Northfield is indeed home to "Cows, Colleges, and Contentment" but what about preschools? Your little sweetie may be brilliant but may not yet meet all the entrance requirements of Northfield's local colleges. So, what educational opportunities does it have to offer the leaders of tomorrow? And when you find them, what should you look for in their preschool program?
The National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) offers a few suggestions in their article "10 Signs of a Great Preschool" at greatschools.org. Look for a school children want to attend, where they play outdoors as well as indoors, and where teachers read and interact with them. Look for a variety of activities where children may work alone and in groups, help with attendance or snacks, and decorate the room with their handiwork. Read the entire article here and check out another helpful article here.
Rice County publishes a list of licensed childcare providers and licensed childcare centers in Northfield and nearby communities. This list includes location, phone number, and definitions of license classifications for these private and public providers. The childcare centers include public and privately operated preschools, each dedicated to "stimulate the cognitive and social development of young children, prepare them for the transition to a classroom setting, and ready them for elementary school." (www.noodle.com)
Northfield Public Schools offers several early childhood programs and special services to help families adjust to parenting and school readiness. St. Dominic School and Trinity Little Lambs Preschool offer a faith-filled environment for their curriculum of learning and discovery. The Montessori philosophy is taught at Northfield Montessori School and Montessori Children's House. Open Door Preschool at St. John's Lutheran Church offers an environmental program partnering with St Olaf College's biology department and an arts program with Carleton College's Center for Community and Civic Engagement. Northfield Nursery School, Northfield Daycare Center, and Anna's Bananas Daycare each offer special activities in play and exploration with small student to teacher ratios for maximum interaction and benefit.
Each of these preschools is center-based and co-educational. See their websites for more information concerning extended care options, classes available, half or full day sessions, summer programming, fees, and scholarships. Schedule a tour and see first-hand what they have to offer.
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