved childcare provider. You may also be eligible for tax credits.
Perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a preschool is the teachers. When you are visiting preschools, you should look for happy teachers that interact positively with the children in their care. While teaching young children can undoubtedly be stressful at times, teachers should not be angry or sarcastic, but encouraging and understanding. To achieve this, it is important that the teaches are fully supported by the preschools administration – another thing to look out for.
Preschools and nurseries should have a set discipline policy that details how disruptive behaviour is to be dealt with. Ask to see the policies of the schools under your consideration. A good discipline policy should include:
- Preventative measures
- Actions in event of bad behaviour
- Positive guidance
- Strategies for redirection
- Time outs
- Communication policies
You want the atmosphere of your child’s classroom to be one of fun and happiness. While children shouldn’t be running around wild, play is an integral part of preschool. Teachers should encourage development through fun activities and interactive learning.
5. The outdoors
Following on from the classroom, a rich environment for outdoor play is just as important for preschools. As preschool children’s exploration of nature and participation in outdoor activities is vital to their development and learning, inquire as to how much play time they will get and ask to visit the yard area.
Read Next: 16 Tips for the First Day at Preschool
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