What is a Great Preschool? Print


If your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 and attends a child care center, preschool or kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggest you look for these 10 signs to make sure your child is in a good classroom.



1. Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children.  They do not wander aimlessly and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.


2. Children have access to various activities throughout the day.  Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other are materials, and table toys such as matching games, pegboards and puzzles.  Children should not all be doing the same thing at the same time.


3. Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day.  They do not spend all their time with the whole group.


4. The classroom is decorated with children's original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and stories dictated by children to teachers.


5. Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences.  The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance, or serving snack provides the basis for learning activities.


6. Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least on hour) to play and explore.  Worksheets are used little if at all.


7. Children have an opportunity to play outside every day.  Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.


8. Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.


9. Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help.  Teachers recognize that children's different background and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.


10. Children and their parents look forward to school.  Parents feel secure about sending their child to the program.  Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.




Here at the Incarnation Lutheran Preschool, our teachers suggest that you also check for these signs:


Your first impression when you enter the preschool classrooms.  How does it smell?  Is there odor of diapers or urine?  Check the general cleanliness and appearance of the school.  Is everything in good repair and properly changed or stored?  What is your first feeling when you enter?


Are there signs of individual attention to children?  Are noses clean or runny?  Are shoes tied and children comfortable?  Are there signs of regular hand washing and faces clean (or is snack or lunch still visible at pick-up time)?


Is the staff friendly and affectionate?  Are they genuinely interested in you and your child?  How is the tone of the room?  How is the tone and volume of the speaking voices in the room?



Choosing child care is an important decision, and we wish you luck on this endeavor and hope we can accommodate your needs. 


Thank You!