That is what it feels like trying to get into the preschools in San Francisco.
Friends who have children attending preschool in SF suggested that put Reese's name on a waiting list for a preschool when she was just a few months old. And not just the one I wanted her to get into but a few others in case she didn't get in. They told me that the preschools in San Francisco are really impacted and it's challenging to get into one of the "top" preschools. (What's considered a top preschool?" That can be a topic for another post). I kind of laughed this off. I thought to myself that it was kind of silly to start applying for preschool before she could even hold her head up. Not to mention I didn't think we'd be living in San Francisco by the time she started preschool.
Fast forward to nearly two years later. There's a good chance that we'll still be living in the city next year when she'll start preschool. Quite honestly I'm a bit frantic that we've only applied to one preschool (last week)! Ridiculous right?
On the one application I filled out, I wasn't sure how to respond to some of the questions: Why would you like your child to attend this preschool? What do you hope to gain from you and your child's preschool experience? Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? They provided just a few lines to provide a response but there was a note that read something like, "If you need more space, you may attached a piece of paper."
My husband and I sat long and hard to answer these questions. I had to go back to friends whose children are already attending to ask them how they filled out the form. Do I answer concisely? Do I write multiple paragraphs for each? Answering these questions I felt like I was writing an essay as part of my college application. Oh, and did I mention there is a $75 application fee? It really felt like I was filling out a college application.
I've only applied to my number one choice preschool, but given the situation for preschools as I understand, I must start my preschool research.
In the long run, is the preschool I send my daughter to going to have such a huge educational foundation that it's going to lay the groundwork to determine her academic success and therefore the college she gets into? Umm... probably not.
Then why am I, like so many other of my mommy friends in the city so stressed out about the process of applying for preschools? I don't need to be, right? I mean it's preschool for heaven's sake?! I guess this comes with the price of living in a city? Some of my friends who live in the suburbs tell me that applying for preschools is nothing like this.