A Parent’s Guide to a Center or Preschool Open House
Are you looking for the perfect child care center or preschool for your little one? You’re in luck — it’s open house season. Open house events can be incredibly helpful, but they can also be overwhelming. Instead of getting caught in the whirlwind of way too many things to look at in way too short of a time period, plan ahead and think about what to bring, what to ask, and what to look for. Here’s how to get ready for a child care center or preschool open house.
Read up ahead of time.
Some child care centers post their policies online, and some might even post a link to their center newsletter. Read what you can before you go to the open house so you have an idea of what the center is like.
Consider these questions to ask at a preschool open house.
Think about what matters most to your family when it comes to choosing a center for your child. Here are some questions to pose to center staff.
- What type of curriculum do you follow?
- Do children have daily opportunities to choose their own activities?
- Is time set aside for small group activities each day?
- What credentials do the teachers and directors hold?
- Is there a regular nap time?
- How do you handle mealtimes? Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and snack?
- Does my child need to know how to use the toilet?
- How do you approach behavioral issues?
- Can I get involved? Are there volunteer opportunities?
- Do you offer extracurricular or enrichment activities?
Scope out each classroom.
Right now, you might be most interested in the infant room, but a few years down the road, the preschool classroom will be important, too. Get a feel for it all! Pop into each room and speak with each teacher.
Look for stand-out qualities.
Do you see separate areas dedicated to enriching activities, such as art, music, and yoga? Do the classrooms have materials in foreign languages? Does the playground have a garden area full of seasonal vegetables and herbs? Keep your eyes peeled for interesting center features.
Keep track of everything.
You’re going to see and hear many different things throughout the short open house period — things you’ll want to remember later! Bring something to take notes with, such as a paper and pen or a phone or iPad. The center might also allow you to take pictures, which can help you keep track of the details, like what the playground and enrichment areas look like, how the classrooms are set up, and more.
Choosing a child care center is a big decision, but attending an open house event can help make your choice a bit easier.
Editor’s Note: Find a center or preschool open house near you!