Between birth and age 5, children’s brains develop more rapidly than at any other time of life. Before the age of 10, the brain makes most of its cell connections.
This alone indicates how pivotal early childhood is on development.
If you’re on the hunt for an early childhood education center for your child it’s imperative that you choose the right one. Not only do you want your child to be in a pleasant and supportive environment, but you also want to ensure that the educational style is one that will promote lifelong learning into adulthood.
Given the impact that a childcare facility can have, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed once you start looking at different childcare arrangement options.
Fortunately, once you know about the important factors to look for, the process becomes a lot less stressful.
If you’re trying to find the best childcare facility that provides education for your little one, keep reading to learn about the most important factors to be on the lookout for in an early childhood education center.
One of the first things to look into when choosing an early childhood education center is the education style.
Children are highly formative at young ages. It’s imperative that you choose a childcare facility with an education style that will support their long-term growth.
Some might argue that education style doesn’t matter that much in early childcare. This outlook isn’t very forward-thinking, however. No matter how young your child is, they can benefit from the right educational and caregiving approach.
We offer Montessori education and childcare for infants and toddlers, right up to the end of elementary school. If you choose the Montessori approach for your child, enrolling them in a Montessori-based childcare facility will get them off to a great start.
First, the child will be familiar with the Montessori principles before they even start primary school. This will allow them to enjoy a sense of continuity through their early school years.
Not sure if the Montessori approach is right for you? Studies have shown that children in the Montessori system demonstrate developed math and writing skills at a faster rate and that they are also better equipped to handle challenging social situations, such as conflict.
Staff to Children Ratio
Another important thing to look at is the staff to children ratio. Traditional schools and early childhood programs with low staff to children ratios usually can’t provide the same level of care and stimulation as those with higher ratios.
Low staff to children ratios can also be an indication of budget issues within a childhood education center.
At the same time, be aware that staff to children ratios can look a little different in Montessori schools. Because children are taught self-guided learning, there is often less teacher involvement. However, Montessori classes still tend to be on the smaller side as this promotes better social dynamics.
Additionally, when it comes to very early childhood programs, you will usually find a higher ratio of teachers and caregivers. Smaller children and toddlers need a lot more one-on-one attention and care. If the early childhood education center isn’t staffed adequately this can impact how well your little one is looked after.
One of the best indications of quality childhood care is happy children who interact easily with one another. Don’t get us wrong, any class or group of tots is likely to experience the periodic upset.
But overall, children who are stimulated, well looked after, and taught the right principles will display more balanced emotions and have smoother social interactions.
If you visit an early childhood education center and you hear a lot of screaming, crying, and shouting, with no breaks of calm—this can be a warning sign.
Of course, small children are notorious for their above-average decibels. But this doesn’t mean that a childcare facility should be chaotic and loud at all times.
In fact, Montessori centers are known for being predominantly calm, with low noise levels. One of the reasons for this is that children in Montessori programs are taught to naturally self-focus.
If you can, try to determine the staff turnover rate at potential early childhood education centers. A high staff turnover can be a telltale sign of deep underlying issues in the childcare facility.
It can also detrimentally impact children in the center. If teachers are constantly changing, this can be disruptive and unsettling for children.
To get an idea of the staff turnover rate, you can start by directly asking the childhood education center how often their staff change.
When visiting, you can also approach teachers. Find out how long they have been with the school and whether they have noticed a high turnover of staff during the time they have been employed.
Training, Credentials, and Licenses
You should also check up on training, credentials, and licenses. This is especially important for an early childcare facility, as these centers are often less likely to employ well-qualified staff.
Here at Shipra Montessori, all of our key staff members are professionally trained in Montessori principles. We are also a fully licensed facility, equipped with state-of-the-art features specially designed to cater to the needs of young children.
Operation Hours and Flexibility
Last but not least, evaluate the operation hours and level of flexibility.
Do you want to be able to observe your tot while they are at school? Do you want to check up on them at lunchtime? If so, you want to make sure the childcare facility you choose caters to this.
Alternatively, maybe there will be times when you need to have extended hours of care for your child? If you have a demanding workload, or an unpredictable schedule this can be crucial.
We know how challenging early parenthood can be. We also understand that parents want see their children as much as possible.
This is why we have structured our daycare to be flexible enough that you can visit your child at any point during the day. We are also open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm and offer enrichment activities for extended day students both before and after classes.
Are You Looking for the In Best Early Childhood Education?
Choosing an early childhood education center can feel like a daunting task. However, once you know what to look for, finding a childcare facility that ticks all the boxes will be a lot easier.
Are you located in Houston or Pearland? Are you interested in giving your child the lifelong benefits of a Montessori education?
If so, you have come to the right place.
We have multiple locations within the Houston and Pearland metro areas.
Book a tour of one of our centers today to get started finding quality childhood care for your little one.