If you're currently viewing local early education centres to see which one would best suit your child, these are two signs that the centre you're considering is a good one.
The centre's classrooms are messy (but don't show signs of long-term neglect)
Whilst it may seem strange, it is actually a good sign if the classrooms in an early education centre are slightly messy, as long as they don't show indications of long-term neglect (such as dried-on mud on the carpets or old food stains on the walls). For example, you should look favourably on a centre where the classroom's tables are covered in a few splatters of acrylic paints and some crayon markings, several of the books in each classroom's library are opened and look a little bit dog-eared, and the toys are scattered around the floor.
This type of 'lived-in' look is an indication that the centre's teachers allow the children to be creative, to explore the many educational tools in their surroundings and to express themselves (within reason). If a child is, for example, permitted to paint in a carefree way, to pore over the centre's picture books and to play with the toys in a safe-but-lively manner, their creativity, intellect and ability to understand the world around them will grow faster than if they had to sit rigidly in a chair and only read, play and learn in a highly-controlled manner, with no freedom to do these things in their own (slightly messy) way.
The centre's outdoor area is safe and well-equipped
An excellent early education centre will also have an outdoor area for its students which is safe and well-equipped. It should, for example, feature things like climbing frames, slides, swings and a merry-go-round (all of which should be in tip-top condition) and there should be some soft form of outdoor flooring (such as large rubber mats) under this equipment so the children won't get too badly hurt if they fall whilst using it.
This is important because although physical education is beneficial for children of all ages, it's particularly vital for young children, whose balance, coordination and gross motor skills are still developing. Having access to a range of equipment that challenges them to utilise and improve upon their existing physical abilities in a safe way will allow them to develop the aforementioned skills in a fun and healthy way.
For more information, contact a local early education centre.