Nursery Admissions: Choosing The Right School For Your Kid

By Mona Singh, Vice President, Sesame Schoolhouse

With nursery admissions round the corner, parents and guardians are often seen worried about choosing the right school for their kids. “Should I go for co-ed or convent?”, “Should I go by the school’s reputation or the students’ test scores?”, and “How close from home should my child’s school be?” Many such thoughts linger in parents’ minds as they prepare for their child’s admission. Early childhood education is the first step towards making the child ready for their entire journey of procuring quality education. The early formative years for a child largely go on to determine his/her academic and emotional disposition for the next step in life. This is by no means a trivial matter. The best way to help children through this transition is to equip them with the right skills which go a long way towards a secure and happy education which can be done by choosing the right school for your little one.

Circle time recap in progress for Nursery kids at Sesame StreetParents know their child the best. Therefore while making the critical choice about the school, parents should think about what will work best for your child’s characteristics, personality, strengths, needs and interests. It is paramount that education of little children is not limited to teaching them the alphabet and numbers. Encouraging and practicing rote learning to score grades is definitely not the way forward. It limits their power of observation, analysis and rational deduction, skills that we need all through our lives irrespective of education and profession. Hence, the need is for a school that nurtures curiosity. Traditional child care providers have always measured success of preschoolers on abilities to read, write, and recognize and count numbers, not realizing that the mind at this stage should be open to understand concepts. Strengthening the capacity of children beyond rote learning is an important aspect and hence parents should choose a school that focuses on developing 21st-century skills of ideation, creation, communication and collaboration among children. The physical environment that a child learns in is as important as the pedagogy. It needs to be safe and spacious, lending room to work and play that is conducive to holistic development. The school should have an adequate outdoor play area that encourages the child to learn while they play. The school environment should promote and reinforce learning experiences and should be equipped with spaces to encourage creativity, exploration, reading and imagination skills.

A vast body of research has demonstrated that children who participate in good quality early childhood programmes tend to be more successful in later school, are more competent socially and emotionally, and show better verbal, intellectual and physical development during early childhood than children who are not enrolled in high quality programmes.Well-designed ECE programmes can significantly enhance young children’s well-being in these formative years and in the future, complementing the care they receive at home. Hence choosing the right school at the right age is imperative.

Tips for parents to choose the right school for your kid

– Think deeply about the basics that you are looking for in a school, what kind of environment are you looking for
– Conduct a thorough research by browsing the net for reviews, interacting with other parents
– Have a deep talk with the school teachers, principal and understand its uniqueness
– If possible, spend a day in the school and observe the interactions in the classroom
– Ask few questions about the school: Are children working individually or collaboratively?, How does the school address social-emotional issues?, Is the space safe?
– Try to speak to other parents whose children go to that school