Choosing a Preschool or Daycare for your child can be a daunting decision! There are so many options and so many different educational philosophies out there, so how is one to choose?
Don’t worry — the Niles-Maine District Library has you covered! Join us at our annual Preschool & Daycare Fair on Wednesday, January 23, for a meet-and-greet with educators from 30+ local preschools and daycares.
We’ll kick things off with an FAQ Session at 6 p.m. and the fair booths will be open from 6:30-8 p.m. The first 25 families will receive a goodie bag with a free book!
Get the opportunity to chat face-to-face with school directors, teachers, and child care providers.
You can read the online “about our teachers” sections all day on schools’ websites, but it will never equate to real-life face-to-face conversations with early childhood educators. Getting to know people in-person is the best way to form connections and get a sense of how your child may thrive in a classroom led by people who you’ve only just met!
You’ll want to be sure to share any information about will never your child may require, such as food allergies, childhood educators, etc., as well as ask your most important questions up front, and then evaluate the teacher and/or director’s responses to what you share. These “first impressions” you get from educators may make or break your decision to send your child to a particular preschool or daycare.
Compare and contrast different educational philosophies, in a side-by-side setting.
Opinions on educational philosophies and types of schools will often pop up in casual conversation and on social media, but do you really know what a-day-in-the-life of a child at a private Montessori, a public preschool, or a religious nursery really looks like? This is your chance to find out! Be sure to chat with teachers at schools you are interested in and find out more about their educational philosophies, and how those philosophies are put into practice in the classroom on a day-to-day basis.
Just because your friend said her child is thriving at a particular type of school, does that mean it is the right fit for your child, especially when you might not even fully understand the philosophy? Maybe yes, but maybe no. All children are very different, in so many ways; what works for one child may not be the right fit for another, and that’s okay! Although it is like comparing apples to oranges, now is your chance to clear up misconceptions and figure out what approach will work best for your individual child.
Analyze the price differences, see what paying more or less will change, and set a budget for your family.
Childcare centers and preschools come in all different shapes and sizes and offer many different features and accommodations for your child. Some offer organic breakfast, lunch, and snacks, while some may only offer a non-organic lunch. Accommodations such as meals, which is just one thing to consider out of many, will influence how much you pay for your child’s education. Some other factors that influence price may include the certification level of teachers, the type of curriculum taught, types of materials in the classrooms, and much more.
Learn about local community agencies that are here to help your family with health & well-being, financial hardship, and early intervention.
To kick things off at 6 p.m., an expert from Advocate Children’s Hospital will give a short presentation on how to choose a philosophy of childcare that best fits your family and the questions you should ask when evaluating a preschool or daycare. Additionally, Advocate Children’s Hospital will be joined at the fair by other local agencies, such as CEDA who assist families with their utility bills, gas and lights, and Child and Family Connections, who assist families with Early Intervention Services.
Get the peace of mind that you are not alone! Meet other families who are in the same boat as you.
Choosing a preschool or childcare option can be daunting, especially if it is for your first child — but you’re not alone! Meeting other parents and caregivers who are in the same boat as you can be helpful for gathering advice and gaining new perspectives on the process, all while giving you peace of mind that you are not the only one facing this big decision.
We look forward to seeing you at the Preschool and Daycare Fair — be sure to bring your notebook, a pencil or pen, and lots of thoughtful questions!
What? Preschool & Daycare Fair
When? Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 6-8 p.m.
Where? Niles-Maine District Library, 6960 W. Oakton, Niles, IL 60714
This event is FREE and open to the public.