View Full Version : All NYC Moving to NY, where to start looking fro schools for 2.5 year old

07-17-2012, 08:49 PM
Hello, I would really appreciate some help. We are moving from Europe to New York this fall. We can basically live anywhere in NY, including Brooklyn, as my husbands office will be set up by him, where ever we choose.

We have a son who will turn 2.5 in August. He has gone to Montessori in Europe for 3-4 hours a day for the last year. We will have another child next spring.

Having read through forum after forum looking for day care/pre school etc I am more confused than before I started. Where we come through daycare/pre school is state funded and everyone gets in, so the process of fees and admissions and testing is brand new to us.

My question is this: considering how difficult it seems to be to get accepted to schools, based mainly on our sons education what would be the best place in Manhattan and Brooklyn to live and find schools for him? Where do you recommend as a nice, friendly place to settle down (we will be in NY indefinitely, at least 5 years) make friends for us and our son and find good schools for our kids. We really do not want to have to move or change schools more than necessary.

I was looking at the Berkeley Carroll School fro example which seems excellent. Any thoughts? What I like is that it means one school for the next bunch of years. It seems like a lot of work to change school after a few years, both for me and our son.

Another question - most schools only accept three year olds as of September 1st. This means another year for my son who will turn 3 in January 2013. What do New Yorkers do until your kids turn 3?

I am seriously confused by trying to grasp the school system. Not only all the different names for the different age groups and systems, but also choosing between private and public, deciding on one school for many years, or switching school after Kindergarten. Some schools require testing, others do not. Should we test our son and how, since he doesn't speak much English yet? And then on top of it all - where to live to make all of this work out. There seems little use deciding on where to live first, if we can not find a good school there (we were initially thinking UWS (for the parks) or Brooklyn (for the larger livings space and less hectic area).

Finally, based on what I have read we need to apply for next fall around December this year already? Does this mean there are no schools that accept children for this fall or at least for January 2013 at this time? We will arrive in NY in September already and I work too so we are kind of at a loss as to what to do with child care. Our son loves going to school and meeting friends so we do not really want a nanny but rather some kind of good school with a good teacher/child ratio and some kind of meaningful teaching, not just 'babysitting' for at least three hours a day.

Please help me trying to figure out ow to approach all of this! I would appreciate any advice very much!

/Joanna from Denmark

07-18-2012, 08:16 AM

The question you posed is sort of a chicken-or-the-egg problem. Each neighborhood in the city has its own dynamics so it's hard to give you an exact answer. There are actually several preschools that offer a 2s program so your son would be just fine there. I think some people have posted lists here for downtown, UWS and areas of Brooklyn. UES is its own story given how competitive preschool is there. It's also competitive in some programs in the other areas, just not same extent. I think it's best you decide where you and your husband would like to live. That would then narrow the options available.

As far as application process, for many programs in Manhattan, you do apply in the fall for next year. That means the spots for this coming fall have been filled. People move over the summer time so you should call the programs in the area you plan to move to and see if they have an opening. You never know. The alternative is to sign up your son for a coop program or a playgroup. Even most preschools are part-time so you'll likely need a nanny anyhow.

I hope that helps somewhat.

07-18-2012, 09:20 AM
My Son went to bay ridge montessori. its a neighborhood preschool. not the big name ones but its small group setting. 5 teachers 20-25 kids total. not too pricey. no testing and my son has def thrived there and learned a lot academically, socially, and behaviorally.

11-04-2012, 01:48 PM
My children went to Noteworthy School a really small preschool, 10 to 12 kids, 3 teachers and it has a mixed age grouping of children so no age issues. Both my son and deaughter learned to play with kids of all ages and learned a lot as well.
Noteworthy School is on the UWS, as far as I know there are more good public schools on the USW than there are in most areas of the city; PS 87, PS 9, PS 199 even PS 166 is getting better reviews and grades. So I would make sure I choose a place to live that is zoned for a good school, this way you are set if you decide not to do private school or you don't want to do Gifted and Talented.
Noteworthy was a wonderful experience for my kids and for our family as well, we made a lot of friends, the community is lovely. Easy going and nice. More importantly my kids adored it and still ask about their teachers all the time.
Call them now and see what the numbers are like, maybe they can give you an idea or people to talk to. You can email me as well, my screen name at yahoo.com