Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Preschool Panic

Yesterday I began the daunting task of applying to preschools.  Just in case you're new to the blog or you've somehow lost count, the Muffin Man is only eight months old.  He's not even a year old and I am already in the throes of putting him on preschool waiting lists for the 2015-2016 school year.  Welcome to life in Los Angeles.

Before I got pregnant, I somehow stumbled across the documentary Nursery University, about the competition to get kids into nursery school in Manhattan.  While I found it to be a fascinating look at the lengths to which parents will go to get their kids into the "right" school, I brushed it off as just another crazy New York thing while subsequently patting myself on the back for moving to LA and therefore ensuring an easier time of it for any future offspring.  Foolish me!  There may not be a documentary about it, but I assure you that it is no less competitive, no less insanity-inducing here in the City of Angels.

We're talking about preschool here, people.  A place where my two year old will go for three hours a day to paint with his fingers and catch colds from his dirty little classmates.  Yes, I think it's important for Noah to attend preschool in order to learn to socialize and share, but I'm seriously traumatized by the competition we're facing.  Two of the schools on my list are not even offering tours or applications because all of their spots for the 2015 session are reserved for siblings of older children.  My current hope is that Noah will have a leg up because neither of his parents work in the Industry.  I figure at the very least the school will see the advantage of having a parent in the restaurant business when it comes to catering school events.

I'm sure you're all just dying to know how much it's going to cost us for Noah to spend 15 hours a week making clay sculptures and braiding challah.  First, you have to pay to apply, which is anywhere from $100 to $200, depending on the school.  We're applying to at least six schools, so that means we're going to be out close to $1000 in application fees alone.  Ok, fine.  We'll find that money somewhere, somehow.  Assuming Noah gets accepted to one of these Ivy Leagues for the under five set, the average cost for one year is $9000.  Some are less, and some are upwards of $20,000.  The Temple schools we are looking into charge for preschool on top of your yearly membership dues as part of the congregation.  A few of the schools have Mommy & Me classes, and participation in those gives you a better chance of getting into preschool, with the average cost of those being $300-$400 for a ten week session.  The outlay of cash to get your child into a decent preschool is staggering. Honestly, I'm not even really sure how we're going to afford preschool if we do get into one.  I think we fall into that in-between category of making too much money to qualify for financial aide, but not enough money that paying for preschool won't be a hardship.  I absolutely dread having to go through this whole process again for grade school or high school.  Remind me to ask my psychiatrist to up my Xanax dosage before Noah's fourth birthday.


  1. ugh I haven't even begun to worry about that yet.. my daughter is 18 months and we have another one on the way. But I do need to check out that documentary - I've heard good things about it!

  2. I remember watching that documentary and thinking how glad I was that I didn't live in NYC...but it's just as difficult in the burbs. My daughter goes 5 days a week and it's 1200 a month....I can't wait for kindergarten to start!


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