As parents in New York City prepare for the preschool process, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. The best advice is to start with your research. There are various places that parents can get information regarding preschool. Here are a few good options:

  • School’s website. Here you will find the important dates of when applications are available and the requirements for admissions, i.e. age requirements, tours, playgroups and interviews. You will also get a feel for the type of school it is by their mission statement and curriculum.
  • The Parent’s League of New York. You can join this organization which will provide you with information relating to preschools, ongoing schools and various children’s programs.
  • Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York (I.S.A.A.G.N.Y. ) – You will find a listing of independent schools which belong to this organization. Preschools who are members of I.S.A.A.G.N.Y. have relationships with the Independent ongoing schools.
  • Friends and Family. Many times, the best recommendation can come from a parent who has been through the process and can speak knowledgeably about the school their child attended. Reach out to friends and family, if possible, to see their experiences.

As parents, there needs to be discussion about the type of education you want for your child. Here are some questions you should be answering:

  • Are you looking for a religious affiliation or a non-denominational school?
  • Do you want a traditional academic program or something more progressive?
  • How far are you willing to travel to and from school?
  • Are you looking for an Independent school education after preschool?

Once you have answered some of these preliminary questions, you can start to compile your list of schools. Check each school’s website or call them directly to find out when applications are available ( In New York City it is usually the day after Labor Day, which is September 4th). Many schools offer a limited number of applications, so the early bird gets the worm! Some preschools have online applications, which makes the process a little easier, where as other schools may require that you phone the school. Once you have the application, make sure you follow all the necessary requirements before you submit it to the admissions office. Take a deep breath, because now you are on your way!

Read on next week to learn about the next steps of the application process.

SHARED by: Nancy Baldaro, Director of Admissions at York Avenue Preschool

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