As parents, you have many daily decisions about your child’s well-being. You probably think about what your child eats, what they play with, who they spend time with, and other everyday choices that can greatly impact why they become.
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your child’s earliest years is where to send them for preschool. Kids’ brains grow and develop so much during their first five years of life, and it’s essential to choose a preschool that can help them build a strong foundation for school and life.
There are many preschool programs in Palm Harbor, and making this decision can sometimes feel overwhelming. But there are some signs of a high-quality preschool program you can look for when you begin your search. Choosing an APPLE-accredited Palm Harbor preschool will ensure you make the best choice for your child’s first step into school.
Learn more about what APPLE accreditation means and how to find an APPLE-accredited preschool near you. Reach out to the dedicated New Horizons Private School team now to learn more about our outstanding preschool programs in Palm Harbor or to schedule a visit.
What is APPLE?
APPLE (Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment) Accreditation is a national accreditation program for early learning centers. It provides oversight and accreditation for high-quality early learning centers.
APPLE Accreditation understands the link between high-quality preschool programs and better outcomes and improved opportunities for success. This organization sets high standards, encouraging preschool centers to strive to offer world-class early learning opportunities.
APPLE is the largest accrediting body in Florida and is expanding across the United States. It is one of Florida’s Gold Seal Quality programs. This program provides several benefits for the centers it works with, including:
- Sales tax exemption on materials and supplies
- Increase in reimbursement for subsidized care
- Al valorem (property) tax relief
In addition to these practical benefits, APPLE accreditation can give parents confidence when they choose a preschool. Savvy parents know to look for APPLE accreditation so that they know their child will be in a safe, nurturing environment that provides a consistent, high-quality curriculum and uses time-tested educational methods.
Educators in APPLE-accredited Palm Harbor preschool programs have the support and ongoing professional development opportunities they need to thrive in their careers. The support of APPLE’s dedicated team can help improve staff morale, reduce turnover, and ensure educators enjoy what they do each day.
Why is APPLE Accreditation Important?
APPLE accreditation is vital to ensure a preschool program meets specific criteria related to safety, development, and educational standards. Here are some of the reasons APPLE accreditation is essential–and how you’ll notice the difference.
Programs are developmentally-appropriate
The pre-K years are a time of monumental growth and development. Preschool programs must offer practical, developmentally appropriate learning activities as part of an approved curriculum.
APPLE-accredited preschools use a high-quality curriculum and proven methods of educating kids in their pre-K years.
Preschoolers are soaking up information about the world around them all the time, and it’s crucial to provide a well-rounded education during this critical stage. APPLE accreditation ensures a preschool uses a curriculum that encourages cognitive, social, physical, and social growth, as well as substantial language development.
The staff in a preschool matters. Early childhood educators should be dedicated to using best practices and meet ongoing qualifications. Staff in an APPLE-accredited preschool have the education, skills, and training they need to provide developmentally appropriate education and care. Educators must participate in continuing education that keeps them up-to-date on changes to best practices and innovative approaches to learning.
It might go without saying, but a preschool program’s priority should be the safety of its students. APPLE accreditation ensures a facility is safe, up to code, and uses the most current safety practices. The accreditation process requires facilities to prove staff has all the necessary safety training, including CPR and first aid, food safety, and how to spot and report suspected child abuse. It also requires preschool facilities to understand and follow best-practice policies for preventing injuries and illnesses and nutrition guidelines.
Parents are a child’s first teachers, and educators and families must work together to support preschoolers. APPLE-accredited preschools work collaboratively with families and can connect them with community resources as needed.
APPLE Accreditation provides clear standards and guidelines for the centers it oversees. Clear, consistent policies and procedures ensure the safety of staff and children and can streamline processes to reduce confusion and lost time. Educators appreciate having clear guidelines to follow, and parents feel confident about the plans and policies set in place.
APPLE accreditation is a mark of quality that ensures parents and children will have the best possible preschool experiences. It provides guidelines and policies that keep staff and children safe and create nurturing, enriching programs to help young learners thrive.
Find an APPLE-Accredited Palm Harbor Preschool
If you are searching for an APPLE-accredited Palm Harbor preschool, reach out to the wonderful team at New Horizons Private School. We are proud to be APPLE accredited and would love to welcome your child into one of our enriching, high-quality preschool programs. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a visit to our school.