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What questions should I ask directors at preschools I'm considering?

I'm looking for my son (3 on Feb 1st) in Los Angeles & I can't even find a filter or search engine that can help point me in the right direction to find & properly vet the administration/director.
Any ideas/suggestions would be great-thanks!

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Asked by changeisgreat at 6:17 PM on Oct. 26, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • How does the center handle discipline? What happens if an emergency situation happens? What is the plan at the center? Are the teachers aware of this plan and how do you go about contacting parents?(an emergency situation is anything from a terrorist act, a fire or a outraged parent) What education/training do the teachers have? Are they cpr certified?
    What are the policies on injuries, when will the parents be called? (I have been in centers that never call unless it is the head involved, others that call if there is blood or a big bruise and those that never call at all)
    That is all I can think of at the moment. I would also just drop in at some point and not make an appointment. You see the place in a truer light if they do not know if you are coming. I worked at one place that really prepared for tours, it wasn't really how it was normally. I didn't work there long.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:10 PM on Oct. 26, 2009

  • Ask what curriculum they use. Is it more hands on learning, which is what a preschool should be, or are the children forced to sit at a table filling out worksheets. Pop in un-announced and ask to see a classroom at work. A good facility will gladly oblige and the teachers won't mind at all you momentarily interrupting their class. A not so good facility will ask you to make an appointment, or won't let you actually go into the classrooms to observe. Actually observe while you're there too, not just for 5 minutes while the teacher stops her lesson to talk to you, but ask to sit in the back of a classroom and observe circle time, or story time, even lunch time just to see how the teacher interacts with the children, and whether the children seem generally happy or unpleasant. Ask how they deal with difficult behaviors. Is it their policy to sit the children out in the hall, or to deal with each child individually.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 9:21 PM on Oct. 26, 2009

  • is there an open door policy concerning parents. That would be my first cause any place without one would cause me to walk. Discipline o fthe children? How many kids to caregivers (teachers). How academic is you program? If you want one that is are you willing to compromise for one that isn't. Or vise versa. On your walk through did anything seem amiss...unhappy teachers unhapppy kids, safety issues the such.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 7:57 AM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I'd also ask about teacher to student ratio. If this is your child's first experience with school, ask them how they help kids adjust and how long they give a child who has difficulty adjusting. This isn't to imply that your child will have difficulty but it will give you a sense of how must patience they have and their overall philosphy in handling kids that are more challenging. (I mention this because my preschool was all set to kick my son out after 2 weeks. They were seriously lacking in patience and clearly had no plan on how to approach the situation. He's very active and curious. He wasn't disruptive just wasn't participating or following directions. A the 1 month mark he got the idea and has done great ever since.) Also, I'd make sure that the teachers are certified to teach the age level they're teaching. Makes a huge difference in how well they handle the class.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 AM on Oct. 27, 2009

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