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Our Blog: May 20, 2024

Identifying Quality in Early Education

Choosing the right preschool or child care environment can be stressful. There are a variety of options to consider and many personal factors too. The search may feel overwhelming but we’re here to help you find the right fit.  

Learning Care Group schools focus on several key factors to ensure a safe, nurturing, educational experience for young children. As early childhood experts (and parents too), we understand what you’re going through. Our Education team is sharing insight and perspective to better inform your choice. 

Schedule Tours to Watch and Listen
What should you be looking for during a tour? Try more than one place. How do you know if a school is the best one for your child? As you explore different centers, pay attention to these things:

  • How does the environment make you feel?
    The learning environment itself is critical to a successful early education experience. When children feel a sense of belonging and security, they’re more likely to explore new things. A warm, welcoming space fosters a crucial sense of curiosity and discovery. The environment should also support different types of development and contain a familiar, consistent structure.
  • What do the interactions look like between teachers and children?
    Teachers should be down on the children’s level to create meaningful interactions with positive body language and facial expressions during structured activities or routine daily tasks. Supportive relationships foster a child’s creativity and wonder. Strong connections also build trust. Children learn best when teachers encourage them to ask questions.
  • What educational experiences should be taking place?
    Research shows that children learn best through play. Dr. Montessori felt that a child’s work is play and that children learn best when working at their own pace and with a choice of activities designed to stimulate their curiosity. Allowing children to engage in things like open-ended art projects or using authentic Montessori materials, provides them with the opportunity to build essential lifelong skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
    • Connect new skills to real-life scenarios. Children learn best through practical application. For example, instead of verbally repeating numbers 1 to 30, children can count as they take steps to a new area of the classroom or work with the Montessori math materials. This helps their brains build those connections and apply meaning to a skill. Rote memorization alone is ineffective.
    • Observe playful, organic experiences. In a mixed-age Montessori classroom, activities range from the simple to the complex in areas arranged by concept. Children support one another, explore together, and collaborate, making discoveries as they learn and understand concepts in a way that makes sense to them. 

Keeping these factors in mind will help you make a more informed decision as you explore which school is best for your family. A quality early education will set your child up for future success.