Wisdom from our 2021 Early Childhood Education Survey

Each year, Park Slope Parents members contribute their reviews for their kids’ daycares, preschools, and pre-k facilities to help fellow families who are considering where to enroll their children. If you’re in the thick of the research and application process, read on for members’ answers to the question: “What advice would you give to people who are researching and choosing a program for their kids?”

 

Looking for more support on everything from the preschool years to the preteens? Tap into the wisdom of our community by joining Park Slope Parents!

 

PLUS: You can read all about finding, applying, choosing, and accepting a daycare, preschool, or Pre-K spot in our PSP Guides. Members can download the Guides for free, and non-members can purchase for a small fee.

 

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Skip to wisdom about…

Daycare

Preschool

Pre-K

 

Daycare

 

Go with your instincts- if the place feels great (or not great) to you, you're probably right!”

 

Because of the competitive nature of daycares in the area, you have to look for one pretty early on before you realize all of the things that you want for your baby/child. I think the size, behavior/energy of the staff and emotions of the children when you visit are the most important to focus on. All daycares follow safety standards and are pretty expensive so you just need to make sure your baby is happy!”

 

“Read the reviews on PSP. Try and talk to a parent that brings their kid to the place you're interested in.”

 

“Ask for a school calendar + sick policy.”

 

“See several facilities to get a comparison. Don't underestimate the importance of location and convenience in dropping off/ picking up when you have to do this every day

Don't just rely on other people's recommendations. Keep your eye out for institutions based on areas you travel. I did my research. I did a lot of tours and sort recommendations but I only found out about this school when I passed by it on my journey one day. It really was the best option for my us/my son for now.”

 

“For daycare, all you really want is a place that you feel good about dropping your kid off every day. It doesn’t matter if the facility is beautiful, if they have this methodology or none at all. If you can trust the caregivers and feel like they will truly care for your child, that’s all you need. And serving food is an enormous plus.”

 

“Find a place that you feel good about dropping your baby at. Who cares if one place has fancy tables and beautiful architecture? What you really want to know is if your child will be well cared for when you're not there - that's all that matters.”

 

Go with your gut- choose the place where you already feel comfortable, and have strong communication from the beginning, and a location that suits your proximity.”

 

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Preschool

 

Ask other parents about the school's policies and environment and community. I used PSP message boards to find a better fit for us for next year.”

 

Use these kinds of surveys, or gather many/multiple reviews/recommendations -- don't rely solely on one parent's description of their personal experience.”

 

“Check out the reviews on PSP!”

 

“Price does not equal quality!”

 

“Find the best program closest to home. Commuting with little ones is a lot of work.

 

“Follow your instincts on what's right for your child and family! Be willing to commute a little further for a good fit.”

 

Think about whether your child will be nurtured, and whether the facility will support your parenting style/decisions.”

 

Choose the community as much as the school. Where do you see your family feeling comfortable and happy?”

 

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Pre-K

 

Go with the one that feels right - we have been fortunate to find a place with a vibe where we, and more importantly our daughter, feel comfortable.”

 

“Go with your gut - you know best where your child would thrive.”

 

“Talk to other parents. See if you can go on a tour.”

“There are lots of great options in Brooklyn and especially in Park Slope, and you and your kid might be happy at a lot of places. Pick based on fit, but also convenience -- you'll be doing drop off and pick ups, as well as occasional special events, and a few extra blocks with pre-schoolers can mean an extra 15-20 minutes each way.”

 

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Further reading on Park Slope Parents

 

-Member reviews for Childcare, Education, and Camps

-Advice Articles - Childcare and Education

-PSP Guides to Daycare, Preschool, and Kindergarten

-PSP Guide to Pre-K