Fall: Call for information and brochures; observe schools in which you're interested.
Winter/early spring: Apply to preschool(s); the school may ask your child to spend a morning there.
Late spring: Decide which school your child should attend; if needed, plan another visit.
Summer: If possible, point out the preschool to your child, and play at the playground.3 Things You Don't Want to See
- Artwork on display that looks too finished or that has a cookie-cutter sameness. This could indicate that the finished product is more important than the kids' creative process.
- A program that has kids in a large group for long periods, or has everyone doing the same thing for too long. Preschoolers need a mix of large-group, small-group, and independent playtime.
- Kids that seem too excited by your presence. This may be a sign that the program isn't engaging them enough.
You may worry that your child will fall behind if she doesn't get the "right" amount of preschool. But a few mornings a week is fine, especially for younger preschoolers. Sociable 4-year-olds may enjoy the routine of going to school five mornings a week, but they don't need to go to school every day to thrive in kindergarten.