Early childhood programs offer benefits galore! Quality pre-k's not only help your little learner in the short-term, but have also been shown to increase the likelihood that she won't have to repeat a grade later on and will graduate from high school, according to the National Education Association. What's the first step to securing your child's scholastic success? Preschool enrollment! Before you get ready to enroll, check out what you may need to have on hand before you sign your child up.
- Birth certificate. Some schools require this for age-graded classrooms or to maintain program guidelines. For example, if the school only admits children who will be 3-years-old by September 1, the administration needs to verify that no one's sneaking a 2-year-old in.
- Immunization record. What you need to show varies depending on where you live. Individual states set immunization requirements for schools, preschools and child care centers, notes the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your child is attending a licensed preschool program or one offered by the local school district, it's likely that you'll need to hand in a full vaccination list.
- Health assessment. Along with the immunization record, preschool enrollment typically requires a doctor-signed health form. Many child care centers and schools allow your child's pediatrician to sign the form as long as she's had a well-child visit within the past 12 months. If your child hasn't been to the doctor for a check-up, you'll need to schedule one as soon as possible.
- Emergency forms. The preschool needs to know how to get ahold of you in the event of an emergency, illness or accident. You may also need to provide your partner or spouse's contact information and an additional adult who the school can contact (such as grandma or an aunt) if they can't get ahold of you.
- Consent forms. There are a variety of possible consent forms that the preschool may ask you to sign. These include consent for photography (the school may want to use pictures of your child in promotional materials), field trips, transportation, minor medical care or extra activities such as swimming.
- Enrollment acceptance. The school provides services for a fee. They need to put this in writing and make sure that you understand exactly what you're getting and what you will owe them. This form often includes how many days per week your child will be at school, the days your child attends, the cost of the preschool program by week or month and any additional fees (such as an overtime fee if you're late to pick up your child).
Keep in mind, preschool enrollment isn't governed by a strict set of rules or regulations that are uniform among every area. Licensed preschool/child cares need to follow state or local licensing guidelines. Talk to the preschool administrator beforehand, ask if there's a checklist on the school's website and take a look at your state's child care licensing laws online to better know what preschool enrollment (at schools like Montessori School Of Salt Lake Inc) requires.