Since a good education is the key to any child’s future success, parents are greatly invested in finding the best day schools, such as private preschools or top rated public elementary schools, for their children. But what sets apart a preschool from a day care center? The benefits of daycare are quiet appealing, but for many parents, day care does not offer the same kind of education they want for their child that a preschool can. So, how to find a preschool that fits a child’s needs? The internet is very useful for finding the top rated preschools and day care centers alike in the area, and visiting in person is another important step to take. In this way, the process of finding an ideal preschool can be made fairly straightforward and very doable.
Looking for Good Preschools
It may be noted that while preschool or day care enrollment is not mandatory in the United States, more parents and families than ever are sending their children aged three to five to these pre-K programs. In particular, the enrollment rate of preschool-aged children grew rapidly from 1990 to 2000, and by now, over half of all children in this age range are attending preschools of one kind or another. Most often, it is four- and five-year-old who are attending these day schools, and in 2015 (for a recent example), 87% of all five-year-old children were enrolled in various pre-K programs across the nation. When a family moves to a new city or county, or when their child first becomes old enough for preschool and not just a day care center, the parents can enroll their child, too.
If the parents do not already have a good personal reference to use, they can start looking online, and entering a fairly specific search query is usually best, especially when searching in larger cities. The parents should specify that they are looking for a preschool (and not a day care center), and also specify whether they are looking for private preschools, public ones, or even both. Typing in the local ZIP code can also help narrow down the results, and the parents can even enter “best rated” or “top rated” to find the best schools faster.
Doing all this will bring up a whole list of results, and the parents may strike out schools that are deemed unsuitable for one reason or another. Now, they can compile a short list of the most promising schools and visit them one by one. Checking out a preschool in person is important, so the parents can get a fair impression of what a given school is like, and while there, they can also consult the staff to review the school’s funding, programs, and the credentials of the teachers working there. During follow-up visits to promising schools, the parents should bring along their child, to make sure that child feels comfortable there and gets along with the staff. Also, some young students will have special needs, owing to a learning disability or a physical or mental handicap. In this case, the parents should find a school with the right programs and features to accommodate a special-needs student, so any child can get a good quality education.
Elementary Schools and Beyond
Enrolling a child at elementary, middle, and high school is certainly mandatory, and to find good schools in the area, parents can use a fairly similar process as the one described above. When looking for and visiting K-12 schools in particular, the parents and child can look for a school that offers clubs, programs, and other features that match the child’s unique interests. For example, an elementary school or middle school with a dedicated arts program, or a high school with a good football team or a science and engineering program or class. Prospective high school students can consult a school’s staff along with their parents for better reference, too. And as for public vs private, a private school is privately funded and run (hence the name), and charges tuition per year. In exchange, students there get a high quality education at the hands of excellent teachers at a well-supplied school. Still, a well-funded and highly rated public school can be a solid alternative.