While it may seem a little overwhelming at first, you can follow these simple steps to ease your worries one at a time:
1. Start your search early: Ideally, you should begin looking for a kindergarten at least six months before your child is supposed to start. This is especially true if the kindergartens you are aiming to have a tough competition for admission.
2. Communicate with other parents: Build your own network of parents to exchange information about kindergartens. Communicate with your friends and neighbors and ask for their opinions regarding the school of your choice. You should do this especially if one of their children has already been attending the school in question.
3. Meet the authorities: Instead of sending emails, make an appointment to meet the head of the kindergarten yourself. Since employees receive hundreds of emails from concerned parents on a daily basis, there is a chance that your query may go unnoticed.
4. Check how many students are allowed in a class: This is a very important factor. Ideally, the student to teacher ratio must not be more than 1:8. This allows the teacher to pay individual attention to the children and monitor the progress. When the student to teacher ratio is large, it is easier for the teacher to lose control of the classroom. Also, your child may get lost in the sea of students and not make any real progress at all.
5. The teacher’s habits: Ask the principal about the teaching staff of the school, and their attitude towards the children. Children of this age are sensitive and need to be handled gently. This requires a lot of patience on the teacher's part. Also, ask about the number of teachers in the school, their specific roles in the curriculum and so on.
6. Take a look around: You will not be satisfied unless you see the place with your own eyes, so you should end your chat with the head with a little tour around the campus. While touring, make sure to keep a lookout for the following things:
- The size of the classrooms
- Whether or not the safety precautions are present in the classrooms
- The ethnic diversity of the classrooms
- The bathrooms and other public areas
- Whether or not the kids look happy to be there.
- The teachers’ personality.
- The classroom decoration- do they hang up artwork made by the students?
Not all kindergartens are like the highly reputed Jumeirah kindergarten school in Dubai - which is why you need to do some sorting before letting your little one join there.