Oh goodness, friends…it was a process picking a preschool for Camden and Ella! I thought I’d share about my experience in case it might help someone. If you’re local to Charleston, I’m sorry but I will not be naming the schools I toured or the school we selected. This is for my kids’ own safety and because it’s just my opinion and I don’t want to hurt another schools’ reputation.
First things first, I toured 10 schools and they were all very different! My first tip is to have all your questions printed out ahead of time so that you can make sure all of your questions are answered. Here is a list of questions or topics to look into:
- What is the cost?
- What are the days/hours?
- Will my kids be in the same class?
- Are meals or snacks provided?
- Teacher/child ratio
- Class size
- Staff experience, education, background checks
- What does a normal day look like?
- Will they be going outside every day to play?
- Sick child policy
- Do we have top priority to return the following year or how does re-enrollment works?
- How is discipline handled?
- Security (doors locked, open door policy)
- Are there ever students left alone with teachers or is it always a 2:1 ratio?
- Do you use an app to track check in/check out, send messages, post pictures?
- Is it ok if we miss class occasionally?
I toured 10 schools, yes 10! I am that crazy mom! While some of them had a lot of similarities, they were all pretty different. I could see my kids at only 3 of them though! We have ours ranked and I’m hoping we get into our first choice but if not, I know my kids will be in good hands at the next two on our list as well.
Here is a list of things I liked about the preschools:
- Had large classrooms with a lot of natural light
- Teachers and staff were friendly
- 2-3 teachers per classroom!
- Nice playground
- Very clean facility
- I loved the curriculum (all 3 schools we’re down to, have very similar curriculums)
- Hosts fun events like Grandparents Day or holiday shows
- Security was top notch
Having toured 7 preschools that I couldn’t even picture my kids at, I have quite a long list of things I didn’t like:
- Small rooms with not much natural light
- Parents rotate bringing snacks for the class, I’m sorry but this is not for me! I like knowing for now what is going in my toddler’s bodies.
- We want part time preschool and while one offered it, they charge the same price for part time and full time. This seemed ridiculous to me!
- One preschool kept the nap mats in the bathroom- eww!
- No security cameras in the building
- Old/small playground
- Only 1 teacher per class
- Not every teacher was CPR certified
- Now the one that made me really angry stated that they would place my twins in separate classrooms. I know in the future we will be separating Camden and Ella, what year that is I’m not sure but it won’t be their first year. I did not appreciate a preschool telling me what’s best for my children when they haven’t even met them or know anything about them. #endrant 😉
I am so excited for my two kiddos to start preschool next year! I know they are going to love it.
I hope this helps someone in selecting the perfect preschool for their child or children! It’s not always a fun process but it’s so important! Good luck, mamas!!