I can hardly believe my toddler turns four years old next month, officially making him a preschooler according to my Google search of what you call children who are four years of age. But does it count if your kid doesn't actually attend preschool? I don't want to find out. Early education is crucial to child development and I, like many Treasure Valley parents, hope to enroll my kiddo this fall. But where should we be sending our littles?

The Harvard Graduate School Of Education outlines these as the 5 things to look for when choosing a pre-school:
- Adults are talking to children in nurturing and encouraging ways.
- When children are behaving inappropriately, teachers are focused on helping them, rather than punishing them.
- The classroom is fun and joyful.
- Children are active.
- Staff are supported and seem happy.

Bearing these in mind, I scoured through Yelp for preschools whose reviews best lined up with this criteria. After all, who would have a better gage as to what's working for a child than their parents? And let me tell you, I am no closer to finding a preschool than when I started. Despite there being an organized Top 10 list for schools in Meridian and Boise, as I read the reviews I realized two things: Not a lot of parents take the time to leave a review. And the reviews are so wildly contradicting for one place, it's hard to know which to trust.

Montessori and Challenger schools pop up on various sites, but those reviews mention less about the environment and more about academic accomplishments students achieve. And while that's awesome, I think social and behavioral skills are the foundation I want more focus on at this age. Guess I'll just have to hit the Google search and start touring one by one. At the very least I know what to look for. Open to suggestions!

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