In some markets, the best preschools fill up so fast that parents are practically forced to put their children on the waiting list before they’re even conceived. Regardless of whether that’s the case in your area, it’s still important to register early; most children spend 6 hours a day or more at school, and the community values they learn at school will likely be a big influence in their lives. Here’s what you should know about registering for private school.
Finding the perfect fit
After thinking long and hard about it, you’ve decided that sending your child to a private school is the best decision for your family. This first step is a difficult one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the hard part is over. It’s normal to be left with many questions about which school is right for your child. Parents are often drawn to sending their children to private schools because they feel that their values or philosophies align with those of the school. Additionally, some private schools offer more academically advanced curriculums that can better prepare children for competitive schools later in life. These factors can sometimes make the deciding process difficult, so it’s important to reach out to schools and ask questions early.
Ask The Right Questions
One of the benefits of starting the school search early is that it gives you plenty of time to do your homework and check your prospective school’s credentials. For example, if you have a young child, it’s important to make sure that the school you choose is accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Having the right credentials can impact which schools your child is eligible to attend later in life, so it’s well worth the effort to find a school that meets these requirements. Accredited schools also have a tendency to fill up quicker, so it’s important to start the process sooner rather than later.
Tours are important
When you’ve narrowed down your choices to your top two or three schools, the next step is to sign up for a tour. Be sure to ask questions about each school’s teaching philosophies, student-teacher ratios, and ways that the teachers keep parents informed about their child’s daily activities. A tour is also a great opportunity to introduce your child to the layout of his or her new school, and possibly even meet some of the staff before the school rush begins. A child will often feel a little less nervous about their first day if they’ve been there before.
Don’t delay the application process
When you’ve found the perfect match, you’ll know it. Sometimes it’s hard to face the fact that your little boy or girl is growing up and it’s easy to put off registering them for preschool right away. Be warned, however – delaying the application process can cost your child a spot at your dream preschool, so it’s important to begin the application process as soon as possible. Most private schools will have waiting lists whether they’re in competitive markets or not. This is especially true for private Christian schools, which often fill up quickly because they offer advantages like fostering lasting relationships and nurturing a child’s faith.
If you’re forced to send your child to your second or third choice school because you didn’t register quickly enough and were placed on the waiting list, there are two possible outcomes. Either you’ll decide to keep them in your second choice school (while wondering if maybe they’d be better off in your first choice) or, once a spot opens up in your first choice, you may decide to transfer them there. If the latter is the route you choose, know that there might be an adjustment period as your child gets used to their new routine. They might be confused about why they’re leaving their friends and teachers for a new school. Getting the selection process started early is a great way to prevent this from happening, and you’ll be more likely to get your child placed in your first choice school!
To learn more about enrolling your child in a private Christian school, contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Preschool at (702) 939-5050 to schedule a tour!