Choosing your child’s preschool can be a daunting process with many needs to consider. A few practical concerns that should be addressed first include:

• Ages accepted by your prospective facilities
• Proximity to home or work
• The school’s hours and school calendar
• Whether transportation is provided
• What meals are provided
• Cost of care*

*While cost is important, it is worth noting that many facilities in Indianapolis-Marion County charge based on income, rather than a flat rate. Financial aid is also widely available through programs such as the Indianapolis Preschool Scholarship Program, On My Way Pre-K, and Child Care Development Funds.

It is wise to start your research early and be sure to tour each facility before applying.

Questions to ask during the tour

• What is the educational philosophy or curriculum?
• How large are the classes?
• Are the teachers credentialed?
• How much playtime is built into the children’s day?
• How can I be involved in the school? Is my involvement expected?
• How is information communicated to parents or caregivers?
• How does the school resolve conflicts, and what is its discipline policy?
• Is the school accredited (at the state, local, or national level)?

Things to look for during the tour

• Do the students look happy?
• Are the staff members engaged?
• Does the building feel clean, comfortable, and well-maintained?
• Are interactions between administrators, teachers, and students conducted with respect?
• Do you note signs of a positive culture, such as encouraging posters?