The concept of a kindergarten still feels new to most parents in Nepal. They have always been depending upon family to take care of their children and having these children placed in a facility is still a stigma for many. For working parents, who have busy schedules, kindergarten have been a boon.  But with so many kindergartens to choose from, parents understandably get confused when it comes to picking a right kindergarten for their children. Thus, through a conversation with Sandy Ramsey, principal of Swostishree Gurukul preschool, we would like to bring to our readers, what to look for when choosing the right kindergarten.

How does being enrolled in kindergarten benefit the children?
I believe the main purpose of a kindergarten is the development of socialization skills among children rather than their academic expansion. I believe being enrolled in kindergarten will allow children to become more familiar with the school-like environment, and will teach them how to be principled, cooperative, and collaborative. Additionally it will also teach them different ways they can become a better communicator so they will be able to share their problems, ideas, etc. 

What criterias should the kindergarten meet to be the right choice for one’s child?
The criteria the kindergarten has to meet in order to be the right choice depends upon what the parents are looking for. I have come to notice parents in Nepal seek what is academically stringent for their child since an early age. However too much academics too soon tend to damage children for long term which in fact has been confirmed by many research. Although  parent may want to pursue a more highly academic environment for their child I believe every kindergarten should rather prioritize provision of ample playtime. Hence kindergartens should consist of proper infrastructure and adequate space for children. Likewise there should also be the availability of facilities which allow children to carry out various activities which may evidently enhance their other skills such as problem solving skills. Thus, in a kindergarten I believe the elements which allow development of socialization skills rather than academic skills should be fulfilled.      

What is the difference between kindergarten experience and direct schooling?
Although kindergarten is not necessarily essential, children who weren’t enrolled in a kindergarten may go through a tougher time adjusting to grade school as they will not be familiar with the school environment. They may have a harder time interacting, playing, and communicating compared to the ones who have already been exposed to the environment during their kindergarten phase. Often children who’ve been to academic kindergarten may be ahead in studies during their first years of schooling. But in terms of academics, children who haven’t been to kindergarten will catch up. Thus kindergarten experience ultimately will enable the children to become familiar with the learning environment, and will teach them the basic fundamentals which will help in making their transition to school smooth.