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Child Care Center Market Research

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Market Research Study for Pre-School venture in Lower Manhattan

Introduction

The price of private education in Manhattan is exponentially increasing. Over the past 10 years, the median price of first grade in the city has gone up 48%, adjusted for inflation, compared with a 35% increase nationally (NYTimes.com, 1/29/2012). Clearly there is a supply and demand crisis, with more students than seats available.
Therefore, our team decided to research the possibility of launching a new pre-school in lower Manhattan. We believe there is a desirable opportunity to open a customized pre-school that serves both our own interests and parents’ current unmet needs. To give some color, below are three recent excerpts concerning the topic:

“I think the nursery school admissions process is a war zone. It’s parent against parent, it’s toddler versus toddler… Parents are crazy competitive…It’s about getting in, fitting in, it’s about belonging. That’s why people sweat it.” (Parent from “Nursery University” documentary, 2007)

“In an entrepreneurial city where even volatile commodities like real estate eventually find their equilibrium, the desire for private school seats has outpaced supply for many years, in some cases by an order of magnitude. “ (nytimes.com, 2010).

“When the public school Pre-K selections were announced, we were denied acceptance to ALL 10 schools…out of 12 friends with kids hoping to enter Pre-K in the Fall of 2011, not ONE of them got in. You see, simply by not having a sibling already in the system, we had already fallen down the seniority tree, to the very bottom. Which begs to ask, how does one even get a sibling into the system to begin with?” (Moms Confessionals, 2012).

Our ideal venture would be a new pre-school in a densely populated residential area that creates value by implementing a modernized curriculum leveraging creative uses of technology. The challenge, of course, was to find out whether parents would even want this.
To test this idea in the market, we designed research that would answer the following two questions:
1). Is there a substantial market demand for a new kind of pre-school program in Manhattan?

2). If so, what features should that program should have?
To guide our research, we engaged in a 4-phase exploratory project that started out with literature research, followed by one-on-one interviews, a focus group, and finally a detailed consumer survey. After conducting our one-on-one interviews and focus group, we established the following set of hypotheses:
H1: Parents would be interested in additional pre-school options.
H2: Parents would prefer a program similar to an established traditional pre-school, such as the Chelsea Day School.

Our end-goal was to confirm that: 1. There would be demand for our school, and 2. Parents are not interested in technology at such early stages and therefore we should replicate current existing models in the market. The following sections describe our research study in detail.

Research method

The first step in our research involved educating ourselves about the pre-school industry in NYC. Specifically, we wanted to answer the following questions: * What are the main private pre-schools in NYC and how do they differ? (by reputation, pricing, curriculum, real estate space, program highlights, admissions process, location) * What is the supply and demand environment of this industry? * What are the general points of view on the NYC pre-school admissions process?

To gather this data, we surveyed the following resources: pre-school websites, news articles, parents’ online forums/blogs (NYC Private Schools Blog, Urban Baby, Babble), parents’ support organizations (The Parent Child Center, Inside Schools), pre-school admissions guides (The Private School Admissions Handbook, Testing Mom), and general demographic data on NYC (Census, NYC.gov). The results of this research can be found in Appendix E.
After developing a thorough understanding of these topics, our next step was to conduct primary research. We wanted to explore which set of features NYC parents value most for their young children in the context of a unique, high-paced, and business-minded location such as NYC. Our study targeted mainly NYC parents who have been through the pre-school search process in Manhattan and can share their opinions on this topic. In addition to parents, we targeted pre-school faculty/administrators and expecting parents. We gathered their opinions through three different means: one-on-one interviews (Appendix A), focus groups (Appendix B), and a survey (Appendix C). The following table compares the respondents, resources, and process of each method:

| Interviews | Focus Group | Survey | Design Type | Exploratory | Exploratory | Descriptive | Target Sample Size | 10 | 5 | 100 | Actual Sample Size | 6 | 2 | 60 | Respondents | * Parents * School Administrators | * Parents | * Parents | Process | * Conducted phone and in-person interviews (~45 mins each) | * Interviewed mothers together for 1.5 hours | * Emailed surveys to current and eventual parents | Resources | * Friends, Family * School Alumni (Columbia, Princeton) * Pre-schools (Peartree Pre-school, Park Avenue Christian Day School) | * Friends, Family * School Alumni (Princeton) | * Friends, Family * Columbia and NYU * Students * Facebook postings |

Sampling Plan
We selected our target sample sizes based on our Professor’s recommendations and on how many respondents we could expect to gather with our timeline. We gained 60%, 40%, and 60% response rates on the interviews, focus group, and surveys, respectively. Had we been given more time for this study, we would have surveyed parents in-person at popular parent “hang-out” sites, such as playgrounds, coffee shops, and school entrances.

