What to look for in a Kindergarten Program

fun and structured kindergarten program

Finding the right kinder can be a daunting task. You’re looking for the perfect balance between so many different things, including the right program, great indoor and outdoor learning environments and great teachers. There’s always the ‘right fit’ factor that you look for when you visit different kindergartens too. At the end of the day, your main concern is your little one, and helping them learn, grow and have fun while they’re doing it. So, we put together this article to help. It covers all the most important things to look for in a great kindergarten program, with a focus on what’s most important – your child.  

Learning style

Before you look at a program itself, you might want to consider the learning style that’s right for your little one. Ask yourself – would they thrive in a more classroom-based learning environment, where they would be exposed to educational toys and games designed for learning? Could you be looking for a kindergarten where your little one will learn through play outside, where getting dirty will ignite their love for learning new things? Does your child like being in a larger group, or are they more comfortable on their own? Asking these kinds of questions will help you match what you’re looking for to a particular kindergarten’s style of teaching more easily. 

Another important factor is finding out what a kindergarten’s policy is around helping children who are battling to learn or do something. A good kindergarten will offer a predesigned approach to encouraging and building into children who are battling to perform a certain task. This won’t just mean that every child is accounted for, it also says a lot about the kindergarten. 

A balanced, fun program 

The right program takes inspiration from the way kids learn and behave throughout a day. Rather than your child fitting into a schedule, you should look to see if the program shows an understanding of the way your child might be feeling at a certain point of the day. Is there time for more academic learning earlier in the day when they have more energy? Is there time to play and learn outside shortly after that – when it’s likely your child will get bored and need to get active? It’s important that the program covers Indoor and outdoor learning environments.  

You should also ask if the program feels tight, moving from one activity to the next, or if it’s more loose, allowing your child time to move from one space to another, and potentially stop and play or engage with other children for a while – before getting stuck into the next activity. 

Don’t just look at the program

When choosing a kindergarten for your little one, it’s important to consider the rest of the school and what it offers as well. Although our first instinct is to check what our children will be doing every day, there are many more important factors to think about. Look for really good teachers, kindergartens with significantly good educational apparatus and larger spaces where kids can learn more actively. Considering these things, in addition to the program, will ensure that you get the whole package when making your decision.   

Daycare ratings

To ensure that your children get the best from their childcare, every centre in Australia is assessed and rated by their state regulatory authority. Part of that rating includes a kindergarten’s program being assessed by trained professionals. Finding out what the rating is for the kindergarten you’re considering will help give you the peace of mind, knowing that professionals have assessed the program too. You can search for a kindergarten’s daycare rating here

Making time for fun

One of the most underrated parts of a child’s developmental necessities is play. When going over a kindergarten’s program, check to see if they offer supervised play time, where kids are free to engage with whichever activity they would like. This won’t just be helping your little one with their development, it will also mean that they enjoy their time at kindergarten way more, and be more likely to want to keep going. 

Open days 

The best thing you can do when looking for a kindergarten is go and visit it. Every kindergarten will have an open day. This is your chance to have a look at the grounds, go through the program, meet the leadership team and the teachers. It will also give you an opportunity to get a sense of the centre, and experience the Indoor and outdoor learning environments for yourself. When you visit, let your child experience as much of the centre as possible, and see how comfortable they feel there. 

Finding the right kindergarten 

The main goal of sending your child to kindergarten is so that they enjoy a smooth transition to ‘big school’. While no kindergarten program is perfect, some definitely are better than others. 

When assessing a kindergarten program, your best bet is to look for balance. The best programs feature activities in both Indoor and outdoor learning environments. They should include both educational and play-based activities, and feature a reasonable amount of varied activities throughout the day. 

At Child’s Play, we provide your child with the best start to education, preparing them for their future. Our teachers are not just high-quality educators, they’re also locals from the community in which they teach. Child’s Play takes a holistic view to our daily program and has a deep understanding of what’s needed to develop children’s skills. Get in touch with us today, and find out how we can help your little one, learn, grow and have fun.