The admission process for most nursery schools begins the Fall before your child enters school. Every school manages the admissions process differently. There are however areas of consistency for most schools: almost every school requires an application and offers a tour and/or open house and some will also include parent interviews and child play visits as part of the application process.
Identify Your Options
- Consider the factors that are most important to you including proximity to your home, program hours, and program offering, etc.
- Talk to friends and neighbors, use print and on-line resources, on-line resources to identify schools that meet your primary criteria.
- Families living in the Greenwich Village area or seeking a school near NYU will find that members of the Downtown Early Childhood Association (DECA) offer a good range of options.
- Other useful resources include the ISAAGNY website, The Parents League, and Victoria Goldman’s The Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools.
- Compile a list of 6 to 8 schools that you are interested in visiting.
- Carefully review each of the nursery school’s website to familiarize yourself with their unique admissions process.
- If a school’s process is not clearly described on their website, contact them to confirm when and how their admissions process begins.
- Consider establishing a special calendar, checklist, or chart to help you stay on track.
- Most nursery schools have an online presence and families can download the admissions application online. However, there are some which require that you call them to request an application the day after Labor Day.
- Complete the application as soon as possible
The Tour/Open House
- After turning in your application, depending on the school, you may have to set up a tour and/or play group where your child will be observed. Other schools may hold a lottery first.
- A list of questions and observations is available here.
- Make sure you know the application process for each of the schools to which you are applying.
Parent Interview / Play Visit
- Be sure to dress professionally, be on time, turn off your cell phone, and actively participate in the exchange.
- Make sure that your child has a good night sleep and is not hungry. Your child should dress in clean, comfortable clothes on the day of the play visit.
- A brief thank you note written following the interview is a welcome addition to your admissions file and gives you another chance to say why the school is “right” for your child and family.
Letters of Decision or Waitlists
- Admissions decisions are typically made by a committee of school administrators and teachers. The primary goal of the admissions committee is to identify those children that are most likely to be successful in the school. As schools reflect on the applications they consider all pieces of the application and are seeking to create a well-balanced community of learners in each grade and throughout the school.
- Each school’s website will clearly state the date decisions will be released. Or, for easy reference, you can refer to the ISAAGNY timeline.
- If you receive more than one acceptance, it is important that you notify any and all schools that you are not interested in that you are declining their offer. Doing this quickly allows schools to reach out to families on their waitlist.
- If your child is placed on a waitlist at a school that you would like your child to attend be sure to communicate your interest to the school. Seek guidance from the Admissions Office about suggested and appropriate follow-up.
Signing an Admissions Agreement
- Once you have received a letter of acceptance at a nursery school that you are interested in, you will have to decide if this is the right school for your child and, if applicable, whether the financial aid package is adequate.
- ISAAGNY’s timeline establishes the date that you must accept an offer of admission. The turnaround time for signing an enrollment contract is usually less than two weeks from the date of notification.
- It is important to know that if you sign a contract with an ISAAGNY school, no other ISAAGNY school is allowed to offer you one.