How to Choose the Best Kindergarten for Your Child

It’s undeniable that choosing a kindergarten program is one of the most daunting tasks for first-time parents. Not only are private day-care and kindergarten options springing up like wild mushrooms, but you have probably never entrusted your child’s welfare to a stranger before. Though it may be fine to leave them in the care of your close network of family and friends, you may not feel as comfortable to leave them with strangers, even if these people are qualified and trained professionals.  

And it’s quite normal for parents to want to place their child in the “best” school.  In an effort to ensure the welfare of their children, parents have to be particularly careful when searching for one and must consider many things.

Accredited Learning Centres

Because choosing a kindergarten for your child can be a challenging process, websites that audit and provide information about kindergartens and early learning centres have been made available to the public.

If you live in Australia, you are in luck. The Australian Government has set up the website mychild.gov.au so residents can check whether the kindergartens are accredited and have a good record. For information about kindergartens in your area, search your postcode. The website will not only generate a list of all local preschools and kindergartens but will also provide details on the quality of services. You can also use this website to find out whether the organisation meets Australian national standards.

Tips for Choosing a Kindergarten Program

1. Decide with Your Child in Mind

You know your child better than anyone and know everything about his unique personality quirks, such as caring a lot about personal hygiene and avoiding mud at all costs for example. Keep these in mind when you start the search for the best school.

i. Your child’s needs and learning style

What to consider:

  • If your child has special educational needs
  • The type of environment your child needs – Does he/she thrive in a more structured environment or a less structured one?
  • If your child needs individual attention or needs to work in a group.
  • If he or she likes challenging work.
  • Does he learn best by observing, listening, reading or participating?

ii. Your philosophy of education

What to consider:

  • The things you want for your child.
  • If you want them to get hands-on and experience things on their own.
  • If you favour a rigorous or flexible way of teaching.

iii. Location of school

What to consider:

  • If your child gets motion sickness and if he or she will be able to travel a long distance for school.
  • If you’ll have them go to school on the school bus or if you would drive them to school.

2. Find out as Much as You Can About the School

i. The curriculum

What to consider:

  • If the program covers social and emotional spheres.
  • If it involves group work.
  • If the curriculum involves teachers helping children communicate and solve problems

ii. The teachers

What to consider:

  • If the teachers think creatively. If they do, they are more likely to encourage students to do the same.
  • If the school provides teachers with additional professional training.

iii. Talk to current parents

What to consider:

  • The reason they chose that school.
  • How parents are allowed to get involved.
  • What they like and don’t like about that specific kindergarten.
  • Are they encouraged to volunteer?
  • If the school has an active parent-teacher organization.
  • If the school communicates frequently with parents.
  • If they schedule meetings and events at times parents can attend.

3. Above all, visit!

When looking for kindergartens, it is essential for you to visit first. You can either choose to attend an open house in the spring or schedule a tour. For you to have a realistic overview of how the kindergarten operates, tour during regular hours.

Here’s what you will be considering:

i. The school community

What you are looking for:

  • If the school feels welcoming.
  • If the environment suits your child’s personality.
  • If there are policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of teachers and students.

ii. The setting

What you are looking for:

  • The setting should be vibrant.
  • Children’s artwork on the walls demonstrates an overall feeling of creativity and action.

iii. Culture

What you are looking for:

  • Friendly and helpful staff in general.
  • Staff who also warm and attentive when they interact with the children.
  • For a neat and orderly school, both inside classrooms and in the yard.

iv. Students

What you are looking for:

  • The good attendance rate for students.
  • Courteous, polite and disciplined children. Their demeanour should also be happy and engaged.
  • Children who interact easily with the teachers and principal.

When your child is in an environment that promotes education in a fun setting, there are higher chances of your child enjoying the learning process. The perfect kindergarten should be able to make that happen. And once a child enjoys learning, everything else becomes easy.

Why are Family Traditions Important?

