Brady and his friends on an adventure at preschool

When I was pregnant, everyone told me I better get that little unborn baby on a handful of preschool waitlists.  I laughed at the stereotype I had seen in a million sitcoms and movies.

But I did it.

I researched schools while he breastfed and toured campuses with him in the ergo.  By the time he was 6 months old, we were on no less than seven waitlist.  And might I add that each wait list came with a “waitlist fee” of $50-$100…yes you read that right.

As a working mom, I was looking for a preschool that allowed kids to start at 2 years.  So the spring before he turned 2, I started receiving letters.

“we’re sorry, we don’t have a place for your son this year”

“Due to an increase in sibling enrollment, we don’t have space for him this year”

Each letter was like a punch to my own soul.

Why didn’t they want my wonderful, smart, adorable child?!?!?


I talked to my friends with older kids and they asked if I had called the school on a weekly basis to “check” his waitlist status.  Another asked if I was sending Christmas cards to the schools?  And had I made any donations to their fund?


Fast-forward 2 years.  We found an amazing in-home preschool with a fantastic teacher.  With just 6 kids, they get a ton of attention, explore nature in a huge back yard, study different cultures, make amazing art projects, go on field trips to collect shells at the beach and discuss what sounds the leaves make when they crunch under their feet.  It’s a great school with a great community of parents and Brady has completely blossomed there.  (And little Ry will start there in the fall!)

But I think Brady needs to spread his wings next year…

So, I am back to trying to find him a place at a preschool/pre-k program for next fall

I am STRESSED out about;

  1. Finding the right place for him
  2. Getting accepted into that place
  3. Paying for it

Concern #1- Finding the Right Place for Him

Preschool Philosophies

There are also many different preschool philosophies- play-based, Waldorf, Reggio, Montessori, Developmental, etc.  With all my research and touring schools, I think I have narrowed down what philosophies fit with our family.

But of course that rules out more schools.

When to start Kindergarten:

Brady will be 4 this summer.  A big part of my internal debate has to do with kindergarten and if he will start next year when he is 5 or if I will have him wait a full year and start when he is 6.  Being a boy with a summer birthday, I think he might flourish with and extra year to grow up, and although I think he could handle kindergarten at 5, I am trying to think ahead to when he is in 3rd grade or 10th.

So, I am looking for a program that has an option for two more years.

Concern #2- Getting Him Into Those Schools

As if it wasn’t hard enough to choose the right school for my son and for our family, there is still that pesky matter of getting in.

Each year, the school’s get more and more set in their class rosters.  Really, the only openings that come up at this point are if a family moves or leaves the school.  So even though we have moved up to #5 or even #2 on a waitlist.  That means that 5 families who are already enrolled have to leave….doesn’t seem promising.

And, even though I have expanded my search from that initial exploration at age 6 months.  ALL of the schools have long waitlists.  So if we haven’t been on the list for the last 3 years, we would be SO low on the list, that it is probably pointless.

Concern #3- Paying for It

A brand new preschool opened in my area last year.  They have a beautiful garden, all new toys, a wonderful philosophy, and there are spaces for next year.  And it costs 40% more than the other schools I am looking at.  It is quite literally MORE in annual tuition than I paid for my University education…for preschool.

And that is not even taking into consideration that we still have to pay for childcare for our other child!

I try to remind myself that things work out the way they are supposed to, that it is only preschool and that we are not the only parents to go through this struggle.

As parents, you just want what is best for your child and as a working mom (who struggles with a little guilt for working), I also want to know that if my children are not with me, they are in the best possible circumstance.

So for now, I’ll wait, and call the admissions offices on a weekly basis, and keep reminding my self that everything happen for a reason.

Hopefully, you’ll soon be reading the post about how he got into a great school and we are so happy and I was over reacting for worrying so much.

I’d love your feedback.  Did you stress about preschool??  Am I over reacting?  Do I need to send Christmas Cards?