What really matters when choosing a kindergarten for your child? There is an abundance of choice in Hong Kong when it comes to educational opportunities for children so what should parents look for when making this important decision for their child’s future?
Does the curriculum focus on the right skills?
The World Economic Forum Report on the future of Jobs (2018) states that the skills that will be in demand in the future are critical and creative thinking, innovation, initiative and complex problem-solving. With this in mind, it is important to look at how a kindergarten curriculum fosters these skills. Are children provided with opportunities to discover, explore and experiment through their experience? Are children encouraged to be independent in their learning journey? Is the curriculum innovative and student-centred?
Talk to the teachers
You want to know that the teachers are enthusiastic about teaching and love what they are doing. It is also so important that your child’s teacher focuses on forming strong and positive relationships with their students so that students feel safe, respected and noticed. When the teacher is engaged and interested in who your child is as a person, then the learning will always follow. Other things to consider: Does the wider school community (parents, teachers, other staff) seem friendly and welcoming? Does the principal interact with the children?
Is the learning visible?
When you look around the walls of the kindergarten is there evidence of what the children have been doing? A kindergarten should celebrate children’s learning. The way this is done will demonstrate the importance the school places on the child’s own opinions, thoughts, and creations.
It is important that the values of the kindergarten align with your own personal values as a person. Most schools will have their values clearly articulated on their website or in publications. It is important to understand the values the kindergarten aims to instil in its students.
An inviting and inspiring environment enhances the child’s learning experience.
Look at the resources, facilities, and set-ups for the children. You want to feel confident that your child will be provided with a rich and engaging experience, whilst in a clean, safe and well-maintained facility.