First Person: Making Sure Your Child Gets into the Preschool of Your Choice

When it comes to our children we want the best. Preschool is no exception. When it was time to find a great preschool for our daughter we scoured every possibility. The process involved with a competitive preschool can be difficult and sometimes expensive as well.

Finding the Right School
Finding the perfect school for your child, making sure they are accepted, and paying fees right and left can leave a parent feeling a little overwhelmed. In our experience, we found a school that we felt was perfect for our daughter after about a month of looking. The children learned at their own pace, were well cared for, given personal attention, and exposed to music, literature, and art well above what you might find in another school. I wanted my daughter to be accepted, I felt comfortable leaving her there, and felt she would blossom in the environment. The school of our choice was very competitive and availability was limited.

Application Process
In our experience, both with the school of our choice and the others we considered, the application process wasn’t terribly complicated. Of course, there are forms to fill out, meetings with staff, tours of the facility, aptitude tests, and fees associated with enrollment. The fees vary by school and area of course, the better the school, normally the higher the fees for application. Do be prepared to pay fees for applying for a competitive preschool that will not be refunded if your child is not accepted. Our daughter was given tests that were age appropriate in areas such as art, communication, and creativity.

Have a Backup School
As much as we don’t want to hear that our child isn’t accepted in the school of our choice, it is important to have a backup school that you are happy with. Our daughter almost didn’t make it into the preschool we chose. There were only four places available at the time we wanted to enroll her. She scored just under four other children and we were declined. She was accepted two weeks later when another family moved out of state. It was a really close call and we weren’t prepared for the school to tell us no. If she had not been accepted, we would have had to start over completely.

If money is an issue at the moment, there are often scholarships available that can help offset some or all fees associated with applications, testing, and even tuition. These are normally very limited and go to children who exhibit exceptional ability and are in the greatest financial need. Do take the time to ask if there is any assistance available before applying.

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