Why do parents send their children to a pre-school?
Today most of the urban families are nuclear giving rise to the need of pre-school and daycare to enhance the socio emotional and cognitive development in toddlers aged between 1-year-old to 6 years
Parents’ feel that the child will learn more by mingling with their age group, interacting and sharing with each other. Child will also learn to face the world away from their parents for a short time.
What are the concerns or anxiety that every parent goes through while they seek a pre-school?
The first and foremost concern of any parent is safety, hygiene and how conducive and secured is the preschool atmosphere for their child.
Safety, Hygiene and Security at Pre-Schools.
School safety is important in enhancing children’s learning. It is defined as measures put in place by staff, parents, learners and other stakeholders. The measures are meant to minimize risk conditions that may cause accidents, bodily injury as well as emotional and psychological distress.
Therefore, meaningful teaching and positive learning will occur only where there are measures taken to maintain safe, secure and hygiene environment.
The early years of a child’s development provide a window of opportunity to lay a strong foundation for a child’s life. During this period, children make leaps in physical, motor, social-emotional, cognitive and language development.
Thus, ensuring that children in their early years are protected from unsafe conditions will enhance their holistic development. Neuroscience demonstrate the critical impact of early experiences in brain development.
A Thorough Checklist for a parent to ensure their child is in a safe, hygienic and secure pre-school
- Visitors to pre-school should have guided access assisted by staff always preferably post school hours so that safety for children is maintained at all times.
- Ensure that the entire staff directly or indirectly connected to the pre-school have a background verification done so that we are sure about all adults interacting with the children.
- Parent has the right to visit and check on cleanliness and ambience periodically.
- Make sure there are no sharp edges or furniture with sharp edges that might hurt children
- It is important that all door ends are padded and have door stoppers to prevent children’s fingers from getting jammed in doors
- There should be no broken toys or equipment.
- There must not be any loose electrical wires or circuits
- All the electrical sockets and plugs at child’s level are disabled.
- No usage of LPG cooking or LPG lighting within the pre-school premise.
- There is a cleaning chart duly maintained at the pre-school
- The cleaning liquids such as phenol and other toilet cleaning liquids are kept away out of children’s reach.
- The toilets are always clean and pat dry.
- A child transiting and using washrooms should be staff assisted.
- All toilet seats and wash basins are facilitated at child’s level.
- There is ample clean and drinkable water.
- There are fire extinguishers and emergency medical kit and all staff are trained on it.
- Emergency doctor on call number as well as other emergency contacts on display in big and bold.
- List of allergens of the children.
- If the pre-school is providing food, ensure the grocery and consumables are within the expiry dates.
- If the school is providing transport, ensure the vehicle is child safe, GPS enabled and a lady staff is mandatorily present from the first pick up to the last drop of the child.
- Pick up and drop will be only by parents or parent nominated personnel not to anyone else.
- Every pre-school should mandatory have CCTV in all areas except toilets and with good recording back up capacity.
- Periodic herbal based nontoxic pest control should be done by pre-school and chart maintained.
- Ensure there are safety gates or barricades at staircase.
- Child transiting via staircase should be staff assisted.
- No child should be left alone in a room or unassisted.
- Medically unwell staff or child should not be allowed to the pre-school as they could transmit their ailments easily to other children
A safe and secure learning environment is largely conceptualized as protection of children from physical harm, perceived as an adult responsibility to provide a safe physical environment for children’s learning. Every parent aspires to give their child the best in all aspects, just ensure it is safe and conducive.
Pre-school Expansion and Operations Expert
Worked for Preschool chains like Serra, Eurokids, Kidzee and Footprints