Finding the right preschool in the Bay Area may seem like a challenge at first. There are so many options and programs to choose from, and you want to make sure you’re making the best decision you can for your child. This guide to selecting preschools in the Bay Area can help creative parents make the right choice without feeling overwhelmed!
Choosing The Right School
When researching preschool options, it’s important to bear in mind a number of different factors that can contribute to what will make the best fit. These factors include:
Type of Program
Preschool programs are not one-size-fits-all. Rather, there are a few different core programs individual preschools in the Bay Area use in their classrooms: Play-Based, Academic, Montessori, and Co-op. You can learn more about each program and philosophy here.
California Preschool Licenses
Any person or program caring for more than one child other than their own is required to be licensed by the state of California, so only consider preschools that have this qualification. Being licensed means they adhere to proper adult-child ratios and meet the correct health and safety standards, so you can rest easy knowing your child is learning in a safe, accredited environment.
Along with licenses, make sure to ask about any quality checks the school has undergone and ratings received. Examples include accreditation through the National Association for Family Child Care and the National Association of Education for Young Children, among others. However, not having additional accreditations doesn’t need to be a deal-breaker, since they require time and money the school might simply have allocated to other great resources instead.
Environment as a whole may be the most important element when considering different preschools. Make sure to ask about day-to-day schedules, outdoor time, teacher ratios, how discipline is handled, and the visitor policy to start. Knowing the logistics and overall feel of the school will help you evaluate if your child’s time will be well-spent learning at that particular institution.
Bay Area Preschools
These are just a few of the many notable preschools throughout the Bay Area. Take a look and see if one of them may be right for you.
C5 Children’s School: C5 has two locations in the greater San Francisco area and boasts a wide-ranging curriculum focused on both inquiry and project-based approaches. Most notably, it follows the Reggio Emilia belief that children have over 100 different languages and works to introduce them to as many as possible.
Peekadoodle Academy: Located in Ghiradelli Square, Peekadoodle Academy makes use of its impressive play space along with cozy classrooms and low teacher-student ratios. It emphasizes a balanced approach to learning that includes weekly music classes, outdoor play, art activities, and more.
Harker School: The Harker School in San Jose offers teaching from preschool all the way up to the final year of high school on a gorgeous, eight-acre campus that includes a STEM lab, outdoor play space, and a working farm! Their preschool curriculum is both project-based and play-based, offering a well-rounded learning experience.
Neighborhood Christian Center: This Silicon Valley preschool offers a play-based curriculum that focuses on allotting large blocks of time for students to explore and engage with their environment and materials. Children are constantly encouraged to make decisions, socialize, and be hands-on in their learning.
When choosing a preschool, the most important thing to consider is what will be best for you and your child. Consider the factors that are most important to you, and be sure to go with your gut. There are tons of amazing options out there!
Author Bio:Sam Casteris is an avid traveler and aspiring travel writer. She writes creative pieces about travel, informational articles for other travelers, and guides to make travel as stress-free as possible. Her home base is in Phoenix, AZ.