This post has been sponsored by Primrose Schools for City Moms Blog Network. All opinions are 100% our own!
I stayed home with my boys until the oldest was almost 5. A move to a new city, a drive to stretch my professional wings, and a blossoming toddler who too perfectly fit the stereotype of the second child came together in full force. I really wanted to work again. We found ourselves facing what ended up being one of the toughest choices we’ve made as parents thus far: who was going to care for our children while we were both working?
My big guy had just missed the cut off for kindergarten. I knew the transition to preschool would be no big deal for him. He was ready. But my 2-year-old? Not so much. Aside from the occasional sitters who were mostly there when he was soundly sleeping, he had been with his mama.
I was having trouble wrapping my mind around his potential reactions and experience. Would he cry? Would he feel safe? Loved? Happy? We needed to find a solution that made all of us comfortable but of course, we had some non-negotiable parameters, namely budget and location. It was a stressful, emotional process.
We started with the most obvious questions. How much can we afford? What options are available close to us? After some map searches, website research, and phone calls our pool of contenders was narrowed down significantly and I felt like I had something I could actually manage. The problem was, I didn’t really know where to go from there.
If I only had the Primrose Quality Child Care Checklist to help me! This handy and comprehensive resource outlines virtually every consideration a family could make in choosing a childcare program that is best for them.
In reviewing just the Basics section, I realized there were so many key questions I didn’t think to ask. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know.
This checklist not only spells out exactly what you need to know, it also organizes it into logical sections. If the facility you are considering doesn’t pass your criteria in the Basics, there is no need to move forward. If it does, the checklist carries you into more detailed and fine tuned considerations, such as curriculum, staff, and parent communication.
School Tours are Emphasized as a Must
…and I certainly agree! When I was searching, I thought I had my choice pegged based on my Basics and the communications I’d had with the director over the phone and via email. When I took the tour, I was shocked at how wrong I’d been. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t look right. It just wasn’t the program for us. Even if you’re moving from a different city or state, line up tours before you enroll. Many programs wisely require it.
My boys and I had the opportunity to tour a Primrose Schools location in Prestonwood. They were thrilled because they got to hang out in the Kindergarten classroom while Mom did the adult stuff. They were welcomed right into the fold and given materials to jump into the science lesson in session. They topped it off with a red cheek inducing romp on one of the age appropriate play grounds. (This school had several of them, all fenced and separated from one another with well-maintained and weekly cleaned equipment!)
I visited each of the classrooms from infants up to Kindergarten. To make parents feel connected and informed, the teachers update Tadpoles, an app that keeps track of everything from diaper changes and feedings to nap time. I can imagine that particular use of technology goes a long way in making parents of babies feel comfortable with their choice of child care.
Another standout at Primrose was the level of education attained by the teachers. All Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers are degreed and the teachers for the 3-and-under crowd participate in regular professional development. And get this; this Primrose location offers tuition reimbursement for their teachers who pursue a degree in education. Talk about incentivizing your staff! It’s no wonder Primrose has low turnover among teachers.
Classrooms at every level were well organized, clean as can be, and rich with materials to support the curriculum. From exersaucers to art aprons and easels, these classrooms had it all. Even the furniture was top notch. Have you ever seen a tiny wooden chair for a toddler? Durable and adorable!
On top of everything else, Primrose offers more that will make your parent heart go pitter patter. They have a full-service kitchen to feed your little ones a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks in between. That’s right, mama. No scrambling around to scrape together a packed lunch five days a week. And a cherry on top? Monthly Parent’s Night Out where your kid can be in a familiar, safe, fun environment for the evening at a very reasonable rate.
If you find yourself faced with the daunting task of selecting a childcare center or preschool for your child, make your life a little easier and utilize the checklist thoughtfully put together by Primrose Schools. Like what you’ve heard so far about Primrose Schools? Learn more on their website or find a location near you to set up a tour.