Guide to NYC Preschool Applications

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Parents are often surprised to learn that the preschool admissions process begins when children are only young toddlers. With this simple timeline, you can take the preschool admissions process step-by-step while enjoying this special time with your young child.

Winter – Spring (of the year before enrollment)

Join the Parents League

Become a member here or call 212-737-7385.

Attend a Parents League Preschool Workshop (included with membership)

Led by one of our experienced advisors, this 90-minute workshop is offered at our office and at other locations throughout the city during the spring and summer. The workshops are limited to ten to twenty members, and will give you the opportunity to learn about the process and have all your questions answered. See the Preschool Workshop schedule


Develop your list of schools

Once you have a preliminary list, call to speak to one of our School Advisors to review your list. (advisory calls are also included with membership)
Parents League Online School Directory
Guide to New York City Preschools (included with Parents League Membership)
ISAAGNY Online School Directory

Contact the Schools

Use our school list to visit each school website or call the schools that interest you to determine if they offer open houses or group tours, typically given in the spring. Find out how and when to request an application.

Attend the Parents League Preschool Fair and Admissions Panel Discussion

Meet with representatives of over 85 preschools at this fair held in May, and hear a panel of preschool directors explain the admissions process.


For Families of Color: Contact Early Steps

Early Steps is an organization that advises and assists families of color in the admissions process for kindergarten and first grade. Call in June of the year that your child turns four (212-288-9684,


Note: The Parents League office and many school admissions offices have limited summer hours.

Refine School List; Check Websites

Check the schools’ websites for application information. Mark your calendar as to when to contact schools for an application.

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Request Applications

Request and file applications in September, and stay in touch with your Parents League School Advisor as you go through the process.

Submit Applications

Complete and return applications as early as possible. Many schools will not schedule your tour or interview until they have your application.

Schedule School Visits

Make an appointment to visit each school. Often there is a tour for parents and a separate visit for your child.

Siblings, Legacies

If your child is a sibling or legacy at a school, let the school know if you wish to be included in its optional early legacy notification program. If your child is accepted, you are then obliged to attend that school and withdraw your applications at all other schools.

Apply for Financial Aid

If you are applying for financial aid, do so when you apply.

Keep Track of Applications

Check the deadlines and complete all necessary steps required for each school.

Join the Parents League

If you haven’t already done so, join the Parents League or renew your membership.

December/January/early February

Early Notification for Siblings, Legacies

If you have opted for the early notification program and have received an offer, respond to the school by the deadline and withdraw your applications to the other schools to which you have applied.


Call schools that you are no longer interested in to withdraw your application.

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Late February/March

Decision Letters are Mailed

Check the Parents League website or ISAAGNY website for notification dates and reply dates.

Notify Other Schools

Once you have accepted an offer, call each school that has offered a place or included your child on its wait list so that the spot may be offered to others.


If the school you wish your child to attend has placed your child on its waitlist, call the school to let them know that you remain seriously interested.

Contract and Deposit

When you accept an offer, sign the contract and send in your deposit by the deadline.