Each research method had advantages and disadvantages.

1) Secondary Research
Advantages:
First, our independent, secondary research helped us build a strong knowledge base of the pre-school industry, a space we were previously unfamiliar with, before “getting our feet wet.” Becoming educated in this topic was necessary for us to design our survey and compile a list of questions for our focus group and interviews. Reading this literature allowed us to access expert opinions, learn about underlying themes, and form benchmarks of comparison.
Disadvantages:
Although time- and cost-efficient, this method had disadvantages – some secondary was biased and outdated. Furthermore, we ran the risk of confirming our personal opinions with specific data (confirmation bias).
2) Interviews and Focus Group
Advantages:
The interviews and focus group were useful in that they revealed new ideas and insights, which we describe in the next section of this paper. Furthermore, the focus group and interviews offered us flexibility while asking questions. For example, while interacting with our respondents, we could clarify any areas of confusion for them, repeat questions in different ways, and adapt the discussion’s flow according to the situation. In exchange, our respondents taught us their “language,” such as the meaning of an “exmissions process” and the difference between nursery and pre-K programs.
Disadvantages:
Of course, like all research methods, the interviews and focus group aren’t perfect. Since most of the responses were qualitative in nature, we could not form any immediate conclusions based on their responses. In addition, our sample sizes were small and not representative of the entire population we were studying. Another disadvantage included the fact that respondents were not always in their comfort zones while we interviewed them, which probably influenced the nature of their answers.
Overall, the interviews and focus group helped us to establish priorities for future research, develop hypotheses and, ultimately, develop our survey questionnaire, the last step of this phase.
3) Conjoint Analysis Survey
Advantages:
While the focus group and interviews gave us imprecise information, the survey was able to offer us conclusive results, which we describe in the following section. We conducted a conjoint analysis survey to determine parents’ preferences for pre-schools in NYC. The survey asked to rate different combinations school attributes (Facility type, Play Space, Application Process, Exmissions Process, Curriculum, and Religion) on a Likert Scale of 1 to 7. The advantage of this method is that it gave us the ability to devise the questions’ structures (in this case, the orthogonal constructed profiles of each “school set”) and to set the minimum number of profiles required. We also varied the order in which the “school sets” were presented to each respondent to ensure their answers were not influenced by a particular order. As a result, we were able to extract dependable measures of parents’ demand characteristics for pre-schools, quantify their preferences and utility for each characteristic, and finally predict how they would react to our ideal school. Finally, the concern over confidentiality that interviews and focus groups present was mitigated through an anonymous survey. Parents could take this anonymous survey at ease in the comfort of their own homes, which probably improved their answers’ accuracies.

Disadvantages: The disadvantage with our survey is that it was rather arduous to follow and complete, given that parents had to compare and rate 12 different “school sets.” The difficulty in answering this survey could have led some parents to answer randomly in order to save time. In addition, the survey could have caused some confusion over the meaning of each school attribute. Respondents were not able to ask questions during the survey, so each of them could have interpreted the attributes differently, which could have caused biases in the results. We attempted to mitigate this problem by thoroughly defining each attribute in the survey.
Conjoint Analysis - The Process

