Finding the right daycare can be tricky for parents. Many turn to Google and search—best daycare near me. It makes sense. Understandably, convenient proximity is a priority for many busy parents on their way to work. Once a family has decided it’s the right time for preschool, the challenge becomes finding a good program—and it pays to start searching early. At Pebbles & Piaget, some parents in our busy Vancouver and Langley preschools begin applying as soon as their little one is born.
Identifying “Best Daycare Near Me” Isn’t Always the Same
Like anything else, locating the right daycare is a matter of priority, so that’s where to start. Google will provide a list of schools based on the location search. Narrowing the decision becomes a matter of identifying the program that provides the right curriculum and balance. For example, should the program be academically driven or a mix of activities and purposeful play? Are hot lunches and fresh snacks included? Do instructors have any special qualifications? Write down everything to start evaluating different programs.
1) Research the Internet
One of the best ways to identify reputable daycares is to ask around. Friends and family with first-hand experience are a great source of information. Don’t forget to check Google Ratings to see what other parents have said. As an example, here are a few reviews from our Langley Preschool location.
2) Interview & Visit
The Internet can be a great source of information, especially if the school has a website. In this case, information about programs, fees, and enrollment should be readily available. However, it can be tough to develop a well-rounded idea without actually visiting the school. Most preschools will offer tours—some are even available online. However, it always pays to talk to the director to discuss the school’s philosophy around factors like education, care, discipline, and nutrition.
3) Student to Instructor Ratio
Another important factor is the student-to-instructor ratio. The NAEYC recommends children between 2-3 years old should have at least two instructors for groups under 20. Our signature Toddler Program has a BC-licensed educator for every 4 students and never exceeds a group size of 12. This makes it easier for us to be responsive to individual needs especially if a little one is having a difficult day.
4) Visit with Your Child if Possible
Finally, ask if it’s okay to kid-test the school—bring the student along. Ideally, classrooms are warm, clean, inviting, and safe—the right environment for kids to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. Seeing toys and resources should stimulate curiosity, leaving a little one brimming with joy and anticipation, even if they are a bit nervous. Instructors who are engaged and ready to talk about the class will be learning and doing is a great way to get kids psyched up and alleviate some nervousness.
Ultimately, choosing among the many “best daycares near me” will be a personal decision, it could be proximity, program strength, or some combination of the two that determines the outcome. Even If the perfect preschool has no current openings, don’t despair—request to be added to the waiting list.
About Pebbles & Piaget
Pebbles and Piaget recently launched a second preschool in Langley. Our Vancouver location is already one of the best-rated in the city with a curriculum designed around the teachings of Swiss Childhood psychologist Jean Piaget. Staffed by BC-certified teachers who undergo extensive ongoing training to stay up-to-date on the best methods to help children learn, mature, and grow, we help children succeed by fostering an early love of learning. We were thrilled to learn our Pre-kindergarten Program recently earned a top-five spot at myrating.ca.
Visit our contact page to learn about enrollment at Pebbles & Piaget or schedule a visit.