Find out about the teachers’ training and credentials. Ideally, head teachers should have a minimum of an associate’s degree and formal training in early-childhood education. “Research shows that teachers with college degrees and specialized early-childhood training have more positive interactions with children, provide richer language experiences, and are less detached,” says Dr. Barnett. Also, consider teacher-child ratios. According to NAEYC standards, there should be at least one teacher for every eight to ten 4- and 5-year-olds, and one adult for every six 2- and 3-year-olds. Low child-teacher ratios are very important, since they allow teachers to give ample attention to everyone, notes Dr. McCartney. Talk to the teachers about how they work with the kids. “Look for teachers who recognize the particular needs of different children, and who know how to adapt a curriculum for those who are ahead as well as for those who need additional help,” she says.
Visit a class while it’s going on. A good teacher talks with children, asking a lot of questions and patiently answering theirs. She makes kids feel welcome and fosters their self-confidence. Talk with the teacher about a typical day, and ways in which she’ll keep you informed about your child’s progress. If she’s responsive to your questions and you’re happy with her answers and her classroom style, you’ve found a good fit.
When you meet with the school’s director, ask about the following.
We hope that you will find your place here at The Children’s Center of Albuquerque.