It’s time for your little baby to go to school. It’s time for you to let go a little bit and let your kiddo experience life outside the home. And it’s time that you choose the best nursery school that will be your child’s home away from home.
However much you would like to hold on to your dear little one, there will come a time when you have to let your child go out and experience the real world.
Parents may be reluctant when it comes to being separated (albeit temporarily) from their children, but there are various reasons why they have to. Aside from wanting them to learn, having a job and having no one at home to care for the little ones are some of the most compelling reasons why parents send their children to school.
That is why it is fortunate to have reputable nursery schools where you can entrust your precious baby. Through the caring and responsible way they take care of your child, you are given the peace of mind that your little one will be safe and secure while learning about the world.
Separation anxiety aside, choosing a kids nursery is also an exciting experience. It can be quite overwhelming, especially for first time parents. The trick here is to carefully think about what you want and need, and then create a guide or checklist that will help you narrow down your choices.
To help you out in this educational endeavor for your child, here are some very simple factors to consider when choosing a nursery school:
1. What are the values espoused in school?
This is the very first time that your child will be exposed to formal education. Even as early as four months, laying a good foundation is crucial. You want to plant seeds that will make them blossom into beautiful flowers in the future.
With this in mind, make it a point to ask the school what values they prioritize. Set an appointment or book a tour and discuss with them their standards and educational philosophy.
Look for schools that value commitment, as this will tell you how attentive and attuned they will be to your child’s needs. Do they also value diversity? This is a relevant trait that could also influence your child’s perception of the different cultures and individual characteristics of the people around him.
It would also be helpful if the school believes in kindness. Something as basic (but not as common) as this trait is crucial in shaping your child’s character. Kindness teaches kids on how to treat each other with respect.
Lastly, look at their teamwork and quality of education. Observe if there is a light and positive environment where teachers are genuinely happy. Happy teachers will have a more positive way of imparting knowledge. How they view life will reflect on how dedicated, hardworking, and patient they are in making sure that your child gets the best quality education he or she deserves.
2. What is the school curriculum?
There are various curriculums around the world. See if theirs will fit with your child’s personality.
For example, the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a curriculum that focuses on developing your child’s early education years through a unique approach.
It sets the standards for your child’s care, development, and learning from birth up to five years of age. Your child will be mostly exposed to planned developmental play situations where they learn through games and other fun activities.
The focus areas of learning are communication and language, expressive arts and design, literacy, mathematics, personal, social, and emotional development, physical development, and understanding the world.
3. Are meals and snacks provided?
While you are away, you would surely worry about whether or not your child is eating the right kind of food.
Progressive nursery schools remove this worry by ensuring that your child only eats nutritious food within the school premises. For example, a highly regarded and multi-awarded nursery in Dubai has a food program called Healthy Bites. They make sure that their menu is balanced and nutritious so the kids who attend their school will be healthy, engaged and eager to learn.
When asking about the school’s meal plan, ask if they use fresh, locally sourced ingredients that have minimal salt and sugar. Also ask about their food preparation procedures to ensure that your child’s food is handled with utmost care.
Blossom and Bloom
Parents always want the best for their children. You get them the best birthday party organizers for their birthdays, you hire the best instructors for when they want to engage in sports or creative pursuits, or you bring them to the most fun places that they will remember forever.
As much as you always strive to give them the best in other aspects of their life, the same care and attention should also be given when choosing the best nursery school that will lay the foundation for their education. When you plant your little seedlings in good and healthy soil, then you can expect them to blossom and bloom brilliantly.
Lama Chivi is the CEO of Blossom by Babilou Education in the UAE. Having lived in Dubai for over 30 years, she combines the best of international practice and local expertise into this leading British Curriculum Nursery, delivering a top-tier and high-quality offering to the MENA region. The mission of Blossom by Babilou Education is to support children in building their own identity, self-discovery and awakening while respecting their own pace and their uniqueness.