One of the toughest decisions a parent of an infant or toddler will make is finding the right preschool and care for their little one. With dozens of options, it can be hard to find the perfect fit for your family. Emily Fuchs, the Owner of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in Alpharetta recommends families focus on the following three areas when searching for the right preschool option for their child.
- Transparency. Ask yourself, “if something was wrong or my child was unhappy, would I know about it?” As a parent of an infant or toddler, we cannot simply ask our child if everything is okay. Instead of relying on intuition or worrying about the unknown, opt for a program that prides itself on communication and transparency. Look for a school with cameras in the classrooms so you can check and see how your little one is doing. This additional layer of security will also ensure teachers and staff are held accountable and to the highest of expectations. Kiddie Cams™, the bank level secure camera system installed at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, allows parents to watch their child from a computer or smartphone during the day.
Seek care that ensures an “open door” policy; one that makes you feel welcome when you arrive. Ensure that staff maintains constant communication with their families. Ask teachers and directors if their policy is to send weekly classroom newsletters, daily thorough updates on your child, and any necessary communications when appropriate. Does the facility pride themselves on communication with parents as a key to their success? An electronic communications system, like LuvNotes™ found at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, gives each family a detailed daily report on each child’s day and is complete with pictures and/or videos.
- Nurturing Staff. Infants and toddlers should have a special place in the school’s heart! They are learning how the world works and need caring, nurturing teachers that form deep bonds and promote positive relationships. Schools should insist that teachers provide a warm and secure place for children to grow at their own pace. A school like Little Sunshine’s Playhouse believes babies should be held during feedings, rocked to feel loved, and spend time on their tummies discovering the world around them. Music is also very important at this age. Programs that play soothing music at naptime along with familiar tunes they learn to recognize at different times is a must! Seek a program that implements sign language as a way to communicate before children develop their language skills. This helps children connect and feel like a valuable part of the classroom.
- A Comprehensive, Play Based Curriculum. A strong curriculum will focus on whole child development. This should include an emphasis on learning from a social/emotional perspective, cognitive capability, and physical development. Finding a program like Little Sunshine’s Playhouse that specializes in language development through a Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum is an added bonus. These benefits are exposed throughout a child’s early education and into kindergarten. Preschool curriculum should focus on developing skills through play and lessons that include hands-on activities, active participation, and team building projects. Infants and toddlers should be given free rein to explore their environment. Teachers should influence curiosity and development by providing activities that promote interest and questioning.
“Infants and toddlers are learning every day about the world around them and through their personal interactions with the people in it. A nurturing and social environment where babies are talked to, smiled at, held frequently and given opportunities to explore their own abilities and limitations instills a trust and confidence to succeed that will carry with them through their childhood and beyond.” – Rochette Dahler, Founder of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse
Infant and toddler care are extremely crucial for providing a solid foundation for a child’s educational journey. By asking the right questions and looking for the right components, you will have a child that with thrive and be confident in their ability to succeed in the classroom and in life.
Little Sunshine’s Playhouse maintains an identity and brand image of unrivaled distinction in early childhood education. Their facility serves as a castle for a “once upon a time” experience that enables each child to develop their imagination. They use industry-leading technology in their programs to provide exclusive services. Please contact [email protected] or visit www.littlesunshine.com to find your child’s “once upon a time” experience!
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