Preschool Prep

By Nora Heston Tarte

5 things parents should know before enrolling kids in preschool

Is preschool in your tot’s future? Don’t get caught off guard. Here are 5 Things to know before signing on the dotted line.

1.) It’s important to start your search early. For many preschools, registration is already open or is opening soon. If you want first pick, get the ball rolling now. There is plenty of prep work to do before signing up and those who sign-up early have more flexibility in choosing their schedules.

2.) You have options. There’s no shortage of preschools in San Joaquin County, and they offer a lot of variety, including those affiliated with a church or held in someone’s home. Consider your personal educational philosophies and family needs before choosing. For example, many institutions boast academic rigor, while others praise play-based learning.

3.) Touring is your best tool. The first item on your to-do list after narrowing down potential preschools to a manageable pool should be taking a tour. A tour will allow parents to see how a preschool runs, meet teachers, and get a feel for the facilities. Bring your kid. They may have a say in where they feel most comfortable, or at the very least be able to tell you some of their likes and dislikes.

4.) Know what your child needs to start. Before beginning preschool, there’s likely a small list of items that should be completed to ensure both you and your child are ready for this new adventure. Many preschools require kids to be potty trained, others have financial requirements, and most have rules about immunizations. There might also be items needed on the first day, such as a change of clothes or lunchbox.

5.) You can calm fears with a call to the state licensing board. Did you know that the California Department of Social Services keeps records of violations and past reviews of all licensed preschools in the state? Call the Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Sacramento Regional Office to learn more about past performance (this includes information on complaints and violations). 2525 Natomas Park Dr., Ste. 250, MS 19-29, Sacramento, (916) 263-5744