Our conjoint analysis survey was designed by choosing the 7 most relevant attributes we gathered from our focus group and interviews. For each attribute, we identified either 2 or 3 levels as seen below: Attribute | Levels | Facility Size | 1. Minimum facility size 2. Above average facility size | Playground Type | 1. Indoor only playground 2. Both indoor and outdoor playground | Admissions Process | 1. Chosen by lottery 2. Chosen by a non-lottery process | Sibling Legacy | 1. Has a sibling legacy to guarantee admission 2. Has no sibling legacy | Exmissions Specialty | 1. School specializes in kindergarten admissions 2. School specializes in elementary school admissions 3. School specializes in college admissions | Technology Program in School | 1. No technology integrated into the curriculum 2. Limited exposure to technology in the classroom 3. Implements a technology based curriculum | Religious Component Present in School | 1. Yes, there is a religious component 2. No, there is no religious component | After randomizing the attributes and levels to form profiles, we chose a sample of 12 to include in our survey (see Appendix C). We asked our respondents to rate each hypothetical school on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being least preferred, and 7 being most preferred. We then collected 19 responses (only 19 out of 60 met the screening requirements that respondents must have had a child in the last 5 years or plan to have one in the near future) from the survey and pulled the data from Qualtrics to use for our conjoint analysis. In order to translate the questions into binary values to use to run our regressions, we selected a base profile school to anchor the analysis. Our base profile school (dummy variables coded as 0) is a school with: * Minimum facility size * An indoor only play facility * A lottery based admissions process * A sibling legacy benefit * Specialty in kindergarten admissions * No technology integrated into the curriculum * And has a religious component After recording the raw data for each respondent’s ratings, we ran 19 regressions to determine the individual partworths for each level of each attribute for each respondent (see Appendix D and E). While none of our regressions were able to attain p-values <.05 (each regression used only 1 respondent’s input), we went ahead and calculated the utility of each of the 12 school profiles we selected for each of the 19 respondents. To determine which schools were most desirable, we selected the 4 profiles that had the highest average utility across all respondents. We determined those schools to be profiles 2, 4, 10, and 11. More specifically: Profile 2 | * Has an above average facility size * Has an indoor only playground * Does not use a lottery process * Has no sibling legacy benefit * Exmissions specialty is for elementary school * Limited technology integrated into curriculum * Has no religious component | Profile 4 | * Has an above average facility size * Has an indoor only playground * Uses a lottery process for admissions * Has a sibling legacy benefit * Exmissions specialty is for elementary school * Has a technology based curriculum * Has a religious component | Profile 10 | * Minimum facility size * Has an indoor only playground * Does not use a lottery process * Has a sibling legacy benefit * Exmissions specialty is for kindergarten * Has a technology based curriculum * Has no religious component | Profile 11 | * Minimum facility size * Has both an indoor and outdoor playground * Uses a lottery process for admissions * Has no sibling legacy benefit * Exmissions specialty is for elementary school * Has a technology based curriculum * Has a religious component | We then determined the relative market share for each of the 4 profiles. School 2 has a market share of 26.32%, school 4 has a market share of 10.53%, school 10 has a market share of 26.32%, and school 11 has a market share of 36.84%. These results were surprising and contradicted our hypothesis because the 4 schools with the highest average utilities all have limited or fully technology integrated curriculums, whereas from our primary research we got the impression that parents preferred traditional curriculums. It is clear from the survey that our respondents value some component of technology in their child’s preschool learning environment, though we cannot generalize this finding across a larger population due to statistical insignificance. After determining that school 11, with a technology-based curriculum, has the highest projected market share, we then determined the relative importance for each attribute (see Appendix D). As seen above, the two attributes that mothers value most are the type of exmissions specialty the preschool has, and the integration of technology into the curriculum.

Conclusion:
Based on our exploratory research conducted during one-on-one interviews and focus group, our team felt we had a strong sense of what parents prefer in a private pre-school program. The attributes that we listed in our survey reflected this, although in general features such as the exmissions process, facility, and location were repeatedly brought up as the 3 most important characteristics. Furthermore, all contacts unanimously agreed that Manhattan could use more pre-schools and supported our idea of launching a new program.
Our conjoint analysis revealed that while Profile 4 had the highest average utility, Profile 11 would likely garner the highest market share at 36.84%. To re-summarize, Profile 11 has these attributes: Profile 11 | * Minimum facility size * Has both an indoor and outdoor playground * Uses a lottery process for admissions * Has no sibling legacy benefit * Exmissions specialty is for elementary school * Has a technology based curriculum * Has a religious component |

