- Private preschools can be as notoriously difficult to get into as Ivy League colleges.
- Every step in the process counts, from the initial tour of the school to the thank you note you send afterward.
- Insider regularly interviews preschool consultants, directors, and successful parents regarding best practices for landing a spot in the program of your choice. You can read all about it by subscribing to Insider.
Trying to get your kid into a prestigious preschool in a major city like New York or LA can be as competitive as trying to get them into an Ivy League institution. Parents often have to fight against limited class sizes, legacy policies, and religious affiliations.
The cutthroat landscape is a result of families eager to give their children the best education around, starting as soon as possible. To get accepted into a private kindergarten or elementary school, kids must come with strong social skills, pre-math and reading skills, and independence already formed, which makes a solid preschool foundation all the more crucial.
Luckily, parents can help their child get into the school of their choice if they take the following steps, backed by education consultants who’ve spent years guiding parents through the preschool application process.
Pick your program
Some preschools show preference toward students from certain religious backgrounds or who have a parent or sibling who attended the school previously. The first step in the process is to decide which preschool is best for your child’s individual circumstances. There are dozens of choices, but Insider has dug into the best programs and what it takes to get in.
Fill out your application with care
Application instructions must be followed closely if you want to impress admissions officers. These schools will want high-quality photos of your child and your family, and if you’re a two-parent family, both should attend the interview. Ask good questions, and remember the preschool will be evaluating both you and your child.
Nail the interview and tour
Once you’ve toured, interviewed, or visited, send a thank you note. Remind the school of your family along with anything mentioned during your time there that you had in common with the tour guide. Some parents even take this a step further by providing lavish gifts to admissions directors, donating auction items for school fundraisers, or substantially subsidizing school events.