It is very important to know the right preschool parent interview questions to ask so that you end up with the information you need to make the right choice.
Getting ready to send your baby off to preschool or daycare can be a very difficult decision. You are probably wondering what questions should I ask in a preschool interview? Or how do I choose a preschool?
Start with this list of preschool parent interview questions to help you choose the right preschool for your child.
- Your child will grow and flourish when he/she is in a safe environment.
- You want them to learn things that are in line with your family’s beliefs and values.
- Kids should enjoy going to school because this is the beginning of their job as a child – to go to school.
So this first exposure to school needs to be a good one.
Preschool Parent Interview Questions
Schedule a Time to Tour the Center
First of all, you need to schedule a tour and appointment with the preschool director or teacher. The tour will give you the opportunity to see the classroom, bathrooms, and playground. By interacting with the staff, you will be able to initially determine if this will be a good fit for you and your child.
If you don’t feel welcomed or valued when you meet the teacher, this may be how your child will feel as well.
Once you have made the initial visit and introduction, you can start going through the preschool parent interview questions before you choose the preschool where you will enroll your child.
You are entrusting your precious child into someone else’s care and you need to know that they are going to be safe.
- Are the doors locked?
- Is there an alarm on the outside door so that a child can’t go out without the knowledge of a teacher?
- Does the school require ID for parents or other people who are picking up the students at the end of the day?
This is especially important if you are not the only one who will be picking up your child. You don’t want someone to be able to pick up your child without your permission or knowledge.
While you are doing the tour of the center, be observant about potential safety issues for your child.
- Is the playground fenced and secured?
- Are the toys well-maintained?
- Do they have a soft ground cover under swings, slides, and other climbing toys?
Food is a large part of a child’s life and one of their basic needs. So, you need to find out if the preschool/daycare provides snacks and meals or if you need to provide these things. Here are a few more questions to ask about preschool.
- If the center provides the food, do their menu items match your child’s food requirements?
- Is your child dairy-free and does the center offer dairy-free milk?
- When a child has a special diet or allergy, how does the center accommodate that need?
- If your child has special needs, can you provide the snacks and meals for your child instead?
Centers should have a weekly menu posted for you to look at. This will help you understand their food philosophy a bit. You will also be able to see what types of snacks are provided to ensure that your child will be getting healthy food options.
Obviously, the cost is a factor, but don’t let it be the only factor. Just because a center has a lower or higher price doesn’t necessarily mean it is better or worse. You need to know the cost so you can plan, but be sure to make sure your other questions are answered to your needs before you make your decision based on the price.
Some questions to ask about the price.
- Is the price a monthly tuition price or is it charged by the hour or day?
- If your child is sick, is there a discount if they are not at school?
- If there is monthly tuition, when is the tuition due?
What supplies will you need to provide for your child? Often, parents provide nap mats and bedding, extra clothing in case of an accident, a water bottle, and some school supplies such as glue sticks and crayons. Each center will have a different list.
You should also ask about state funding state funding, scholarships, or discounts.
What is the procedure for nap time? Do the kids all sleep? What if they don’t go to sleep? Where are the children when they are napping? All in the same room? In multiple rooms?
If your child is not yet toilet trained, you will want to ask about the center’s policy on potty training. Some centers will help you with the potty training process while other centers will not accept students who aren’t fully toilet trained.
Check out the restroom while you are touring. Is there a toilet that is accessible for small children?
Perhaps the most important interview question you can ask as a preschool parent when choosing a center is about the curriculum. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child will be in an environment that supports and encourages your family’s values and beliefs.
- Is the curriculum Bible-based and God-centered?
- Will your child be encouraged to learn about Jesus and be offered many daily opportunities to learn more about nature and the world around them with a Christian perspective?
- Does the curriculum match or support your own Christian beliefs?
- What types of books do they read or have in their library? Do these line up with your perspective and beliefs?
This can be one of the most important questions to help you choose the best preschool for your child. You want to ensure that your child will be in an environment that will support your beliefs and not undermine them or make fun of them.
Does the center have volunteers who help in the classroom and go on field trips? What is the screening process for the volunteers and staff? Do they have to do a background check? They should!
If they say they don’t, you need to consider this very seriously. A background check doesn’t guarantee that a person is 100% safe or prevent something from happening in the future, but it does provide a screening process.
When you are considering sending your child off to the care of someone else, you want to know how many teachers are going to be in the classroom every day and how many students are enrolled?
Many states have specific requirements about the ratio and there is a good reason for this requirement. It is very difficult for one adult to supervise, love, engage with, protect, and nurture 20 three-year-old children at once.
First Aid and Sick Policy
Another preschool parent interview question to ask when choosing a preschool is about the center’s policy if a child gets injured or becomes sick? If a child is injured, does the teacher contact the parent immediately? How do they assess the severity and then make that call?
You probably don’t want a call for each band-aid that is applied, but if your child falls and bumps their head, you may want to have the call so you can watch for any adverse effects later on.
If you are at work, will you have to leave work if your child gets a fever or throws up? This is also an important question because it also applies to the other students as well. You want your child to stay well, so you also want other children who are sick to stay home and not share the germs.
Many centers will require a 24 hour period of being fever free before a child can return to the classroom. Ask for a copy of their sick policy so you know what those expectations will be for the children.
When you are trying to decide on this first step into school, you want to look at the location and it’s proximity to your home or work. Will you need to drive an extra half hour each way to get your child to school?
Many parents make the choice to send their child to a center that isn’t next door because the center is the right fit for their family.
- Is the center in an urban area where there is lots of traffic and people walking by on the sidewalk?
- Is the center in a rural area where there is lots of space and an abundance of nature?
- Again, double-check the safety of the outside areas for fencing and safe toys.
Many states require centers to be licensed. Licensing provides a level of oversight in areas of health and safety for the children. In the state of Washington, for example, licensors check the playground equipment and test the water for safety and temperature so that a child won’t get burned accidentally.
They also check on the snack menu to verify that foods meet the daily requirements for children and include fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. The licensors also verify the employee files and check for current background checks and training for the employees and volunteers.
Just like background screening, licensing doesn’t prevent something from happening, but it provides an additional level of oversight that can help provide a safe place for your child.
Celebrate the Milestone
Once you have asked all of the preschool parent interview questions and you are ready to enroll your child, take some time to prepare your child. Celebrate their growth and the fact that they are starting preschool. Read some books about going to school.
Start this a few weeks before your child starts school. Stories and pictures can provide opportunities for your child to express anxiety, ask questions, and for you to reassure your child of your love and security.
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