Fifteen signs of an excellent early childhood program

Written by: Maria Ippolito

Finding the right early childhood program can be confusing and overwhelming.   Creating a wish list of what you hope your child will learn is a great place to start.  Do you want your child to: Cooperate with others? Learn to share? Improve physical skills? Gain confidence? Become a great reader? Solve math problems? Be creative? Learn about God’s love?  Enjoy school? Develop good habits?

When you start thinking about what you envision for your child, it can make the process easier. This checklist aims to help you make the best choice for your family.

Here are 15 signs that indicate an excellent early childhood program.

  • Teachers are state certified with bachelor’s degrees; they are warm, friendly and participate in ongoing training.
  • The classroom environment is inviting, colorful, and clean.
  • The student to teacher ratio allows for individual attention when needed.
  • Open communication exists between teacher and parents and the principal and teacher are available via phone, email, and in-person meetings.
  • The classroom is set up for a wide range of activities that support learning.
  • The daily schedule allows for activity, learning, play and quiet time.
  • The early childhood program is part of an established setting for learning; not just an “add-on.”
  • Children have access to enrichment programs such as computer, music, gym, art.
  • The building and the classroom are safe and secure; a system is in place for supervision at all times.
  • The community is family oriented and encourages parents to be involved.
  • Students are welcomed into a loving community and begin learning about character building and caring for others.
  • The program’s curriculum is aligned with Illinois’ Early Learning Standards.
  • There is a seamless plan in place for transition into Kindergarten and first grade.
  • The early childhood program has undergone an evaluation process and is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • The program is flexible enough to meet your families’ scheduling and financial needs.

When a child enters a preschool or kindergarten in a Catholic school, they become part of an established setting for learning. Our preschool and kindergarten classrooms are not just add-ons or separate programs.

They are an integral part of the elementary school community and considered an important part of the learning continuum-- the Archdiocesan curriculum begins in preschool for all subjects. Most importantly, children are welcomed into a community of faith, where they begin learning of God's love for them, and about love for others. Each school's early childhood program goes through a rigorous evaluation process and is recognized by the Office of Catholic Schools and the Illinois State Board of Education.

To learn more about the excellent Early Childhood programs that the Archdiocese of Chicago offers visit:

Posted on October 03, 2013 at 6:18 PM