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Choosing a quality preschool for your child

Active story time signals a strong preschool program (Source: Raycom) Active story time signals a strong preschool program (Source: Raycom)

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Education researchers are finding more evidence that children ages three to five who attend preschool increase their chances of success in school and beyond. However, it isn’t enough that parents are putting their kids in any preschool program. Here are details on what parents should be looking for when choosing a preschool.

School success starts early so when it comes to selecting a preschool program, parents need to do their homework. First, visit the classroom. 

Watch the teacher with his or her students. The teacher should be affectionate and responsive, greeting the children by name and knowing what each individual child needs. Watch how the teacher handles conflict, like a fight over toys and teaches children how to negotiate and share.

Active story time also signals a strong program. Studies show that preschoolers whose teachers asked thoughtful questions during story time, like “Why do you think that character did that?” produced students with bigger vocabularies. Finally, online check out how the program ranks on the QRIS, quality rating and improvement system.  It’s used in almost every state to identify high-performing early education programs. Google the letters “Q-R-I-S” and your state to learn more.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children lists other recommendations for parents seeking a high-quality preschool. To learn more visit their website at www.naeyc.org.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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