Though our sample size was too small to make any general conclusions, we could extract from this profile that parents care a lot about play space, prefer as democratic an admissions process as possible, and care not quite as long-term as college but care more about the caliber of elementary school. Though we did not ever even consider religion as an important feature before our interviews and focus group, unsurprisingly it surfaced in the conjoint analysis as a preferred characteristic. This was probably the most insightful and unexpected characteristic revealed in our exploratory research and confirmed in both the conjoint and attribute analysis (2nd highest load). Last and certainly not least, however, we were surprised to find technology was viewed as a preferred feature. Based on our previous discussions, parents were indifferent, if not against, incorporating it at such young age. Yet, the Attribute Analysis suggested that it was the single most important decision factor, followed by religion. We think the most important takeaway here is that when asked directly about individual features, parents exhibit certain preferences and may in fact be intimidated by the concept of a modernized curriculum. Yet, when asked to make trade-offs between a set of features, technology becomes an essential “part of the whole”, and may be viewed as indispensable. Choosing a pre-school is a very complicated process, and this study suggests that parents should think carefully about how they go through the decision-process, perhaps creating a multi-attribute model for each school rather than choosing based on individual feature preferences, which could skew their rankings. Most importantly, for us, the results suggest that we should not scratch the idea of creating a modernized curriculum and that there may be a niche opportunity and competitive advantage in creating such a school. More research, and a larger sample, would help guide us towards creating a successful new pre-school.
Appendix A: Interview Notes
Note: 6 interviews were conducted with various stakeholders. Question bank and 3 key highlights from interviews were selected and included below.
-------------------------------------------------
Demographic Questions * -------------------------------------------------
How old? * -------------------------------------------------
Gender?
* -------------------------------------------------
Work/Industry/Income bracket? * -------------------------------------------------
Relationship Status? * -------------------------------------------------
# of kids and ages?
-------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------
Motivation
* -------------------------------------------------
Would you ever pay for a private pre-k program for your child? * -------------------------------------------------
Did you have private education? * ------------------------------------------------- do you expect to ever/always provide private education for your child?why?
-------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------
Program Features
-------------------------------------------------

* -------------------------------------------------
If you were to pay for private pre-k what would you want out of it? * -------------------------------------------------
What are the top 5 most important things in a pre-k? convenience, cost, curriculum? * -------------------------------------------------
How important do you think is exposing children to technology at an early age? * -------------------------------------------------
Would you be interested in a modern, re-invented pre-k program? * -------------------------------------------------
How important is it to you that the pre-k teach has a bachelor's degree or not? * -------------------------------------------------
How important is it to you that the pre-k teacher is certified in early education? * -------------------------------------------------
How important is it to you that the program is accredited?
-------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------
Miscellaneous
* -------------------------------------------------
How connected do you want to be to your children's pre-k experience? (ie: daily video or quarterly report?) * -------------------------------------------------
Do you have a Facebook account for your child? * -------------------------------------------------
At what age do you think you'll buy your child a smartphone? Laptop? * -------------------------------------------------
What is your personal feelings toward technology? Are you yourself "up to date?" * -------------------------------------------------
Describe a time when your child told you something about their day at school and you felt happy/satisfied? * -------------------------------------------------
Describe a time when your child told you something about their day at school and you felt disappointed/frustrated? * -------------------------------------------------

