Choosing a preschool is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child. The foundation of education is layed during these early years and can set your child up for success later in life. Instilling a love for learning in your child at an early age can be the difference-maker in how they perceive school and learning as they grow. Doing a little bit of homework yourself can relieve some of your anxiety, and we’ve compiled this handy guide to choosing the best preschool in Ashburn, VA to make your preschool search a little easier.
Their early experiences are a critical key to their development, so choosing the best preschool for them is a huge milestone. No pressure, right? There’s no need to stress over this decision as long as you properly prepare. Keep reading to learn more about preschools in Ashburn, VA.
What Are the Types of Preschools to Choose From?
Something parents discover during their search for the ideal preschool is that there are quite a few approaches to learning. Although there are no set right or wrong ways to teach children and many can thrive under any program, it’s a good idea to understand the different approaches each type of school uses.
Here are a few main preschool philosophies that are used to some extent by most schools:
- Parent Co-Ops
Each type of schooling has its pluses and minuses. At Center Stage in Ashburn, we prefer the Montessori approach. This is a student-led type of learning that allows children to choose their own activities and learn at their own pace. They also take responsibility for themselves and learn to clean up after themselves which helps build autonomy within your child.
How Do You Find the Best Preschool in Ashburn?
To find the right school for your child, start by asking for recommendations. Other moms are a great source as they can give first-hand experiences and often will share both the good and bad freely. Compare notes from various circles and use the information to help drive your search.
Research Preschools in Ashburn
You can also do a little Internet research and read reviews from other parents. Many schools are listed on online ratings systems which can be a helpful tool during your search. Keep in mind that online reviews only tell one side of the story, and those used on a school’s website are usually vetted to ensure the top reviews are highlighted. It’s important to not rely on just one source of feedback, so use multiple review sites to gain a broader perspective. A handful of bad reviews doesn’t necessarily mean the school has significant issues, but it can help you know what questions to ask when doing tours and talking with administration.
Take a Tour of Ashburn VA Preschools
Once you have a school or two in mind, it’s time to check it out in person. Go prepared with a list of questions you want answered. Meet the teachers, check out the classrooms, look at the outdoor play space.
How does it feel when you walk in? Is the environment conducive to learning? What type of interactions between students and teachers do you see? Don’t be afraid to listen to your intuition.
Ask about the curriculum the school uses and look at the teacher’s qualifications. What’s the student to teacher ratio? Are there signs of community at the school? Are parents welcome to participate? What regulations does the school have for visitors?
Ask the questions on your list that you’ve made. The school and administrators should make you feel comfortable asking anything and everything you may want to know. They understand how much of a decision it is for parents to choose a preschool, so you should never feel rushed or uncomfortable asking what’s on your mind.
What Makes a Preschool Stand Out?
When you find a school you like, think critically about it. What are the specific aspects you like about the school? Why does it seem like a good fit to you? Every child and preschool are unique, so it’s important to look at the school from every aspect.
How does the school cultivate learning? With a Montessori focus, children lead their own learning with direction from the teachers. Independence is applauded and encouraged, but if your child needs more direction, how is it offered from the teachers?
Pay close attention to how the teachers interact with students. A school and its teachers can have all the educational qualifications in the world, but how they interact with the students is perhaps the most important aspect.
How Do I Know Which Ashburn Preschool Is Right for My Child?
A good preschool will be a place where your child feels comfortable and feels free to learn and grow. That’s the point of preschool, right?
The Montessori philosophy gives children space to be children and to explore the things that interest them. They learn to be independent thinkers and enjoy taking responsibility for their own learning. Nurturing teachers are there to guide them along the right path at their own pace but don’t force them to memorize concepts they might not be ready for yet.
Weigh the pros and cons and make a decision based on your priorities for you and your child. What may work for one child may not be the best fit for yours. You as the parent know your child better than anyone else, and only you can advocate for them.
Take a Closer Look at Center Stage Preschool in Ashburn, VA.
Are you interested in sending your child to the best preschool in Ashburn, VA? Learn more about a day in the life at Center Stage Preschool here. And if you’re ready to experience it first hand, schedule a visit with us. We would love to have you! You’ll get a chance to meet the teachers and learn about our philosophy of education, so you can see if we are a good fit for your child.