Mommy Monday: Picking a preschool

2 year olds making applesauce.

Children that start kindergarten prepared are more likely to succeed throughout school and later on in life.

That is why choosing the right preschool is so important.

Many parents are weighing their options ahead of next school year. Here's what you need to look for and warning signs the school isn't a good fit.

Karen Wesley is the head of Smart Beginnings -- an organization focused on getting children kindergarten ready.

Wesley said this is a great check list of questions to ask:

Is the program licensed?

Are they a part of the Virginia Star Quality Initiative?

Does the staff have education on early childhood development and CPR/first aid?

Is there a low ratios of staff to student?

Is there a curriculum?

Wesley said these are all important questions because preschool is not just for mom's day out anymore.

"I think the expectations of children in Kindergarten, 1st grade are not what they used to be. Preschool and childcare becomes ever more import in preparing your children to be ready for school,” Wesley said.

Family involvement should be encouraged and visits welcomed.

There should be areas for art, music, dress-up, quiet time, music and blocks.

Children should get outside very day (weather permitting).

Here is a list of warning signs to look out for according to Smart Beginnings:

No evidence of a regulatory agency.

No written policies and procedures --such as emergency evacuation plans.

Children are left unattended with not adult supervision.

Teachers rarely talk to or play with the children.

Broken equipment or materials in ill repair.

Being able to enter without anyone noticing.

Limited, or no communication, about the child’s activities.

Television for long periods.

Children left sleeping in car seats.

For more information, call Smart Beginnings at (434) 455-6921.

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