What to consider when choosing a preschool if your child has hearing loss

What to consider when choosing a preschool if your child has hearing loss

The choice of an appropriate preschool program for your child is based upon both the needs of your child and your family, and usually reflects considerations related to your child’s deafness or hearing impairment and / or additional special needs.

Following are some considerations that can be used as a guide in helping to reach a decision. The following considerations are intended only as a guide and are not listed in any order of priority, as the relevance of issues will vary across individual families.

Child’s needs

  • What are my child’s specific needs?
  • How will the centre be willing to support my child’s needs?
  • How will the preschool program support my child’s play/learning?

Child’s strengths

  • What are my child’s strengths?
  • What are my child’s areas of interest?
  • How can the preschool support my child in their strengths or areas of interest?

Family’s needs

  • Our family’s desires for our child
  • Our family’s needs for ourselves
  • Siblings needs
  • Local playmates
  • Financial – cost of care, cost of travel
  • Distance from home – time and ease of travel
  • Hours of operation – flexibility of times

Preschool environment

  • Safe environment
  • Clean environment
  • Play areas – inviting, supportive and challenging.
  • Staff: child ratio (number of staff)


  • Knowing my child’s hearing loss and audiogram, is this going to be an appropriate environment for them to learn language, socialise with their peers and listen to music?
  • When this centre is at its noisiest, will my child be able to hear?
  • Support available
  • The support available for meeting my child’s needs.
  • The willingness of staff to welcome ideas suggested by support staff.

Attitude of staff

  • How do the staff interact with the children?
  • What impression do I get of the staff, are they happy, bored, interested?
  • What reaction do I get from the director or staff if I make some suggestions of change that could benefit my child?

Preschool program

  • Does the centre have programs that cover all areas of development – Language, Fine motor, Gross Motor, Cognitive, Social, Music and any other areas that are important.
  • Individual programs for children with special needs.
  • How will my child’s language development be monitored?
  • How will you let me know how my child has been interacting with other children?
  • How do you discipline? How do you deal with children having a tantrum?


  • Is this the locality I want my child attending preschool?
  • Local or distant?
  • Is the preschool easy for me to get to?


  • Is the program able to offer my child physical, social, language access?
  • How will my child have access to their peers and to the activities in this centre?


  • What are the Teachers’ qualifications?
  • Staff experience with deafness and special needs

To find out more about the RIDBC preschool services available to children with hearing loss, click here.