- Send your child to school only when he/she is ready for it.
- Look for a good school rather than a `known` one.
- Do not pass on your anxiety to your child.
- Support and influence school management to try alternative teaching methods and admission procedures.
- Choose a play school that offers an activity-based curriculum and play-way programmes for children, rather than function like a primary school.
- Extend similar experiences to your child at home.
A creative approach:
- Start `day care` programmes or a `play group` for the very young children in your neighbourhood, with the help of a few other interested parents.
- Make an effort to learn more about the play-way method of teaching little children and influence schools to adopt this approach.
By School Management:
- Admit children in schools not before the age of 31/2.
- Adopt child-friendly procedures for admission like :
-computerised random selection
-quota-based random selection
- Make play schools activity based and focussed on development of children rather than on academics.
- Ensure that teachers have training in Early Childhood Education.
- Provide all the facilities for a good Early Childhood Education programme, such as adequate space, play materials, etc.
- Organise regular parent involvement programmes to educate them on the benefits of learning through play in the early years of childhood.
By Policy Makers:
- Make 31/2 - 4 years the minimum age for entry to play schools.
- Promote setting up of play groups, creches and day care centres to meet the needs of working parents.
- Ensure that the Yashpal Committee recommendation, which states that "tests and interviews for admission to nursery classes be abolished" and "institutions do not perpetrate violence on young children by inflicting a heavy dose of over education on young children in the form of formal teaching of Reading, Writing and Numbers" is implemented.
- Support and plan the setting up of more quality play schools.
- Promote the concept of `neighbourhood schools`.
- Provide for orientation and training programmes / sharing of experiences of play school teachers to sustain their motivation and creativity.
What should play schools teach little children?
Good play schools should provide plenty of opportunities to children for guided and unguided play, and vigorous and quiet activities to promote:
- Physical and motor development.
- Socio-emotional development.
- Language development.
- Sensory and intellectual development.
- Development of creativity.