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How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School Paperback – August 1, 2010


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How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School + The Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools, 7th Edition + Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools, 6th Edition (Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools & Selective Public Schools)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402242085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402242083
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Even before the pressure of finding the right kindergarten for a child rears its ugly head, there is—for many parents—the ordeal of finding the right preschool. Looking back on the frustrations of the process of getting her own child into preschool, Wana offers a helpful guide for other parents. She begins with a brief historical perspective on the rising prevalence of preschools and research showing that a strong educational program in preschool can launch a child’s school career. Wana outlines the array of programs, from private to public, part-time to extended care, and discusses accreditation status and the philosophical differences between play-based Montessori schools, project-based Reggio Emilia schools, and faith-based religious schools. She also advises parents on how to set selection criteria based on the child’s personality and family needs and circumstances. Wana offers practical advice on everything from researching and finding a school to the application process to—assuming the process is successful—preparing the child for the first day. A solid resource for parents of preschoolers. --Vanessa Bush

Review

""Wana offers practical advice on everything from researching and finding a school to the application process to-assuming the process is successful-preparing the child for the first day. A solid resource for parents of preschoolers."" - Booklist

""The subtitle of Jenifer Wana's preschool primer says it all: "The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery School." Type A moms everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief because How To Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child (Sourcebooks, $14.99, 256 pages, ISBN 9781402242083) will save you loads of time navigating essays, interviews, applications and recommendation letters."" - BookPage

""How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Getting Into, and Preparing for Nursery tells parents everything from criteria for choosing a preschool to preparing for admission interviews, as well as advice on applying to competitive preschools, including writing essays, soliciting recommendations and getting off the waiting list."" - Mom Most Traveled

""An invaluable resource for those that are entering the world of preschool"" - Preschool Playbook

""This is a wonderful resource for parents to help them start on this journey and process with their child."" - Plus Size Mommy

""Simple, sensible and sequential, the book is your one-stop shop for preschool time."" - Mom Writes

""I consider How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child the most comprehensive guidebook for parents looking to send their child to preschool."" - Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest

""This book is a great resource for any parent of a toddler getting ready to embark on the road to preschool."" - Katie Talks About

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
I thought they were crazy!
SRMoyle
"How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child" IS the ultimate guide to finding the school that is right for your family.
Bea W.
I am so glad this book came out as I am just starting the preschool search for my daughter.
Adoria Lim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Casey on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Since my daughter was born, I had been worrying about preschool. Sounds funny to say but I kept hearing that I should have started applying when my wife was pregnant and that's it's too late to get into the "best preschools" now. Are you kidding me?!?! Since then, I've been searching on the web and there are bits and pieces out there on the preschool process but I couldn't find one source that had everything. Thank heavens for this book. I just got it and I loved its message that we should send our daughter not to the "best" school but to one that is right for her and will allow her to blossom.

The 15 chapters can be divided into three parts:

1) The first contains a wealth of information on how to choose a preschool that is a "good fit" for your child. It includes a primer on the benefits of preschool and deciding when your child is ready and what the appropriate age is to enroll her, an admissions timeline, descriptions of the different preschool philosophies, a list of preschool criteria from teacher-student ratio to the transition policy at the beginning of the school year, and what is critical to observe on a school tour. The book even gives you a pretty comprehensive checklist of over 50 questions to consider asking schools. Some were obvious like is lunch included in the tuition, but there were other questions there that I would not have thought to ask (for example, if your kid is outgrowing her nap, does she still have to lie down on the mat for naptime or can she play quietly in the classroom?).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bea W. on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"How to Choose the Best Preschool for Your Child" IS the ultimate guide to finding the school that is right for your family. As a Preschool Board President, I can attest that this book gives an accurate description of the whole admissions progress - from identifying schools that are a right-fit, through making the final decision, even to paying for preschool. The author explains the jargon (Montessori, Waldorf etc.), and even provides worksheets to help parents identify their own priorities in the Preschool search. This book is so complete, so professional, so readable and clear that I wish this book had been written while I was searching for a school for my oldest son!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kacho on July 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Even though my baby is only a year old, I feel like my mom friends and I talk more about preschool than any other parenting topic. How early do we need to get on waiting lists, what age to enroll, what's the difference between traditional/Montessori/progressive philosophies, private vs. public preschool, etc., and most importantly, what do we need to do to get into the school of our choice? After spending months talking to other parents who've gone through the preschool process, researching online, and still feeling confused and overwhelmed, I read this book in a few hours learned everything I needed to know including what to look for, how to know if a school is right for your child, how to apply, ways to save on tuition, and how to get ready for the start of the school year. While I wasn't sure if all of the information would apply to New York City given how crazy competitive it is here, after reading the special section in the back of the book specifically on NYC preschool admissions, it was clear the author did her homework. I recommend all parents, whether you live in NYC or a small town, read this book if they want to find the right preschool for their child.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By karen on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The process for getting into the right preschool for me just always seemed so daunting. I really didn't know where to start until I read this book. With its easy to follow format, the book breaks down the process so I feel that i can start to tackle this challenge. I really liked the author's tone in which she describes the process, she seems very objective and advocates that we need to find the right preschool based what is important to our family. It is such a stressful topic for San Francisco folks and talking with other mothers in this area only stresses me out more. With this book, I feel calmed by its step-by-step approach. It demystifies the process and provides helpful hints on how to stand out through the admission process. I feel that this book is helping me select schools that are suitable for my son and ultimately it will help me increase my chances in getting into our top choices. I highly recommend it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
After searching extensively online and talking to other parents, I was so excited to find this book! We're applying to preschool for our son in nyc, and this book helped me make sense of everything and understand which schools will be the best fit for him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adoria Lim on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am so glad this book came out as I am just starting the preschool search for my daughter. Having been through 4 daycares (!), I have come to realize how different daycares/preschools can be in terms of approach, philosophy, etc. and how significant those differences can be in making both me and my daughter happy (or miserable).

Now instead of simply following friends' recommendations (which were usually the big "brand name" programs with long waiting lists), with this book I have the framework to tailor my search for my daughter's specific needs and interests. I am sure this will save me a lot of time and money visiting and paying application fees for preschools that don't work for us.

This book walks parents through the process of identifying what characteristics to look for in a preschool program. It made me realize that my daughter, for instance, might do well in a program that was not too structured and gave her an opportunity to socialize a lot with other kids. The book also helped me realize that I valued a preschool with optional afterschool classes like soccer, gymnastics, etc. since as a single working mom I can't drive her to outside activities in the afternoons.

Overall, it provided a great framework for sifting through all the preschools in our town to find the ones I would be most comfortable sending my daughter to.
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