How To Choose An Early Childhood Development Center

Posted on: 5 May 2023

Which early childhood development center is the right learning environment for your preschool-aged child? Your preschooler is ready to start their educational journey and build a foundation for future learning. But you're not sure which center is the best match. Take a look at these questions you should ask before you choose an early childhood development program. 

What Ages Do You Accept?

Is your child old enough to attend the program? Early childhood programs serve students from the infant years through six years old (or the year before the child is ready to start kindergarten). But this doesn't mean every program is designed to teach children of every age. Some centers may limit services to children in the traditional preschool years—three through six years. If your child is younger than three years, make sure they are old enough to start the program. 

What Is Your Educational Philosophy?

The educational philosophy shapes the program. Early childhood centers may ground their curriculum in a specific learning, educational, or developmental approach, such as Montessori or Reggio Emilia. If the center doesn't use one educational philosophy, ask the director or educational staff to explain how the school approaches early learning and what the curriculum includes.

What Content Areas Does the Curriculum Include?

Basic content areas that you would find in most preschool classrooms include early literacy (reading, writing, and communication/language), early math, science, social studies, and the arts (visual arts, drama, dance/creative movement, and music). Even though physical activities aren't academic, most of these programs will also include motor play and explorations.

How Many Children Are in Each Classroom?

Lower student numbers equal an increased opportunity for individualized instruction. The fewer students in each pre-K classroom, the more attention your child will get. According to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care, the acceptable teacher-to-student ratio for three-year-old preschoolers is one adult for every seven children. For four- and five-year-olds this number rises to one adult for every eight children.

Are the Activities Hands-On?

Hands-on learning activities give your child the chance to learn by doing. Instead of watching a teacher perform an experiment, color a picture, or talk to the class, hands-on activities allow the preschoolers to explore and make their own discoveries. This can help them to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills and develop new cognitive, social, emotional, and physical abilities.

Contact a local early childhood development program to learn more. 


learning beyond the curriculum

I wanted to be as hands-on with my son's education as possible. I also wanted to expand his education beyond what he was learning in school at the time. I started looking for different resources that we could use for him to learn interesting things that he enjoys learning about. My blog is all about going beyond the curriculum in your child's school. You will find tips and ideas that can help you keep your child's interest in learning and make the learning process much more fun for you and your child now and many years into the future.