My daughter was 22 months old, when I put her in a nearby preschool. There were only two preschools to my knowledge that were within walking distance from my home. Both were known brands. However, I chose one over the other because I liked the ambience of the first preschool more. My criteria to choosing a preschool were simple –
- It should be within walking distance (I hated car parking related woes and commuting in auto rickshaws).
- The infrastructure should be good and pleasing.
- The fees should be reasonable and within my budget.
I was satisfied with my choice of the preschool, but somehow I realized that my daughter was not too enthusiastic about her teachers there. Anyway, it was only later that I came to know that there were two more good preschools in the adjoining complex. The people in my social circle didn’t know about them, hence I never knew they existed. It’s difficult for a person like me who was new to the area. I do regret my decision of choosing my daughter’s preschool, simply because choices existed, only I was ignorant of them.
Let me tell you what happened with one of my friends. Unlike me, she left no stone unturned in her quest for a good preschool for her son. Apart from taking opinion from friends, family and neighbours, she cornered helpless mothers in the parks and engaged in long conversations about which preschool they thought were good in the area. She stopped young kids in uniforms waiting for their school bus to inquire about their school. She must have discussed her preschool woes with everyone in her life from her maid to the milkman, vegetable vendor and the building watchman. She had turned hysterical in the process of finding a preschool for her son.
I am sure my friend and I were not alone in our pursuit of securing admission of our kids in a good school, there would be thousands of mothers like us fretting over the same issue. The truth is there is no Yellow Pages or a single medium to guide parents or help them choose a good preschool for their children.
The first few years of children’s life are very crucial to their physical as well as physchological development. It lays down the foundation that shapes their future health, growth, development and learning. Hence, it becomes equally important that apart from providing a loving carefree environment at home, parents choose an appropriate preschool.
I recently had a chance to meetup with Siddhartha and his team who are working on challenging this status quo.
And, they have a solution too. It is called First Crayon and can be of a big help to parents.
What is First Crayon?
First Crayon, is an easy-to-navigate online portal, a product of deep and focused research, lengthy conversations with parents to understand their woes and expectations, and meetings with over 700 preschools.
Why First Crayon?
We all have at one point or the other faced a dilemma over choosing an appropriate preschool for our child. With First Crayon, that particular problem is taken care of. With a databse of 1500+ preschools in Mumbai, where you can find more than 20 preschool options within 10-15 mins, First Crayon can help you make complex decision based on over 100 factors like teaching styles, quality of staff, safety parameters, infrastructure, fee structure, admission gateway to primary school, etc. The information is curated by experts and the reviews are all genuine from people like you and me. Though it doesn’t actually replace the need for you to physically visit the preschools, it definitely helps you narrow down your search as per your criteria.
What are its features?
It’s an ever-expanding database of 1500 preschools in Mumbai. You can:
- read detailed information on each and every preschool including the staff strength, facilities provided, student-to-teacher ratio, age criteria of the preschool, etc.
- read reviews and share your opinions
- select your favourite preschools and compare them
- get customized rating based on your preferences
- make online query with the preschool
- take a virtual tour of the preschool
It is a heaven-sent solution for all those parents who are spending sleepless nights over preschool admissions. If you are searching for a preschool, trust me, visit the website and take use of it. If your child has already passed preschool like mine has, then do share a review; it will help fellow parents.
Oh, before I forget, the team at First Crayon is very receptive, so your feedback will always be welcome and taken in the right spirit. You can reach out to Siddhartha directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your search for the right preschool for your child in 2017 should end at First Crayon! Hope I had a preschool search-mate like this 3 years ago!