10 key questions for preschools
Choosing a preschool? Don't do it without getting the answers to these questions!
By GreatSchools Staff
1) Is the school accredited and licensed?
Unlike elementary, middle, and high schools, many preschools are privately run, which presents a risk of less oversight. Only one in ten preschools is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the most comprehensive and respected national preschool accreditation program. Many outstanding preschools don't go through the accreditation process, but if a school is NAEYC accredited, you can be assured it's met the highest standards of safety and education. Check here to find a listing of accredited NAEYC pre-schools in your area. (Note: Many states exempt religious-based preschools from some or all requirements.)
All private preschools are required to have a license — though depending if it's a home-based day care or a larger institution, the licensing process can vary. Licensing doesn't ensure quality, but it does document that the school's met the state's basic health and safety standards. To find out if the preschool's license is up to date, ask the school to see it or contact your county or state's social service department. To learn more about licensing, go to the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.