Things to Take Care While Admitting Your Child in a Play School
In its simplest meaning a play school is an institution where a small kid learns by playing, in an informal environment. It a stepping stone for a child who hitherto has remained protectively in the four walls of his/her house. Thus, going by the very definition of the term “play school”, there are certain requirements that automatically crop up in our head as to whether the school has good care takers, what sort of teaching is imbibed in children and more general factors like timings, locations etc. However, rather than jumping over to talk about these things straightaway, it is imperative to give a better structure to this article by adopting a more comprehensive & holistic approach to address the question better. Thus, to achieve this purpose, the article has been divided into two parts as follows:
Understanding the Idea of a Play School
This part of the article deals with understanding the idea of a play school in the larger context. Educational institutions, as a requirement of society, go way beyond the common perceptions of simple learning and teaching. Philosophically, they are arenas of mental and physical growth of children with a focus on their overall development. All the other compulsions of any institute are nothing but consequent to this idea of overall growth of children. However, in modern times of money making, a lot of educational institutions have shifted away from this basic idea and exist merely as compulsory formal structures. Fortunately, play schools still remain rooted with the basic idea of an educational institute with which they were conceived. It might seem to be unfair to compare the two (higher education schools and play schools) from a certain viewpoint, but is a comparison which is essential to say the least. Without any obvious burdens of an educational institute, play schools advance forward the very idea of having an educational institute. The needs of children are primary and most important source of any procedures the school hopes to create, and the emphasis is on development of the child. Thus, the parents must understand the objective of a play school and needs of their child & know what to expect out of any particular play school. This basic understanding further leads to identifying a play school that closely resembles these ideals.
Things to look out for in a play school
As stated above, play schools have become a good option for corporates to entice parents and make money. However, there still are parameters that exist and help parents to find out the most suitable play school for their child. Some of them are:
- A school with good reputation is certainly one parameter to look out for. No amount of publicity can dent the good old practice of “word of mouth”, and if a school has a good reputation amongst the group of parents, it is certainly doing something good. A school of good repute further erases the questions regarding the security of the child that many parents are concerned about.
- Another factor to consider is regarding the teachers. Personal interaction with a teacher, if possible, can give you a fair idea of what sort of teachers has been appointed by the school. The teachers, in general, should be friendly & comforting and should be able to understand the needs of a child. Also, the number of teachers appointed is something to look out for. A good teacher student ratio is certainly a positive sign and reflects well on the institute. After all, personal interaction is the only way you can get around understanding what the child wants and establish trust with them.
- The curriculum adopted by the school must also be an important requirement for parents looking out for a play school. In the quest for preparing the students for the future, some play schools tend to put too much pressure on the child. However, an ideal play school is the one which focusses entirely on the basic needs of the child with no stress at all. The curriculum should focus on fun activities, group activities, rest time, etc. Also, short hours at schools should be preferred as long hours away from parents can put the child under immense pressure.
- Another factor to look out for should be the playing area & adequate equipment for children. The whole concept of a play school revolves around creative learning and playing. What good is a play school that does not have an open playing space for small children and other adequate facilities? Thus, an open playing area is also something that must be looked out for while picking up a play school.
- Facilities & hygiene is another criterion that must be applied while picking up a play school. Children rely on teachers & the staff completely for all their needs and the staff must be aware of the need of maintaining a healthy, hygienic environment. Also, facilities like adequate toilets, clean water, safety provisions and emergency provisions must be looked out for before making a final decision. The school must also have adequate & reliable transport facilities for children.
- A very popular & important factor is the location of the school. Any play school with real intentions of doing well in the field will have a large chain of schools making it comfortable for parents to make a choice. Sending a toddler to a faraway school is not something any parent would want to do. Thus, location of a school is the biggest determining factor in picking up a play school.
To sum it up, the list for all the requirements in a play school is not an exhaustive one. Parents have their own individual thoughts in mind which cannot be put together objectively. Also, a lot of times economic factors guide the entire decision making process. Thus, through the above list, the article aims to list out some of the most basic considerations that must/can be kept in mind while opting for a play school. At last, an informative and smart choice must always be made.