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Picking A Preschool Near You? Top 10 Things You Should Consider.

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For many families across McKinney, childcare is a necessity and finding the right fit for your family can seem like a daunting task, between calling schools and coordinating tours, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. Here at Applebee Montessori Academy, we want to make the choice easy and clear. Here are the top ten things you should look for when searching for Preschool.

1. Cleanliness of center

The cleanliness of a childcare facility is even more important now during the pandemic. In addition to the cleaning, we do throughout the day, we also have a professional cleaning service that comes to the school after hours and deep cleans the school each night. We also have adopted very strict policies around Covid-19 and require all staff to wear masks while in the school, we limit visitors from outside the school and have arranged a quick and convenient parent drop off and pick-up carpool.

2. Hours of operation

When looking for a daycare, one particularly important thing to consider is the operation hours of the school. Do they offer flexible scheduling options that accommodate your work schedule? Applebee offers multiple program options, both full time and part time, all with in 7am and 6pm during Covid-19. (Normal hours are 6:30am-6:30pm) By offering various schedule options, we can accommodate many families scheduling needs.

3. References / reviews

What do the people who already attend the preschool say about their experience? Families are not required to leave reviews, so it really speaks volumes to the school when families voluntarily leave such positive words on a school’s social media. At Applebee, our families have rated us 5 stars on Google reviews and Facebook. You can click here to read them or find us on Facebook to see more parent testimonials.

4. Training / Licensing and Credentials

What kind of training do the teachers and staff have? At Applebee Montessori Academy, in addition to the 24 hours of yearly training our teachers are required to obtain, we also provide monthly trainings on various topics such as child development, guidance and child nutrition. All Applebee staff members go through a very thorough hiring process, where we verify credentials, call referrals, have them complete pre-service trainings and orientations, run background checks and conduct fingerprinting.

5. Security and Communication

When looking for a preschool it is important to ask yourself if you would like your child to attend a school that has cameras and a parent communication system. Applebee has both! We have two cameras in each classroom, multiple cameras in the hallways, and along the exterior of the school. These cameras are all monitored by our Director and are available to view at the front of the school on two large monitors. For parent communication we have Child Pilot. Child Pilot is an app that allows for immediate communication between families and teachers. Teachers can send photos and videos, update activity feeds and even “text” message families an update about their little one’s day.

6. Staff Turnover

Childcare is unfortunately, an industry with high turnover, but here at Applebee our staff have been here since the opening of the school. We believe in treating our teachers right and taking care of them, and that is why our teachers stay with us. We do not just view them as staff, rather we are a family. This creates a culture where people are excited to come to work and remain passionate about what they do. High turnover is a red flag, as children thrive on consistent caregivers and environments, as such, you should always make sure to ask prospective schools how long their staff has been working at the school and how often they turn over.

7. Location

Many families can overlook this aspect of childcare and later realize they are spending so much time commuting to and from preschool. Applebee Montessori is conveniently located on highway 380 in McKinney with quick access to 75, allowing us to be in the heart of McKinney and within a quick commute of work and home.

8. Educational Philosophy

Does the school you are touring line up with your ideals and expectations of how you want your child to be educated?  At Applebee Montessori, our programs follow the Montessori Method created by Dr. Maria Montessori.  You can read more about our programs by heading over to our Programs tab on our website.

9. Classroom Environment

When you step into a classroom what is the first feeling you experience and what do you see? Do you feel overwhelmed by chaos and poor classroom management or do you feel a sense of calm as you see children engaged in various activities that meet a wide array of learning domains? Is the classroom professionally managed with a teacher who is positively interacting with her students? Or do the children seem bored or even appear to be acting out? Is the teacher warm and receptive to you as prospective family or do they seem to be uninterested in meeting with you? These are just a few questions you need to ask as you step into a potential preschool.

10. Your gut

Perhaps the most important factor in choosing a childcare is your gut. No matter how beautiful a school is or what they offer, your parenting instincts should play a vital role in making a choice for a preschool. Only you know what is best for your child and their unique needs.


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