How to Choose the Right Kindergarten for Your Child

how to choose the right kindergarten for your child

It’s that time of year, where New York City parents of 4 and 5 year olds are figuring out where their kids are going in the Fall.  But how do you decide where to go? 

We went through this last year.  Our zoned public school is considered fine, but I wanted to make sure I considered all our options and made a thoughtful choice.  We also considered private schools, but were hoping we would fall in love with a public (free) option to avoid that cost.

I researched online, I talked to parents, and I toured schools.  My son took the G & T (Gifted & Talented) test, just to cover all our bases.  It was exhausting!

After all that research and legwork, we still had to make a decision.  How to do it?  My answer was to create a scoring model with a forced ranking for each of the schools under consideration.

The rankings are not exactly scientific, but it did force us to rank them, with 5 points being highest and 1 point being lowest.  Uniforms are a plus in my book, so schools with uniforms got 5, and those without got 1.  Other factors may be more important to you.

Here were our results:

Criteria / School

Zoned PS

Charter A

Parochial

G & T

Private A

Academics

1

4

2

5

3

Philosophy

2

5

1

3

4

Location

3

4

5

1

2

Price

5

5

3

5

1

Discipline / Rowdiness

5

2

1

4

3

After School Program

5

1

3

2

3

Attire

1

5

5

1

1

Total

22

26

20

21

17

You may have criteria of your own, but my husband and I chose the criteria and scores together, and I thought this was a pretty good list.  Also note that this is a “forced” ranking – the academics at our zoned public school were not bad, but some of the other possibilities were better

Other factors played into our final result, but it was interesting to see where schools ended up in our ranking.  That expensive private school wasn’t our favorite based on other factors anyway!

This must be so much easier in other places.  When I was a kid, I just went to the local school down the street.  No gut-wrenching choices needed.  The rest of the country probably thinks we’re crazy!

Are you waiting to find out where your child will attend school in the Fall?  It may be an important part of your financial plan.  Good luck!

About Sara Stanich

Sara Stanich, CFP®, CDFA™, works with people who are building their lives – growing a business, raising a family, moving toward personal achievements – to help them build solid financial plans for the future. Have a financial question? CLICK HERE TO ASK SARA!

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