Traditions can be small or big and vary from families to families. They are regular rituals that are performed every year or on a daily basis. People hold their ancestor’s tradition close to their heart because it forms part of their community, culture and family history. Traditions offer numerous benefits to families :

Traditions are believed to bring families closer as every year families have a specific day when they come together to celebrate something. Birthdays, Christmas, new year’s eve or Thanksgiving are the most preferred traditions of most families. It also serves as a reminder of events that have shaped the family bond for so many years. Stories that are told during those family events take you back down memory lane and also help to shape a child’s personality.

Families who follow traditions build a stronger connection among themselves and give them a chance to have face to face interaction which decreases loneliness and boost the happy hormones. They get to know each other more and trust each other intimately. In this hectic world, family bonding offers comfort and security. On the other hand, the main purpose of keeping traditions alive is to teach values to the upcoming generations. Whether it is religious or secular, ancestors believed in imparting and reinforcing values.

Continuing family traditions is a great way to keep your traditions going from generation to generation. It teaches the children about their culture and roots. Family traditions cultivate grandparental involvement and create a bond between new and older generations. It creates lasting memories and a loving relationship between grandchildren and grandparents.

Fun Family Traditions to start as from Today

Interested in creating new family traditions to strengthen your family bond? Here are a few you might consider!

1. Secret Handshake

Secrets handshakes have been invented to distinguish members. When it comes to families, secret handshakes can be used to pass on code messages. It is like concocting your own secret language which only family members would understand.

2.Guess who

This is a game which can have a pleasant effect during a family gathering. Take out pieces of paper and write down things which you like about your favorite family member. Choose one person to select and read the piece of paper while the others try to guess which member they are referring to. In that way, the positive things written on the paper makes everyone happy about themselves.

3. Happiness Jar

Write down every special memory which made your heart overwhelmed during family time. Drop the paper in a Jar. Whenever any of you feels low, grab a piece of the happiness jar and feel grateful for your wonderful family around you.

4. Mornings in bed

Choose a morning between Saturday and Sunday to spend some time in bed with your family. Try having breakfast in bed with some cookies and milk. Taking a few minutes to relax and spend time with your family is a great way to have a great weekend.

5. Movie / Game night

Let a different family member choose a movie or game each week. This tradition makes every family member feel important.

5 Interesting Traditions Around the World

Traditions are beliefs that contribute to our culture. They are passed down from generation to generation and remind us of our ancestors and rich historical background. Some traditions are celebrated all around the world such as Christmas and birthdays, nevertheless, there are some weird and fun traditions that are practiced only by a group of people in some countries.

  • Cimburijada festival of scrambled eggs in Zenica, Bosnia

Well, do you like scrambled eggs? You can wholeheartedly satisfy your scrambled egg cravings in Bosnia during spring or more precisely during the month of March. During that festival, eggs are scrambled and given out for free. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of a new season. You will come across a lot of tourists during that festive season. Not just because they want free eggs, its because this festival is fun-filled.

  • La Tomatina or tomato craze in Bunol Spain

Are you ready to paint the town red? Every Wednesday of the month of August, Spanish people use tomatoes for a fun fight. It is considered to be the world’s biggest tomato fight. This festival is meant only for entertainment. If you are planning to visit Spain anytime soon, you can add this to your itinerary.

  • The Polterabend custom in Germany

This custom includes a lot of breaking. Family and friends of future married couples meet over dinner and break a large number of porcelain dishes. The couples are then obliged to clean the mess. The aim of this custom is to teach them the importance of teamwork and unity. It is also considered as good luck and essential for the relationship to last longer.

  • Famadihana: dancing with the dead in Madagascar

Reburial ceremony, Madagascar

Also known as turning of the bones, this festival honors the dead. It is celebrated every 7 years. Only the families who can afford lavish dinners and new clothes for the existing family members celebrate this festival. Family members dance with their dead relatives and show them respect. They even give gifts to the dead. Note that crying is strictly prohibited during the celebration.

  • Throwing cinnamon to those still single at 25 in Denmark

If you are 25 years old and still single in Denmark, be prepared to be drenched in cinnamon! This tradition is practiced on the person’s 25th birthday by friends and family. The individual is doused with cinnamon sticks. The interesting fact is that this tradition encourages single people to look for a partner before they turn 25.