I hate to break it to you, but the preschool admissions process is right around the corner if you are thinking about preschool for Fall 2013. So here are some rock solid tips to help you with creating your list of schools and getting into the school of your choice!!!
1. Generally in NYC, preschool applications are due the year before your child enters preschool. There are some schools with rolling admissions, but most preschools in NYC will require you to apply a year in advance.
2. Parents of older children (3 and over) will likely have an easier time getting into preschool. There are more schools to choose from for older children (not all schools have a program for kids under 3) and the class sizes are larger. So there are more seats available!
3. When creating your list of preschools think about the school’s:
• Location – You generally want a school that is close to home. Remember your child won’t just be going to school there. They will also attend play dates there, birthday parties etc.).
• Teaching philosophy – Think about whether the school’s teaching philosophy matches your personal values. Most schools are actually a blend of the various philosophies, but it is better to apply to those schools whose philosophies line up with yours. Some of the teaching philosophies most talked about are Progressive, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia.
• Religious affiliation – You should know if a school on your list is connected to a church or a temple. Generally schools that are connected to churches or temples prefer families that are apart of their church or temple. So getting into one of these schools may be more difficult if you are not a part of the school’s religious community. Finally, don’t assume that a school is connected to a church or temple simply based on its name. Do your research!
4. Ideally, families should apply to about 8 schools when applying to preschool to better your chances. Parents of twins should apply to about 10-12 schools. Parents of triplets (like us) should apply to 15 schools or more (if you can handle it).
5. Visit the schools’ websites and know when and how to get an application. Very important.
6. Send a letter of thanks or expression of interest to the school(s) you like most. Remember schools want families that want them back!