Where we live, getting into preschool is almost as nerve wracking as submitting college apps. We moved over the summer and by doing so we gave up our spot at the kid’s old school and began the search for something closer to our new home. In our new neighborhood preschool parents camp out on campuses the night before registration, crossing fingers and hoping their toddler gets a spot. They’ve put their child on every online waitlist, and they have scheduled countless Montessori tours trying to find the perfect place for their preschooler. It’s a little, shall we say… Insane. Needless to say, I have learned a few lessons attempting to enroll my little ones last year and in an effort to keep you from losing your toddler-loving mind this registration season, I’d like to offer some perspective and advice, may be even a laugh or two to get you through it! 😉
Look up literally any and every school you are even potentially considering and email (and call) them now. Like right now. Request to schedule a tour, ask them when they open registration. Offer to donate an organ. Do it. Yesterday.
Tour De PreK
Schedule your tour at the time of day your child is the most chill. If that is never, post-nap and after a snack is probably your best bet. Bring a little bribe… Oh I mean “token of your appreciation” like cupcakes or cookies, slap on a cute label or card with your contact info to add a sweet subliminal message… Oh, I mean for them to remember your child by! 😉 Make eye contact, learn names, be your warm and friendly self! Not warm and friendly? Be someone else! At least until they’ve cashed your first tuition check.
There is no need to be the mom that calls daily inquiring on their child’s application status, but one purposeful follow up is a MUST. Post tour, check in a few days later to ask a “really important question” like, “Assuming my child is accepted into Prestigious Preschool Prepatory Academy, how would I go about signing up to volunteer?” Whether this is a legit inquiry or empty offer is all up to you, mama, but it might influence administration to take a second peek at little Susie’s application. Just saying!
All sarcasm aside… Preschool is important, but it’s not Harvard. So enjoy the ride, soak in this new experience with your little one, and try and take a deep breath, because it will all be over soon! And hey, before you know it they really WILL be applying for colleges and you’ll get to do this all over again with the additional challenge of managing teen hormones instead of toddler tantrums! You should probably start stocking up on wine now.