It’s that time of the year when some of you have to take that BIG decision- where to get your little one’s Nursery admission done!
But this time it’s a way tough call- these kids will be the first lot who perhaps have not been to any school until now. Many of them possibly don’t know what a school is, as they have been used to their parent’s laptops being school due to the online mode of education. Hence a parent’s job gets even more difficult and anxiety increases manifold. You must be feeling clueless and confused. Some of you must have done your homework but still feel indecisive!
Here are a few pointers that you can keep in mind while choosing a school for Nursery Admission
Prepare a checklist of your criteria for nursery admission from ‘must-have’ to ‘good to have’ and rate the schools on the same. Points that are important and commonly covered:
- Child Safety and Security
- Fee Structure
- Distance From Home
- Past Records on Child Abuse and Care
- Age Criteria Fitment
- Strenght Of the class
- Value System of The School
- Personal Experience and Vibes
- Extracurricular Activities
- Covid Preparedness
Let me elaborate on the above
1. Boards: This is your personal choice. There can be a few pointers kept in mind-
- If there is an international movement on the cards or you may move abroad in the future, then opting for an International Board makes sense.
- A movement to another city in India or a transferable job-go for the school/board which has maximum presence or presence in those cities where your movement is possible.
- If staying here, choosing CBSE gives you more choices in terms of schools.
But then you might have your reason to choose another board for nursery admission . You may go for international boards if you are sending your little one abroad after boards.
2. Child Safety: I actually wanted to keep this at the top- can’t stress enough on this very very important criteria- DO NOT compromise on this for any reason- get as much clarity possible. And remember if your child has not been to any school this becomes all the more important, and you cannot only rely on the school, you have to prepare your child as well.
3. Past Records: Past records of the school will help you make an informed decision-a Google search by the school name might help. This will give you an understanding of the background of the said school.
4. Fee Structure: I always suggest parents that this is the formation year, try to spend less now because you never know you might want to change the school a few years down the line. Also, remember in the current scenario there may be periodical online classes till the time vaccination for all age groups happen, so have a clear-cut understanding of the fee structure on those lines. At the same time, we need to have sensitivity & understanding if there is a slight increase in the school fees this year as, during the pandemic situation, schools have seen huge losses.
5. Distance From Home: This is one criterion that any good school also gives importance – at the end of the day we don’t want our kids to get exhausted just by traveling to and from school. So choose the school accordingly. This will help you also to reach school quickly in case of an emergency.
You may also read this: Are you Big School Ready
6. Methodology: Pedagogy or methodology is a very important part of this decision. Have a discussion on those lines with the admission coordinator and get clarity on this. Also, probe and try to understand how these methods are being implemented!
7. Age Criteria Fitment: Many times parents get confused if they should push the child for a higher class or go for the lower one- especially if the child’s age is such that they can be eligible for both during nursery admission! I would suggest always letting the school decide, as they are more experienced, so they would be best able to judge the fitment of class for your child. Especially in the present scenario, many kids who have not been through any formal learning may struggle big time if they are pushed for a higher class.
8. Strength of the class: This will help to decipher how much individual attention the child will get. For this particular batch, this criteria is very very critical, as joining the school for the first time, their separation anxiety will be at a much higher level. The lockdown has given children more opportunities to spend both quality and quantity time with parents, with a lot of attention, so they would look for the same in the formal school as well!
9. Value System: Every school has its own value system- but we rarely give any importance to the same especially at the time of nursery admission. The value system could be a great indicator of the environment your child will be in. So try to get a feel of the value system of the school- not in pen and paper, but in reality. When you visit the school, how are the kids, how do the teachers interact, the language, respect, the staff. For example- Are the nannies/didis treated with respect?’
10 Vibes and Experience: Personal experience and vibes will definitely help you take the call- trust your feelings when you visit the school. Spend some good time there, get the vibe and try to imagine your child in that environment!
11. Infrastructure: How important this criterion is to you- that’s a very personal choice and depends on your expectations from the school.
12. Extracurricular Activities: Again a personal choice, this criterion might be very critical for some, might be of lesser significance for some. It entirely depends on you as a parent how much importance you want to give to this criteria at the time of nursery admission.
13. Covid Preparedness: This has not been on our list until pandemic, but in today’s scenario this is one is a very critical criterion. – check how covid prepared is the school. Hygiene-wise, practice-wise. There are a few things that you additionally need to confirm- If they are doing a ‘ hybrid; model, how are they managing both online & offline classes, how many teachers are there to manage one class- no not the ratio alone can help here- let’s say if there are two teachers -then who is doing online & who is doing offline- as a nursery age kid would need attention even online- so a regular hybrid model won’t work for these classes, and in case a child is crying or hurt, or needs attention, in such classes who’s there to attend, so a complete understanding would help you ensure the right environment for the child. While you prepare your checklist basis the above and shortlist the schools- you need to prepare your little one bit by bit gradually- right from-
- safety practices
- food habits
- separation anxiety
- covid safety- do’s & don’ts,
- hygiene and health
A simple act of child’s admission doesn’t seem to be as simple these days but that’s the need of the hour, and a little effort can actually ensure we choose the best “second home” for our kids and put all our anxiety to rest.