As a parent, choosing a pre-school is one of the most important decisions you have to make for your child.
Your decision-making process will probably be wrought with stress, worry, and confusion. It is likely to involve intensive research and lots of fact-finding.
Where should you begin? Perhaps, take a step back and start with the "Why?". Start with these questions to reflect deeply on your own goals and philosophy as a parent.
1. What is your parenting goal?
Before you dive into school fee tables, and teacher-child ratios, I think it is important to start with goal setting. An authentic parenting goal will allow you to look for a school that resonates with your own philosophy as a parent.
An authentic goal not only appeals on a logical level, but it also speaks to who you are as an individual. It moves beyond social expectations and reflects a deeply personal and unique understanding of your values and your greatest desires for your child.
2. What is your image of a child?
Our image of the child influences our view of children, our relationship with, and expectations of them.
Your child is unique and capable. Get rid of that voice in your head that tells you that you ‘should’ be doing things a certain way and carve your own path forward for your child and yourself. If you’re making a choice because others are, or because you think you ‘should’, then you’re inviting into yourself a sense of resistance and obligation. Make sure you’re choosing a school because you ‘want to’, and be confident that your choice is the one that motivates and reaches your heart and mind.
Remember your child is unique. By observing and listening to our children, we have unique insights into their needs, desires and interests. So as cliche as it sounds, only you know what's best for your child and yourself. And instead of jumping into the bandwagon when choosing a school, start by goal setting and reflection, and you'll find your search for a pre-school a meaningful journey, instead of a stressful chore.