Searching for a learning centre or tutor can be a lot like buying a car. In both cases, it’s not just about the price.
“There are a lot of things to consider when picking a tutor or learning centre for your child,” says Jade Chan, Centre Director at the Sylvan Learning Centre in Richmond. “Every child has their own specific needs, and you need to find the environment that works best for both the child and the parents.”
Jade offers these five great tips for finding the right tutor or learning centre for your child:
1. Length of time in business: Sylvan Learning Centre has been in existence for over 30 years, more than 20 years in Richmond. "There's a reason we're still here," notes Jade. "We're successful because our tutoring programs and methods work."
2. Quality of teaching experience: Sylvan hires only tutors who are qualified to teach in B.C. "That way, you know you're getting experienced teachers who are familiar with the B.C. education curriculum that your child is learning in school," says Jade. She suggests you ask any tutor or learning centre your considering about their qualifications.
3. Online research: Type the name of the tutor or learning centre into Google or other search engine with a qualifier like “reviews” or “ratings” and see what kind of ratings pop up. Reading about other clients’ experiences may provide insight into the level of service you can expect.
4. Type of assessments and feedback provided: Ask how a learning centre will assess your child and what kind of feedback they will give. "At Sylvan Learning Centre, we ask a lot of questions about your child and their relationship with learning. We talk to both the parents and the student to find out where the issues are and how we can support the student."
Monthly conferences with parents and regular check-ins with students around their progress should be a standard part of any program, says Jade. And ultimately, the tutoring programs should be designed to support what children are learning in school.
5. Payment plans:Be sure to ask tutors and learning centres about rates and payment plans before you commit. “At Sylvan Learning Centre, we design individualized programs for students with varying needs,” says Jade. “We also offer a variety of payment plans to suit each family’s financial situation, because we want to ensure tutoring is available for as many children and young people as possible. From a month-to-month plan to a long-term contract, Sylvan has an option that works for most people.”