I kid you not that we were asked to attend open houses, tours and interviews (it was mandatory that both parents be present) all during the work day (I took many mornings and even a few days off work to accommodate these requests), write essays about how our child and our family are a good fit for each school, explain our toddler’s behavior, temperament and unique qualities, write about our two year olds separation anxiety, explain our theories on structure and discipline, give a list of referrals that the schools could call to question, put forward our interest in fundraising and volunteering, attach a family photo and pay between a $50 and $200 fee per application.
Are these snooty, high-priced preschools really that much better than ordinary preschools? I suspect the sort of education-obsessed parents who apply can prepare their kids for school without outside help. Preschool is a place for their kids to socialize with others. Does it matter if the teacher has a master’s degree?
Of course, some preschools are believed to be stepping stones to elite private schools, which lead to elite colleges. Parents get on the high-anxiety track when their kids are two. Or earlier. I checked out a link to San Francisco preschools — there are a lot more than 10 — and found one that listed the earliest age to apply as “in utero.”