young boy in a playroom crawling in a play tube
Image by Omar Medina

Is the facility clean, bright, and safe?

Choosing a Pre-School

Selecting a pre-school for your young child can be confusing. There are many factors to consider and these include the staff, setting, daily routine and philosophy. It is important to visit a variety of facilities, ask questions and look at the environment in which you will be placing your child. Here are some questions to ask in order to facilitate your selection process:


  • What type of education/training do they receive? Do they thoroughly understand the stages of child development?
  • How do they reach out and welcome each child?
  • Do they speak in a warm and understanding manner to each child?
  • Does the staff seem happy working at the center? How long has the staff worked there?
  • How does the staff deal with discipline? What is the philosophy about teaching children to deal with feelings of anger, frustration, respect, and cooperation?
  • How responsive is the staff to parental communication?


  • Is the facility clean, bright, and safe?
  • Are there separate areas in each room for quiet vs. active play?
  • Are there areas for dramatic play, art projects, building/construction play, and sturdy books to look through?
  • Does the room setting foster socializing and room for children to play together?
  • Are all play materials, including outdoor climbing apparatus, clean and sturdy, safely made, and developmentally appropriate?
  • Are children supervised at all times?


  • How does the staff handle transitions within the school day and move children along in activity periods, eating, and rest periods?
  • Are self-help skills encouraged as the child is ready, such as dressing, washing, and toileting? What is the policy on diapers?

Most important to consider is the opportunity for each child to develop the social skills they need in life. Children need to make sense of the world and feel good about themselves through play experiences in a group setting. Good luck in your search!


Michelle Leveski
Nutrition Educator II
518-234-4303 x115

Last updated July 10, 2020