Montessori school or bilingual school? Any young parent whose child is of school-going age has surely asked themselves this question. Beyond a financial choice, it is a decision influenced by its values and its history. Among the multitude of offers in France how to choose the first school of your child?
School from the age of 3: an obligation but also a right
While until now school was compulsory from the age of 6, since 2019, and the passage of the law For a School of Trust, the obligation of education for all children has been lowered to 3 years.
From this age, the child integrates a kindergarten which will allow him to acquire a feeling of independence outside his home, evolve in a community and learn to interact with adults other than those of his family.
The different types of nursery schools in France
The public school follows the programs of the National Education, dispensed by teachers who are also called school teachers. Their employer is therefore the State. Public school has the advantage of being free and includes the largest share of children enrolled in school in France. School of the Republic , it also advocates secularism and equality between all from an early age. Your child will be able to integrate the public school of his district without difficulty since it is an obligation for all.
Schools under contract with the State are partly financed by the latter and also respect the programs of National Education. The contract with the State essentially allows them to pay teachers ‘ salaries and to benefit from subsidies for part of the operating costs.
The difference with public schools lies mainly in the fact that they are chargeable for families, which theoretically guarantees better quality premises and equipment, as well as a wider range of activities for children both on the school time and outside of school hours.
Private schools not under contract with the State are independent from all points of view (programs, teaching, timetables, etc.) and are financed, among others, by families, often for higher fees than private schools under contract with the State. However, a private school outside the contract is just as closely monitored as a private school under the contract and must guarantee the same level of learning as the private or public school, if not better with regard to the high cost of schooling (bilingualism, security, premises…).
The teaching approaches of the different schools
In the private sector or in the public sector, some establishments offer alternative, innovative, different pedagogies… (each with its own terminology) which leaves the child an actor in his learning . They are inspired by major pedagogical currents such as Montessori or Freinet and have a different approach from “classic” programs. In addition to the criteria of mixed classes, Montessori schools, for example, promote emulation, collaboration and mutual aid as well as extremely well-designed teaching materials for learning and discovery.
How to choose your kindergarten?
A good kindergarten helps children to grow, to be aware of their own needs but also of those of others, to be open to diversity, adaptable, able to express their own talents and interests in order to acquire know-how, -living and knowing how to be. More than advocating study skills and the unique control of the teacher, a good nursery school allows above all to develop children’s confidence, curiosity, creativity and autonomy ; it respects the pace of learning, allows exploration without judgement, promotes enthusiasm and discovery in complete freedom. It’s not yet time for instruction but for self-confidence!