How To Start Your Own In-home Preschool
By Tara Rison
Starting an in-home preschool – or an in-home day care center with a structured, preschool portion of the day – can be a deeply rewarding undertaking. And, if you’re a parent of young children, it’s also a flexible way for you to contribute financially and still spend your days at home.
From a business perspective, there’s never been a better time to embark on the in-home preschool path. Today’s educated, professional parents want their preschoolers stimulated with literature, hands-on projects and opportunities for creative play. The heavy demand for quality day care options is undisputed.
But starting your own in-home preschool can be daunting. Where do you begin? How do you proceed? Do you have the stamina to provide interesting new topics, crafts and lessons, day after day?
Fortunately, these nagging doubts can be easily allayed with a little planning. Start by taking a quiet afternoon and sit down with a paper and pencil. Ask yourself the following questions and jot down your all your ideas:
*What are my core beliefs? How will this shape my program?
*What is my teaching philosophy? What is the purpose of
*What do I hope to achieve through my preschool?
*Which of these common subjects – language, literature, math,
science, social studies, motor activities, physical
education, social development – do I want my preschool to
*How will I design and create a stimulating learning environment?
*What kind of materials will I need?
*How will I advertise my new preschool and generate interest
Answering these questions honestly will help you to define your business – shaping a program that’s true to your heart and making you better prepared to “sell” your preschool to prospective families.
Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to move on to the most important aspect of your new preschool: developing a curriculum. The curriculum lays the foundation for your program, making sure lessons progress in a meaningful way and keep the children interested. A good curriculum builds on past knowledge while promising future insight and adventures.
There are many companies out there today that provide an ongoing “mail order” curriculum for in-home preschools – many you can find on the Web. These companies compile and send monthly preschool kits that include everything you need: lesson plans, activities, art supplies, classroom decorations, children’s literature, parent newsletters and more.
Subscribing to one of these plans can be an easy, affordable way to offer a quality education without doing all the shopping, research and work yourself. With so many online preschool programs out there, chances are you’ll find one in line with your beliefs and teaching philosophy.
But before you subscribe to an online preschool curriculum, make sure you also consider the standards that parents expect when choosing a program. Yours should:
*Have a well-developed, detailed philosophy
*Follow a regular schedule of activities covering all the
domains of child development: physical, mental, social,
*Help your learning environment become stimulating and
*Encourage you and your staff to frequently read to and talk
to the children
Using these points as guidelines, you’re sure to find an online preschool program that’s comprehensive, timesaving and cost-effective.
So, there you have it. A sprinkle of introspection, a pinch of planning, a healthy dose of research – and before you know it, you’re running a full-fledged preschool out of your own home.
Good luck and happy educating!
About the Author: Tara Rison is owner of The Itty-Bitty Bookworm, a literature-based preschool program offering a complete “education in a box” curriculum – grounded in the latest research and proven education techniques – to in-home schools, day care centers and home-schooling families. For more information, visit: http://www.ittybittybookworm.com