The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick will share some important points that we should take care of, while choosing a Preschool in NYC. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.
Choosing the right pre-school in New York City can be a real headache. Many families decide to move to the suburbs just for the sake of having their child in a better school. It is commonly assumed that schools in the suburbs provide a higher quality education than schools in the urban area. However, the reality is that there is no other place like New York City when it comes to offering children endless opportunities to develop academically, socially and culturally. So how to be absolutely certain that the only way for a child to end up in a decent preschool is for the whole family to move to the suburbs?
Leaving the city that never sleeps and moving to a quiet suburban area is a big decision. Parents need to be comfortable with this choice and know in their hearts that all viable options have been exhausted and that such move is the right step for the family. Some diligent research and basic understanding of the New York City school system is a must in order to determine the right pre-school options.
If a child is two to five years old and he or she is ready to start a pre-school, also known as Pre-K (pre-Kindergarten), the following should be considered:
New York City Department of Education Guarantees a Spot for Your Children in Public Schools
There are definitely some clear advantages in sending your children to New York City public schools. Besides the fact that public school education is free, the variety of the academic programs is quite impressive. The classroom size may be larger than desired, however children are exposed to the variety of different cultures and social backgrounds that makes their preschool experience priceless.
- New York City public preschools are free.
- For those who live in New York City, their residential address already falls under a specific pre-designated school for that residential zone. These zones are determined by the New York City Department of Education.
- The NYC zoned system guarantees a spot for a child in a preschool as long as parents are able to present a proof of address.
- Even though it may seem that the zoned system limits parents’ school choices, many NYC pre-school age children attend public schools.
- Public schools in New York City can be further researched through the Public School Website: www.NYCNET.com .
Information Regarding Rules fo Private Preschools in New York City is Not Available from the New York City School Board
The information about non-public New York City preschools and private academies should be obtained directly from the schools. Generally, the City of New York does not provide grants or vouchers for students to attend private schools. It’s a known fact that New York City Department of Education has a very minimal impact on the rules and regulations that are established internally in private preschools.
- The first determination that parents in New York City have to make is whether they are budget ready for the private school tuition.
- A careful consideration should be given to whether a child needs to attend a Pre-K all five days a week. Some families are only interested in a part-time schedule.
- If there is a concern about the popularity and rating of the particular school, a proper research should be done.
- Websites like www.parentsknow.com provide lots of various and useful information on this subject.
- Having a back-up plan is vital. The admission process is highly competitive. Unfortunately, some parents assume that because they are paying expensive tuition fees, their child will be automatically accepted to the school of their choice. They may be very disappointed to learn otherwise.
It’s important to remain open-minded and have faith in the New York City public schools system. New York City public schools have a standardized grading system and they must follow the Federal and State regulations. To make an informative decision, parents should use all avaiable research tools to understand their zoned pre-school rankings, various stats and programs offered at the school. Meeting with a parents’ co-ordinator at school may be a great idea. However, all children are different and, sometimes it’s important for a child to be in a smaller student to teacher ratio enviroment. Private schools also provide more oppotunities for the parents to voice their opinions and be more involved in their child school’s events and activities. In such case, the right decision may be to pursue a private school opportunity.