The Whys and Wherefores of the Savvy Preschool Guide

Eliza Clark
May 17, 2009

Being a parent requires a lot of range. On the one hand, it requires us to think big, to ask ourselves the big questions.  After all, we have taken on responsibility for nurturing a soul, and bringing up a person who will have the inner resources to make the most of life, and be ready to weather its inevitable difficulties. On the other, it also requires keeping up with a daunting set of logistical and practical challenges, from first feedings to college funds. Most of all, it requires endurance which springs, thank goodness, from an inexhaustible supply of parental love.

When we are looking for a first school experience for our kids all of this comes into play. We inevitably bring the full range of our parenting concerns to bear when evaluating a preschool for our little ones. Many of us look for a kind of mirror of ourselves as parents. We want to find a preschool that reflects our philosophy of parenting, an environment that appeals to our own aesthetic, a community of like-minded families, a place that will keep our child grounded in the routines and norms that we value. Or, some of us may also be looking for a complement to our own parenting style -- a school where we feel that we can learn as parents, where our kids will get something they can’t get at home, a place that will expand their sense of community and possibility. At the same time, any preschool must work with a family’s logistics. It needs to be in a reasonably convenient location, have a schedule that dovetails with that of siblings and parents, and be within an acceptable range of affordability.

For these reasons, The Savvy Source’s Guide to Preschools takes into account the manifold things that parents look for in a preschool. Any school -- even a preschool! -- is a complex environment, and all sorts of elements must come together for it to thrive. Our Guide takes you through the full range, from the big picture of curriculum, teaching approach, teacher quality and tenure, to the nuts and bolts of schedules, tuition, and the application process. Our parent surveys also offer insights into the school community, as well as tips on admissions and (gulp) kindergarten placement. At first glance, this may all seem like more than you ever wanted to know about preschools, but from lots of experience we know that parents can’t avoid these questions!

Finding a preschool both child and parents love can be a complex process, in part, very simply, because parenting itself is such a multifaceted endeavor. But when you do find the right school for your little one and your family, life can become a whole lot easier.  We created our Savvy Guide to help you get there.   

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    I applaud the Savvysource guide to preschools. However, there is a glitch in the system. If a preschool fires a director, the new director can't log into the preschool's site to change the stats, etc. It is very frustrating!

    over a year ago


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