Preschool Tours: Making the Most of Your Visit

Andrea Evans
February 18, 2016

Preschool tours offer wonderful opportunities to learn about prospective preschools. Often you can meet the director of the school, see classes in progress, and meet members of the parent community.  But, as is the case with so many things in life, what you see may not be what you get.   So, think of the tour as an opportunity to scratch below the surface—to get a true feel of the school. You can best do that by coming prepared with questions that will help you determine whether the school is the type of environment that will be a good fit for you and your child.  While not every parent has the same set of concerns, there are a few key issues that can help you distinguish among schools and, hopefully, identify the school that is right for your family. Here are some factors to consider:

1. What is the philosophy of the school and how is it implemented?  

At first glance, many preschools may look the same—they promise a warm and nurturing community where your child will thrive. Of course, you want to sign right up. But how does the school translate its philosophy into practice? That is the critical question. When asked, a school director should be able to articulate examples of how its philosophy is practiced in the classroom.

2.  How (and how often) do you communicate with parents? Are there formal and informal opportunities to speak with teachers and the school director?

Most highly regarded preschools provide numerous opportunities for parents to interact with the school. This type of communication is critically important because as all parents of young children know, your little ones are not likely to give you a detailed breakdown of what happened during the school day. Thus, your primary vehicle for learning how your child is doing in class is via her teacher. So, be sure to understand how that information will be communicated.

3.  What do you expect of your parent community?  Are parents expected to give time and/or money to the school?

Some preschools, particularly co-ops, have strict requirements about how much time parents must spend at the school. Other schools are more flexible- parents contribute when and how they can. But even the more flexible schools may have "unwritten" expectations about what parents should do. Try to determine what will be expected of you and whether you are willing or able to make that type of commitment.

4.    What is your approach to discipline?  How do you handle children who are disruptive in the classroom?

Almost no issue is likely to give rise to more conflicts than the sensitive question of how children are disciplined in the classroom. Some schools have very clear guidelines about discipline. Others take a more case-by-case approach. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with whatever approach the school utilizes.

5.    What is a typical day in the classroom?

This question is useful in two ways. First, it helps to satisfy our natural curiosity about what our children are doing at school. And second, it helps you understand whether the school fits your child's learning style. Will your child thrive in a very structured environment? Or at a school where teachers allow the days to unfold without as much attention to a schedule? This is a great way to find out if the school is a great fit.

We know well that the preschool process can be daunting. But the good news is that there are wonderful preschools all across the country. At Savvy, we have many tools that will help you find the perfect fit

From the Parents

  • Peggy Mckniel

    At Abacus Childrens Academy the Preschool is located at 1226 FM 685, Pflugerville, Texas 78660 ( 512) 252-2704 tour and Info. The Preschool and Academy is geared at parents who are asked to show ID on arrival before they tour, rightly so as it is an environment with babies and children. Parents are encouraged to participate in various school functions and contribute some time to enhance learning Pre- K have homework once a week for 3 days straight, it's a great place for building confidence in a shy child, the director is awesome and is present all day every day. The Academy has received the best of Austin Awards 2 years in a row 2012/2013. A must see and meet excellent preschool. All questions are answered, introductions of all teachers takes place and the daily schedule is posted. They offer a variety of packages and are very affordable. Applications are already being accepted for the 2014 & 15 preschool year. Year-round enrollment is available upon availability.The Director and her staff are nurturing credentialed teachers with years of experience. A definite 5 star facility.

    over a year ago

  • Tara Katz

    Tara's Tots is now at two locations in Seattle! Lower Wallingford, and at the south end of the Zoo on Linden Ave. North. We accept children ages one through five. The Chickadees class welcome children from 12-36 months. The Robins and the Songbirds are preschool classes for children ages 3-5. Our philosophy is based on Waldorf Education. Our classes are small, warm and loving. Nature based. Open Houses are held in January and February. This year we have Open Houses on Sunday January 13 and 27 from 3-5pm. We are also hosting one on Wednesday, February 6th from 6-8pm. Tours are conducted by appointment on Fridays. Please contact the Administrator at: or call (206)724-7993. We would love to show you around our unique schools and introduce you to our teaching staff. Please feel free to call.

    over a year ago

  • Hope Peterson

    At St. Thomas The Apostle Preschool located at 710-40th Avenue, SF 94121 ( 415) 387-5511 tour and Info. At STA Preschool and Pre-K Learning Center Parents are encouraged to bring their young child, participate in circle time and morning snack time . STA Is a Gold medal award winner, 2011 & 2012 with Bay Area Best of the Best! A must see and very spacious state of the art preschool. All questions are answered, introductions of all teachers takes place and the daily schedule is posted. The 11 months a year preschool offers: Morning, Part and Full day programs from 7:45 am to 11:45 AM, 3:00 PM or 5:45 PM M-F. All programs offer a 2, 3, 4 or 5, days per week schedule according to your needs as well. Applications are already being accepted for the 2013 & 14 preschool year. Year-round enrollment is available upon availability. Children 2.9 years through 6 years of age. The Director, Hope Peterson, encourages all parents to visit at least 3 Preschools. The community of STA is a family of nurturing credentialed teachers with years of experience. The preschool opened its doors in the Richmond District in September 2010 and is known as the best kept secret in San Francisco. The community is based from throughout SF. The preschool gives sibbling discounts for children both in preschool and the award winning STA School-K-8th. We look forward to welcoming you for a tour!

    over a year ago


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