What to look for in a kinder­garten

South Waikato News - - SPORT / TE PAPA HA¯KINAKINA -

Preschool or kinder­garten is a big step for both you and your child, so it is im­por­tant to make cer­tain the one you choose is the right one for them.

After all, it is usu­ally your lit­tle one’s first taste of true in­de­pen­dence and pos­si­bly the first time they will have been sep­a­rated from you on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. And it is only nat­u­ral that you will want to choose the best preschool or kinder­garten pos­si­ble for your child.

But what should you look for?

Re­search shows that the most im­por­tant thing to con­sider when choos­ing the right preschool is the teacher.

All preschool teach­ers should be well qual­i­fied and show an in­ter­est in your child’s par­tic­u­lar needs. They should also have a de­gree in early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion or its equiv­a­lent.

Another thing to in­ves­ti­gate is the way the preschool pro­gramme is pre­sented.

Small chil­dren re­quire an at­mos­phere that is re­laxed and low-key, with plenty of time for them to pur­sue their own in­ter­ests.

For in­stance, you might see in the morn­ing, for as much as an hour, many dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren to en­gage them­selves in.

This is the time when the sand and wa­ter play ar­eas are utilised, along with dress-ups, blocks, puz­zles and paints.

There should be plenty of time al­lowed for th­ese in­di­vid­ual ac­tiv­i­ties to take place.

In ad­di­tion, there needs to be a time when the chil­dren con­gre­gate on the mat to take part in group ac­tiv­i­ties such as singing and games.

How­ever, it is im­por­tant that th­ese group ac­tiv­i­ties are brief and pleas­ant and not dom­i­nated by re­quire­ments to sit up and sit still. Over­all, preschool should be far less struc­tured than what your child will ex­pe­ri­ence when they reach school level.

LEARN­ING TIME: Small chil­dren re­quire an at­mos­phere that is re­laxed and low-key, with plenty of time for them to pur­sue their own in­ter­ests.

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