New York Magazine isn't too worried about the Wall Street Journal's recent attempt to muscle in on their "Kids Cost The Darndest Things" franchise, but they had definitely better keep their eye on the NY Sun. Not only is the paper still publishing, it actually broke major news in NYM's second most important beat [after botox doctor reviews]: hyper-competitive NYC preschool admissions. So what's the scoop? Two words: résumés and DVD's. For toddlers.
To get an edge, pre-school admissions directors revealed, some parents created résumés ["I don't want to see a 14-month-old with a résumé of 30 activities, from language classes to cooking classes to science classes."] and "bespoke DVD's" showing the child playing, speaking Mandarin, and shaking Henry Kissinger's hand [I may be guessing on the last one, but it IS the NY Sun.]
Not news, of course, but other parents allegedly had their application essays written for them by their pre-school admissions consultants. The impact will be known soon enough--decision letters went out this week across the city--but reactions ranged from "that's a huge black mark on a parent!" on the earnest Upper West Side to "NOKD" on the Upper East.
The scary thing is, I can totally see how nervous parents, worrying that a 30-minute playdate audition will determine their perfect child's entire Ivy League future, could decide that putting just a little structure on his list of advanced-for-his-age accomplishments, or maybe just burning a quick DVD with some of his most precocious moments, it's really easy, see? could seem like a good idea.
So what does work? Reading between the lines of this quote from Cynthia Bing, of The Parents League of New York, I see at least three surefire strategies:
"Savvy, knowledgeable nursery school directors do have a sense that what they're seeing stiff and programmed. Their noses can be fairly good."1. Save the media kits for the slow-witted nursery school directors.
2. Work with your consultants to master your "relaxed and off-the-cuff."
3. a gentle spritz of Joi de Patou on your engraved thank-you note.
Preschool Directors Balk at Toddler Résumés [nysun via gawker]
Seriously, though, if anyone's run this gauntlet and just finding out about your pre-school admissions, definitely share your experience, what you felt worked, what was lame, unnecessary, vital, etc. Either below in the comments, or via email. Anonymity is entirely up to you.