Starting A Preschool Group
Starting A Preschool Group: In this article you will find preschooling tips, curriculum ideas, education resources, and fun activities that will help make your preschool group a success. Start your preschool with these tips!
Does this whine sound familiar? Whether this young child needs intellectual stimulation, social interaction, or physical activity, a fun solution is starting your own preschool group.
The first step is to decide the kind of preschool group. Should it be religious-based? Should it be focused only on education? How big should it be? This will somewhat depend on what’s available in your area. Begin by talking with parents of similar-aged children. Get some ideas of what other parents have done or would like to see in a preschool group.
A second step is to decide how many parents and children to include. A few points to consider:
- How many of your own children will be participating?
- How many children can you comfortably invite to your home?
- How well do your children interact with other children (i.e. children with social problems may better interact with a smaller group)?
- How accessible is transportation for field trips?
- Will you have the children rotate to other homes, or stay at your home?
A related step is advertisement. If word-of-mouth does not provide a large enough group, consider hanging fliers at local grocery stores and libraries.
Once your preschool group is formed, begin by having a parents-only meeting to discuss communication, schedules, lesson load, and curriculum.
- Communication- options include a phone-tree, a group email service (i.e. groups.yahoo.com provides free group email), or print options such as mail or newsletter to keep all participants in the loop.
- Schedules- lives constantly change so set a time period you wish to calendar - a month in advance, three months, a few weeks? Discuss how often the preschool group will meet, what times, how long, and the importance of giving notice if something unforeseen happens.
- Lesson load- do the parents want to take turns with the preschool group and how many parents are necessary per each preschool session (depending on how many children are involved and the children’s ages, three children per adult is a good rule).
- Curriculum- be prepared with curriculum and field trip ideas although be open to brainstorming.
Jump on your state and/or community websites beforehand as many highlight programs for young children, or at least give a calendar of what will be happening in coming weeks, which can provide fun ideas for field trips. Some other curriculum ideas to consider:
- Online resources can be invaluable and there are free worksheets and activities available by searching the word “preschool”.
- Or there are curriculum packets and programs for sale online.
A final step to preparing your preschool group is to safety-check your home. Remove fragile items and have all preschool supplies out and ready. Have emergency names and numbers from each parent. Remind parents that children who are sick should be kept away from other children. And finally have fun!
The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Network for Child Care have additional resources including a newsletter, email forum, curriculum ideas, and further articles to help your preschool group become a success.