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Yelp for Preschools: Review of Noodle Preschool Finder

Noodle has developed a free tool for parents to use to find the best preschool for their child via a preschool database that is the first of its kind. As more and more educators and policy makers begin to push for a focus on early education, such a tool will make it easier for parents to enroll their children.

A Personalized Search Tool

To start using Noodle's tool, you begin by entering your zip code. From there, you have the option to chose several different variables to personalize your results by entering your child's age, choosing between a full or half day program, and selecting if you need special scheduling (early drop-off, extended-day, or year-round).

The tool also lets you chose how important cost is to you, what kind of teaching philosophy you'd prefer (montessori, play-based, teacher-led, etc.), and what kind of facility is ideal (home-based family care, day care center, or preschool within a larger school).

If you are looking for a deal for sibling discount you can select that option and you can also pick religious affiliation. If you're child has special needs, you can instruct that as well.

With all of these different variables for selection, it makes finding the ideal preschool in your area a much simpler preliminary process that truly lives up to the name of "yelp for preschools."

Expert Advice

While the ability to perform expanded searches helps narrow down the search, you might not even know exactly what you're looking for. Maybe you don't know the difference between teaching philosophies or at least don't know which is best for your child. Maybe you're not sure if a half day or full day program is ideal or if you're child would do better in home-based care or in a larger school. Noodle has thought of that, too. When looking for advice on preschools and early education in general, Noodle has a community of experts ready to answer the questions you have.

The site already has a variety of articles published on the subject and also gives users an opportunity to directly ask the experts general questions about preschool or specific questions about a given school.

The site even offers a list of questions to ask preschools in the search for determining what's right. These questions include asking about how the school's toilet training requirements, its policy on vaccinations, how it handles parent-child separation, and if there are additional fees for late pick-up. Based on your lifestyle as an individual, which only you know best, Noodle helps you get individualized answers through Q & A.

And if Noodle's experts can't immediately answer your questions, they directly give you the information of someone in the school who can. Either way, Noodle facilitates getting answers to the myriad questions that come with researching preschools.

The Bottom Line

Noodle's preschool finder serves as a first-of-its-kind tool in compiling a reliable preschool database comprised of nearly 180,000 preschools throughout the country. In just one site and for no charge it delivers to the user a completely digital experience of finding preschool options personalized for the young learner in question.

Coupled with its team of experts and the ability to ask questions and receive personalized answers from the team, this tool could very well change the future of searching for preschools.

Check out Noodle and get searching here.




Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor