When Should I Come to a Preschool Workshop?
The admissions process for preschools begins a year before the child attends school. In order to prepare for the application season, we offer workshops beginning late winter and running through the summer.
Who are the Parents League school advisors?
The Parents League has a team of 12 School Advisors who help
families with information on the admissions process for preschools, K-12
independent day schools, boarding schools and programs for children
with special needs. Their backgrounds range from former admissions
officers and former nursery school directors to board members and former teachers. Their strength rests on
the fact that they operate as a team and they make regular visits and
have regular contact with our affiliated schools, which enables them to
stay informed and up to date. They are the only not-for-profit school
advisory team in the city. Their goal is to provide parents with information they
need and to leave the parents in charge.
How do I make an appointment with a School Advisor?
Call the Parents League office to schedule an
The Preschool Workshops are held several times a week during the
academic year and on a more limited basis in the summer. Preschool Admissions Workshop Schedule Members can register for preschool workshops by calling the office. After
attending a workshop, if you have additional questions, call us and an
advisor will call you back.
For the K-12 independent day school, boarding school and special
needs Advisors, call to schedule an appointment during the academic
year. During the summer months, advisors are available to help those
families needing placement for September. For families interested in
placement for the following September, please call to make an
appointment with an advisor when the new academic year begins.
What can I expect from my advisory appointment?
At a Preschool Workshop you will be meeting with a small group of
other families for a 90-minute information session. Topics covered
include the age your child should be to start preschool, how to put
together a list of preschools to look at, the application process and
what to look for when visiting the schools. You will be given resource
material including a complete list of preschools organized by
neighborhood with essential information on each.
Appointments with an Advisor for K-12 independent day schools,
boarding schools and programs for children with special needs are held
individually and are 30 minutes. Topics covered include the admissions
timeline, testing, putting together a balanced list of schools /
programs, information on the schools, tuition and financial aid.
Please arrive on time for your appointment. Please call to cancel
if you are not able to attend so that another family can be
My family is relocating to NYC. Can the Parents League help us with
our school search?
A large number of families come to us because they are relocating
to New York. Either they are unfamiliar with the different schools in
the city and need help or they missed the regular admission process and
need to know where there are openings. Our member schools keep us
apprised of possible openings throughout the year. Join the Parents
League and make a phone or in person appointment with an advisor.
Are wait lists real?
When notification letters are sent, you may be notified that your child is on the wait list for a spot. This is the way an admissions director manages enrollment numbers. If you are interested in the spot, call the school to let them know. If you would like to speak with a Parents League advisor, please call the office. When notification letters are sent, school advisors are on hand to help you.
How many preschools should I apply to?
Most neighborhoods have many preschools, and you will want to see several. There is no magic number that is right. You can drive your family crazy and be counterproductive by applying to a vast number, but to be realistic about finding an opening, you do need to apply to more than a few. The reasonable number will depend on your particular situation but it could be as many as 8 preschools, 10 if you have twins. The Parents League publishes a complete list of preschools by neighborhood and a Guide to Preschools which will help in compiling your list.
How many on-going schools should I apply to?
Consult with the director of your preschool or speak with a Parents League school advisor. When applying to Kindergarten, your list should include both coed and single sex independent schools. You should also consider public and parochial schools. Eight schools is a general guideline.
Is there an advantage to applying to a preschool in an on-going school?
Maybe, if you think the school is a fit for your child and family and you plan on keeping your child at that school. However, in many cases the early childhood program in an ongoing school is generally for sibling and legacy applicants. Families new to the school more commonly apply for Kindergarten.
What is a “legacy?”
A “legacy” is a child whose parent attended the school. Some schools extend that definition to include grandparents. Other schools require that the parent is a graduate of the school.
Is the application process different for families of twins?
The process is the same, but you must submit an application for each child. Because you are looking for two spots at the same school, we suggest you apply to 10, possibly 12 preschools, depending on your neighborhood and the age of your children. For on-going schools, you might choose to look at different schools for each child. Consider 8-10 schools.
Do independent schools have financial aid?
Almost all K-12 independent schools, and many preschools on the basis of a family’s need offer financial aid. Families should apply for aid at the same time they apply for admission. This is done by completing a financial statement that is sent to a central service that will then send reports to as many schools as the family requests. Each school has its own financial aid policy which determines the amount of aid it will offer. The amount of available financial aid varies, but can be 10-12% of the school’s budget.
“Financial Aid: A Guide” from the 2007 Parents League Review
What is the age cut-off for an independent school Kindergarten class?
For most independent schools, your child must be 5 by September 1 for Kindergarten. Some independent schools do, however, use a different age cut-off. You can find this information on the school’s website. For public schools your child must be 5 by December 31 for Kindergarten. Click here for a listing of Parents League Member Schools.
What do I do if I want to ask a school-related question?
If you want to speak briefly with a School Advisor or have already met with an Advisor and have a follow-up question, call and an advisor will call you back.
If I need a place for my child in the current academic year, does the PL know where there are openings?
Yes. Our Advisory team is kept informed of grade openings by our affiliated schools
Does the Parents League have information on public schools?
The Parents League has resource numbers and websites and publications to recommend on New York City public schools. We do not have Advisors who specialize in public schools.
Can you help me find a summer program for my child?
There are Summer Advisors who are knowledgeable about day camps, sleep away programs and academic and travel programs. Call to make a phone or in-person appointment. Summer in New York is a searchable online guide available to members that lists over 400 programs in and around New York City for children of all ages.