Moms and dads would definitely be excited in choosing where to enroll their tots. If this is your first time to have a schoolkid, then consider these tips to guide you on your hunt!
1. Enrollment. Find schools that start reservations around October to February, so that you can avail of discounts and you'll have enough time to check the campus. Also, some offers free summer classes, which is good to avail to prep-up your little ones.
2. Program. Decide which suits your kid's capability best - Montessori for more independence, academic and cultural focus; Progressive or Daycare for more play-oriented approach; Piagetian for mind development; Eclectic for those who want an all-in-one approach, and Traditional, of which subjects are prepared with syllabus as most schools do.
3. Proximity. Nearest to your home is the best. Check if there are also official school buses available.
4. Budget. Remember there's always a choice between a private and a public school. Of course public schools/daycare centers are cheaper and quality is not always bad as some would connote it.
(You might also want to read: Public School Prestige)
5. School foundation. Some parents consider a religion-centric campus like a Catholic school or a Muslim school, depending on their faith; some would want to enroll their kids on a Science or Technological school. These things might be a minor consideration, but would make a great impact on the child in the long run.
6. Class size. Make sure there are a 'just-right' number of students in a class so your kid would get the attention needed. Don't be afraid to ask of the school's teacher-to-student ratio.
7. Safety. Are there security guards or gate attendees? Are there stair rails/handles? Are the surroundings and rooms clean? Be keen on school security and sanitation.
8. Schedule. Budget not only cost but time. Choose among the morning, mid-day, and afternoon classes to match your own time so you can attend to the kid’s needs with less hassle.
9. School management. Before you close the deal, make one last quick check if the school is recognized by the government, has any accreditations and what reputation has it created for itself. You can always seek friends or relatives who have experiences with those schools.
10. Rules and policies. Gauge how much of a disciplinarian the school is. You can ask basic school rules or policies to get a heads-up of what more to expect. Some schools may be particular on bringing of some packed foods or toys, or arrangement about fetchers, and the like.
11. Get to know the teachers. Once you get your child enrolled in that school, you'll always be kept in-touch with the teachers. Get a first-hand feel of how your kid's second parents are. Good parent-teacher relationship will enable you to address concerns more smoothly in the future.
12. Facilities. Make value out of your money. Request to site check the classrooms, cafeteria, comfort rooms, playground, and other venues inside the school.
If you've completed this checklist, then you're more or less ready to take your child to his first school!