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Selecting the right preschool for your toddler can indeed be a tough task for parents, especially in a city like Mumbai where a new school comes up almost every day. What is it then that makes a school different from others? What are the parameters which parents should keep in mind when selecting a preschool for their precious child.
The Indusparent caught up with teaching expert and parenting guru Swati Popat Vats, the name behind Mumbai's number one preschool Podar Jumbo Kids, to understand the deciding factors that play a key role in ensuring that your child is in the right hands. She is the President of Podar Education Trust and the President of Early Childhood Education Society of India.
Here are the five things that she feels parents should keep in mind when selecting a preschool for their precious little ones.
Teacher training is the number one of her list as it is the teachers that shape the children and mould them into better individuals.
Swati Popat Vats, President, Podar Education Network
"A school is the second place after home to which a child goes to for the first time and it is the teacher that makes him feel at home and comfortable. At such a young age, children look for a motherly figure to take care of them. This is why teacher training is important and it is essential to have teachers who know how to ease off separation and stranger anxiety. They should be trained in calming the child not in stressing and upsetting them as they are toddlers are extremely fragile emotionally," she adds.
The curriculum also plays an equally important role, which is why Ms Vats keeps it at the second place. She adds that it is important for the parents to understand what curriculum actually means instead of just following the fad.
"I have often seen that parents tend to confuse the curriculum with the syllabus, which should not be the case. The focus should be more on what is the school going to teach the kids and in what manner. The attention should be more on how they learn and not on what they learn," she says.
"The old school teaching methodology of rote learning such as writing alphabets 100 times, will not prepare them for the competitive world ahead. The attention should be on developing logical thinking and creativity, independence and self-help skills that would make them confident leaders of tomorrow. The curriculum should highlight the philosophy that the school follows, whether they have a play way kind of a system, whether it is project-based and what the school believes in," she says.
Safety is the third-most important thing on her list, but one that is related to the first point that she mentioned above.
"Thirdly, I think safety is very important. I did not make it the first point because if your have trained teachers they would make sure that the kids are safe. The teacher should be trained enough to handle children and make sure that the school is a safe haven for them," she adds.
Podar Education Network President Swati Popat Vats with the kids of Podar Jumbo Kids
She also feels that safety should cover all aspects and shouldn't be limited to the physical part only. The school should focus on the
Read on to know about other factors that are important while selecting a preschool for your child.
Avantika Kukreti is a mother of the cutest five-year-old daughter in this world, who keeps on amusing her everyday with her amazing storytelling prowess. She also happens to be a multi-platform media professional with 9 years of experience in lifestyle writing and editing.
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