What to look for in a preschool?

When visiting a preschool look for:

*  Do the children appear to be happy?

* Are the teachers talking with the children?  Is the tone of the conversation polite & respectful?

* Are there enough toys for the children?  Are they in good repair? Are there enough books?

* What is the daily schedule?

* Do the children have access to various activites throughout the day?
    Look for building blocks/construction toys, pretend play toys, books, paints & other arts materials,
    table toys (puzzles, pegs, matching games, etc..)

* Is the classroom clean and well maintained?

* Do the children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children?

* Are the children expected to sit for long periods of time? 

* Do childen learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences?

* Do the children have to opportunity to play outside or have a large motor time everyday?

* Are the classrooms decorated with the children's original artwork?  Does the artwork look the
    same?  Children should be allowed to be creative with their artwork.

*  How do the teachers deal with discipline?

*  How does the preschool ensure safety?  How does drop off and pick up work?

*  Is the preschool licensed by the state?