Nursery School Competition

The rumors you may have heard about the competition to enroll a child in a Manhattan nursery school are founded. Some schools only give out a finite number of applications usually by the day after labor day for the following year. Yikes.

I decided to take the attitude that my daughter, who misses most cut off dates, would apply to convenient (ie close) schools and that would be that.

The first school is an inexpensive co-op which comes well recommended. The program for the two year olds requires that I am present for the two weekly sessions. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of school? They are also not keen on having a mom bring a newborn baby, which means that I would have to arrange for a caretaker while I am at school with my daughter. But, because the school becomes even more competitive for the three year old program, it’s advised for parents to apply to the 2 program.

So, I’ll bite. Problem is, I had so many calls and email inquiries ignored that by the time I decided to pursue the program, I had missed the open house and my application would not even be reviewed unless they took people off some waitlist. Strike One.

The second school is a little bit of a further walk, but it allows me to drop my child off at the school and leave. They also charge a small fortune, such is living in Manhattan. I waited too long to sign up for the open houses and the two available tours do not work with my and my husband’s schedule, so we may end up going on individual tours. Did I mention that after I sent in the application, I noticed a third page that asked more questions and informed me of the application fee. Oops.

Can I claim pregnancy brain?

I do have a super close, super short, super pricey pre-school alternative that is my safety net. So, my daughter won’t be home all day with me and the baby.


One Response to Nursery School Competition

  1. MattsDad says:

    Being a new father to Manhattan, I found this piece a parallel to my own experiences. I am from the mid-west and we do not have this “competition” there. But fortunately after being turned away by so many programs (having moved to the city mid school year) I found this amazing school right in my neighborhood, and the director and staff were so welcoming. The Upper West Side Playgroup has been a savior to our lives, helping this country dad transition to life in the big apple!

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