How to choose between branded preschool or local preschool in India? So many options of branded preschool or private preschools are available; look into details of what either one of them has to offer.
Preschools have become an important part of a child's growth and development. Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of five so enrolling them in a quality preschool is of utmost importance and a hard decision for parents to take.
The preschools have come long way in India, there are ample of options available from next-door aunty run care crèches to corporate style managed chains of preschool often referred to as branded schools. Choosing preschool is not just about convenience factors but also related to branded or chain of school and a standalone school may not ruled out in today’s scenario.
Now-a-days, preschools not only teach ABCs and 123s with chalk and duster in the classroom but are also involved in preparing a child to enter primary education. The idea is to promote growth and learning in an environment that child enters school eager and excited to learn. So the question arises, which is better, a standalone school or a branded school with branches in different cities?
Let’s discuss the key features of both the groups in detail:
§ A branded school has formalized extensive researched curriculum, set standards and systems in place. of what all areas should be there in a preschool like a free play area, sand pits, water play, art and craft room etc.
§ A standalone preschool on the other hand may not have any such set standards but may have areas as per their convenience and curriculum.
§ Branded schools design their curriculum keeping in mind the syllabus of ICSE or CBSE boards, thus preparing a child to enter the primary section. The same curriculum is followed uniformly in all the schools across cities/branches thus, making it convenient for parents to opt for inter school transfer if need be.
§ Standalone schools design their own curriculum. Their curriculum is either child led or teacher led.
§ The annual fee structure for branded school may range from 50 thousand to one lakh approx as compared to 20 thousand to 30 thousand in a standalone school.
Student: Teacher Ratio
§ Branded schools usually have a fixed number of students to teacher ratio which is around 20:2 and in case, the number of students increases, a separate division is created.
§ Standalone schools do not have a fixed ratio.
Materials & Toys
§ Toys and materials used in branded schools are carefully researched educational toys that cater to the age-related curiosity of the child. They are according to the norms specified by child development experts as well.
§ A standalone school usually uses materials that may be or not well researched and usually approved by the owner of the preschool thus, the credibility of local or independent preschool lies with the preschool head or owner
§ The minimum qualification of teachers of a branded school is a graduate with fluency in English. Apart from this the teachers have to undergo trainings from time to time. The teacher should also possess qualities such as patience, good listening skills, open minded, creative, and prompt in taking initiatives.
§ In a standalone school, though a minimum qualification is required but there are no regular trainings that a teacher undergoes.
§ Branded schools are more commercialized and have a hierarchy where a child only interacts with his/her immediate teacher.
§ In a standalone school, even the founder gives a lot of time and attention to the children thus, may be better option than the branded school in some cases.
Parents: What to look for?
Preschool education is a vital aspect of a child’s learning and development. The aptitude and attitude developed at this stage influences their later life. An early childhood program should have a balance of work and play and should integrate them in such a way that makes the learning for a child interesting.
Sometimes the head or founder of the school is highly experienced and well qualified to run the preschool and imparts education to early learners better than the branded schools. Each child in such school gets individual attention and learning approaches may have personal touch as per child’s interest and need. If you believe in- ‘every child is different and single approach doesn’t fit all’ then investing a little time to research standalone school can also pay off, in the hunt for the best preschool for your child.
Now-a-days the preschool education has been given a more practical approach by adopting best practices of famous teaching philosophies such as Reggio Emilia, Waldorf etc. With new developments in the field of child psychology and early education, one can expect continuous innovation in a preschool teaching practices and methodologies. Whether it is a branded or a standalone preschool, the key is that it should nurture a child, maintain an ideal balance of flexibility and creativity, all round development of their skills, a healthy and secure environment for kids to grow and care about the needs and requirements of a child.