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Choosing The Best Preschool For Your Child

Choosing The Best Preschool For Your Child

Are you ready to start exploring options for preschool programs for your little one? Whether you are one of those gung-ho parents whose little one is still in the cradle, or your child is ready to start school, like, yesterday, trying to find the best preschool program for your child can be overwhelming. You might even be unsure if your child really even needs to attend preschool. In Calgary, you have lots of options to choose from. You might decide the program at your community centre is perfect, or that a full-time preschool-style daycare works best. You might even choose the advanced preschool philosophies of a Montessori or a Waldorf school. This choice is a wonderful thing. It means that with some helpful guidelines, you can find the most ideal preschool program to set your child on a path for a lifelong love of learning.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Preschool Program

Stay Close To Home
No one wants to travel across the city to take their child to preschool, especially in Calgary winter driving conditions. Choosing a preschool that is relatively close to home makes sense. Here’s why:

  • Most preschool programs are about 3 hours each day. When you drive far away to attend, you are either stuck in another area of the city until pick up, or you drive all the way home just to turn around again.
  • Children have limits. If they spend an hour in the car before they even get to school, their energy can already be waning. Add a long drive home after attending school and you could end up with tired, cranky preschoolers. This is especially true when the school year is just starting and your little one is still adjusting to the routine.
  • Making friends is a big part of the experience and social development of preschool. When you attend a school far from your home, their friends are not likely to live nearby and play dates and socializing become more difficult.

Do you want tips to support your child’s social development?
Read How To Help Your Child Make Friends In Preschool.

Explore Program Philosophies
You have so many options when choosing the most ideal program philosophy for your child. You can choose community-based programs, faith-based preschool programs run by local churches, preschool-style daycares, play-based preschools, second-language preschool programs, sport-based programs, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Montessori, and more. Go online, ask other parents, visit your local library and explore the philosophies and methods of each preschool to determine which style of learning and classroom environment is ideal for your child.

To learn more about the Montessori Method, click here.
Grey Matter Montessori combines the Montessori Curriculum with The IPC®.
To explore why, read How Does The IPC® Complement The Montessori Curriculum?

Decide How Often
Some preschool programs run all day, five days a week, others just once, and many fall somewhere in between. All day, 5 days/week programs tend to be ideal for parents who work full time and are seeking something more than just day care. Other parents are hesitant to send their little one off to school and want to keep them at home for as long as possible. The truth is that your child will let you know what they are ready for. Some children are raring to go and ready to tackle a full day program with gusto. Some preschoolers still need an afternoon nap and could not make it through a full day. Some children may do best easing into school with a program that runs once or twice a week. Explore your options to find the perfect schedule for your preschooler.

For insight into the right time to start your child’s educational journey,
read Is My Child Ready For Preschool?.

Take A Tour
Once you have narrowed down your options, it is time to put boots to the ground. Call the preschools you are interested in and book a tour. Visiting the school in person will help you get a feel for the classroom environment and school facilities, meet the teachers and administration, maybe even see other preschoolers and explore the work they are doing. It is up to you to decide if you want to bring your child or check out the preschool on your own first. Use this opportunity to learn more about the program and ask any questions you may have. You might only need to tour once to make an informed decision, or you may decide you'd like to visit again.

To make sure you get all of the information you need from your preschool tour, 
read The Right Questions to Ask During a Montessori Tour.
And take a virtual tour of Grey Matter Montessori.

Is Montessori Preschool Right For Your Child?

The good thing about exploring your options for preschool in Calgary is that you have so many choices. And the bad thing about exploring your options for preschool in Calgary is that… you have so many choices! Choosing a preschool that aligns with your values, your child’s unique needs, and the goals you have for your child’s first school years will give your little one the best opportunity to find success and happiness in a learning environment. If you believe that a Montessori preschool is the ideal place to begin your child’s lifelong journey of learning and development, ensure that the program you choose has the qualities of an authentic Montessori school

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of a Grey Matter Montessori education for your preschool-aged or kindergarten-aged child, contact us to book a time for a school tour at our NW Calgary location. We are accessible just off of Symons Valley Parkway in the NW community of Evanston. Call us for more info on our Calgary Montessori preschool programming at 587-707-4739.

To learn more about the tuition and fees for the
Grey Matter Montessori preschool program, click here.



Q: Is there a checklist of things my child must know before attending preschool?
A: At Grey Matter Montessori in Calgary, we value the differences that make each child unique. If your child is aged 3-6 they may be ready to begin to explore learning and we are ready to facilitate it. Learn more about exploring your child’s readiness for preschool here

Q: When do you accept registration?
A: Grey Matter Montessori has ongoing registration and even offers advanced registrations (up to two years). Contact our office for more information on the upcoming school year and register as early as possible to ensure availability for your desired days and times.

Q: Is it better for my child to stay in a Montessori program for their entire school journey?
A: We may be biased, but we believe every child can benefit from a Montessori education. However, the reality is that Montessori education is not widely available for every student from preschool to grade 12 in Calgary. And factors such as location, community, finances, and availability will influence every family’s decision about where to send their children to school. But even if a Montessori preschool and kindergarten program is the only exposure to the Montessori Method of child-led learning your child will have, the impact of this philosophy of education will set the groundwork for future academic and social success.


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Another shout out to an amazing school here in #Calgary! Our youngest son goes to this school and he loves it! In just 5 short months his knowledge has grown, his confidence is starting to bloom and he just loves learning! The personal touch the wonderful teachers provide is certainly priceless!  What I love is that when you walk in there, there is always calming music playing softly, and everyone is smiling and friendly 

Maryann Penney

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