Top Early Childhood Programs Share These 15 Traits

Chicago Catholic Schools

Top Early Childhood Programs Share These 15 Traits

Part two in our series on Early Childhood Education

Now that you’ve created a list of what you want your child to learn in preschool, this checklist aims to help you make the best choice for your family.

We’ve talked to preschool parents, educators and early learning experts, and here are the 15 signs that they say indicate an excellent early childhood program.

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

To learn more about our Catholic Early Childhood Programs and navigating the process of choosing a school, connect with us at