Pre-School Crunch Time


Its January, so for moms of two year old children across my neighborhood in Brooklyn this means that the pre-school applications are due by the end of the month to snag a seat in September.


I am so frustrated by the entire process and the cost that is attached to it in high application fees (up to $100 to apply for limited spots) that I am only planning to apply to three schools. Some moms on my block may tell me that I have lost my mind. The general consensus is to apply to around ten schools. This is to secure a seat in at least one and get on a wait list for others.

This all sounds like Ale is applying for college. There are even pre-schools with early admissions processes!! Its insane. I fell into the peer pressure from other moms in my daycare to take our children out at three years old and send them off to a preschool by September. Its insane because at the end of the day all of the programs are play based with a bit more structure than Ale is getting now. I am continuously questioning if this is all worth it. I know for sure that I want Ale to attend a pre-K program to get ready for kindergarten but I wonder how important pre-school is for the “academic” growth of a three year old child.

When I attend preschool open houses there are parents that ask a myriad of questions- regarding the school, how they will decipline their little angel, if the food that is served is organic, and how potty training is handled. If you’ve seen one fancy daycare you have seen them all. They all offer, Spanish, yoga, and organic hot dogs. I just want to know how much I have to pay a month and when are the drop off and pick up times. If the cost and the times do not follow our working parent schedules then I walk out the door. Simple as that.

My fear is that since it looks like all of Ale’s friends will be leaving the current daycare in September he will be the big kid surrounded by 18 month olds. Perhaps I should succumb to the peer pressure simply because these are the “norms” here, and Ale has the potential to be left behind socially.

Maybe our new Mayor Bill de Blasio will indeed institute universal pre-k in time for Ale when he is four years old if I just hold out a bit longer. Can I take that chance?

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt:
Monday, January 6, 2014
Tell us about a time you bent to peer pressure.
BlogHer NaBloPoMo

Related post:
Pre-Schools Don’t Like Working Families


9 thoughts on “Pre-School Crunch Time

  1. Good luck!

    We’re lucky here in that all 3 and 4 year olds get 15 hours free childcare, which is great, but all the other mums look at me weirdly when I say i don’t want Oscar to go fot 15 hours. He’s 3, 3 hours every morning is far too much like school for my liking! Plus I’m a stay at home mum, so its not like i need him to go. I’m planning on 2 sessions a week to begin with just to see how it goes.

    Hope it all works out ok for you x

    • Wow! I feel like the US is so behind in education. It seems that almost everywhere else there is some form of free pre-school. Even if its a few hours a week. Its all that they need really. Enjoy your time with Oscar!

  2. My daughter is turning 3 this March and I am still trying to decide if I should send her to pre school which starts June here. Thankfully, registration isn’t that hard here so I have a few more months to decide.

  3. Brutal. It’s really expensive here in MD so we usually just go 9-1 3 days a week starting at age 4. With our little one we may start at 3 too. They also hold $100 and have limited availability but not quite as harsh as NY. Ug.

  4. ::sigh:: I am having the exact same feelings… I am wondering if supplementing her education at home would be sufficient enough so I don’t have to deal with the competitive nature of these NYC preschools. BTW, Where you able to make it to the Chickpea Open house? My flight back to NY was cancelled then delayed for hrs. I would love to know your thoughts on them.

    • I want to see where I get in. I may also decide to keep my son where he is now a few days a week to off set the cost. Chickpeas was great. I love the idea of a pre-school co-op. But— there are probably very limited spots so I doubt we will get in.

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