While there is no shortage of preschool programs in the Northeast Ohio area, knowing what to look for can help families to find the best fit for their child. Although each childcare center is unique, the best preschools in Cleveland, Ohio have certain qualities in common. Here are five of them.
1. A Warm, Nurturing Classroom Environment
In this environment, ThePreschoolGroup.com shares, children interact with adults and other children as they build close relationships. Preschoolers are “respected, nurtured, and challenged,” enjoying an environment where mutual listening occurs. They are encouraged to use reasoning skills, aren’t isolated, and don’t need to wait long amounts of time for what they need.
The room itself contains appropriate toys and materials with opportunities for child-directed art, science, movement, music, math, dramatic play, and blocks and building. Activities and materials promote diversity and acceptance, and parents are encouraged to participate in the classroom as their schedules allow.
2. A Focus on Kindergarten Readiness
According to the Ohio Department of Education, kindergarten preparation consists of helping a child to participate effectively in school: physically, emotionally, and socially. This requires appropriate support and nurturing.
Kindergarten readiness involves the child’s ability to separate from their primary caregivers without feeling anxious; use self-control; cooperate with adults and authority figures; perform self-help skills like tying their shoes and putting on their coats; use toys, scissors, crayons, and so forth in the classroom setting; know their first and last name, write their first name, and so forth. The best preschools in Cleveland, Ohio are set up to help children to develop those traits.
3. An Emphasis on Collaboration and Individual Growth
The best preschools in Cleveland, Ohio offer opportunities for collaborative interactions, including playing and sharing with other children and following the directions of authority figures while also effectively communicating their needs. At the same time, children grow as individuals: from using the restrooms independently, to creating unique pieces of art in the classroom, to enhancing their problem-solving skills.
In quality preschools, this isn’t an either/or type of growth; preschoolers should consistently have chances to progress in both of these ways.
4. Educated, Passionate Teachers
At a minimum, the best preschools in Cleveland follow required teacher-child ratios at all times to help ensure a safe, compliant environment. By following the appropriate structures to create smaller class sizes, teachers have better, more meaningful interactions with the children: ones that are positive and more stimulating. These interactions are directly connected to numerous positive outcomes, including improved social competence and future success in academics.
More qualified teachers, meanwhile, can do a better job of providing personalized learning opportunities with all of the benefits that offers.
5. Highly Rated by Step Up to Quality
This program by the Ohio Department of Education rates the quality of preschool programs and monitors their improvements. (Program standards use national research to determine what activities and factors will help improve outcomes for children.)
Preschools need a rating of three to maintain any state funding; programs that go beyond these requirements can receive a rate of four or five. So, when looking at preschools for your children, look for those that have stepped up to quality and received high ratings.
Choose Horizon Education Centers as Your Preschool
Located across the Cleveland, Ohio region, Horizon’s preschool programs meet all of these qualifications, providing children with the enriching experiences they need to grow and succeed. Here, you can see how we’ve achieved our Step Up to Quality ratings.
If you’ve been looking for a quality preschool for your child in the Cleveland area, fall enrollment is now open at Horizon. We’d love to meet you and answer your questions about our preschool program!