1. Melissa (35, female, housewife, married with 2 children 3 and 6 years old) * Wants socializing( conflict, independence, learning to cooperate) exposure to basic learning and potential talents * Wants teachers with bachelor degrees * Anticipates child will have iPad at 8, would like a tech room
2. Denise Adused (CBS grad ’10, founder of Peartree Pre-school) * Useful resources * NY Department of Planning: information per NYC district * Population of kids under 5 per district * Number of childcare facilities per district * NYC Department of Health * Article 47 lays out regulatory considerations for building a child care facility * ACS: Administration for Children’s Services 3. Katy Chai (32, married, mother of 9 month old, lives in Park Slope) * Katy chose Eladias because the kids seems happy there, proximity to her house, reasonable cost @ $1900/month 6am to 8 pm program. * Nap time for child, particularly own sleeping room / area is important * International trips for families with infants that provide tour assistance, provide child care when needed 4. Nita Batta (32, married, mother of 2 year old and lives in Manhattan) * started search last summer, joined a parents league on UES, pay a $100 membership to go to a pre-k workshop to get resources and entry level websites * basically had to give in to the high pricing, and you pay for the director to write you a fabulous letter to get her into another fabulous school * top 5 most important things to you? * convenience in terms of proximity * tours (warm place, inviting, the director) * exmissions list - where they have gone on to place for pre-k * who the other parents are that applied * and teachers not sooo impt - at this level they really are playdates for the kids to learn how to socialize 5. Peta Hartman, (38, married, mother of 2 year old and lives in Manhattan) * Is pricing fair?don't think schools are willfully ripping people off - it is the cost of running a school * What do they want out of the application process? * Peta applications - city and country application is the best one, along with the Blue School * want you to be in alignment with their philosophies in terms of education * some level of participation in the school * international school just started an ipad component of the day 6. Betsy Newell (Director of Park Avenue Christian Day School) * What is important to know about lauching a pre-k program? * Lots of siblings take up spots., just interviewed 400 children around 2 years old. 50-60 spots. Sent out acceptances, waitlist of 200, 250, not allowed to apply until the year the child is ablet o enter, 500 calls after labor day. * Twenty twins applied (limited spots for boys). Clear balance of quotas, extra child a girl. * Whats special – fantastic community of parents * Typical costs? * Rent, staff and benefits. Annual salary for 9.5 months * Run at a deficit, keep increases at under 5%

Appendix B: Focus Group Results
Participants (two):
Adina: Private education – found environment very stressful, Montessory, Children – 4 years, 10 months
Lisa: 1 daughter 4.5 years, Rolls Schollam, not sure where to send her (public vs. private), grew up in Long Island, moved to upper west side 8 years ago

Script:
Essay Questions – are very formal
Private kindergarten – must send kid to private nursery, no public nursery programs
Attended seminar about process
Applied to 8, got into 2
Morning program – preferred for kids, they have more energy, can learn more, usually reserved for siblings
Don’t know anyone who got totally shut out from all nursery schools
ALSAT test – 1 hour long
ERB tests
G&T

1) What are your main considerations: Exmissions (feeder system), public vs. private, location (very important), morning vs. afternoon

2) What did you want in a program? What did you want your child to learn?
Religious component in curriculum
Book: Victoria New Orleand
Didn’t want program to be too structured or formal
Trying not to deal with kindergarten programs

3) What’s the point of pre-K?
Pre-school: 2-3 years
Pre-K: 4 years
Kindergarten: 5 years
Most people start their kids at 3 years
Nobody enters private school in pre-K
Very hard to enter private school in pre-K, almost required to get into private by signing them up in nursery school
New York Kids Club

4) At pre-school, I want my child to:
Make friends, learn manners, basic concepts (shapes, colors); curriculum (dinosaurs, NYC)
Look at www.urbanbaby.com <http://www.urbanbaby.com>

5) Distance is obviously very important. Do people relocate?
People move to get into public schools, not into private schools

6) Which schools do you like?
JCC – Jewish Community Center: facility is beautiful, big play area
Pros: Facility, open air center, good curriculum, warm
Masters Degrees are not a requirement

7) Flexibility of schedules
Clairmont – Montessori system -
Parents don’t want their kids to be around screens, technology all the time. Get enough exposure at home
Moms don’t feel good about sending kids to place where parents can Skype (seems too cold), most meetings are just once a semester

8) What would be a competitive advantage for nursery schools? What would make it better than others?
Lots of space, play space is not as important because schools down play this
Avenues – headmaster of Dalton and Collegiate collaborated
Ex-missions: competitive advantage, recruiting someone from 92nd street Y to work on the staff
Ex-Mission director – Pre-School
Clairemont – really good for-profit upper west side school...now Montclair.

Appendix C: Survey

Appendix D: Conjoint Output
Sample Regression (Respondent 1 of 19)

Conjoint Analysis (Respondents 1- 19)

Attribute Importance (Respondents 1- 19)

Appendix E: Secondary Research on Pre-school Industry
Compilation of Information Sources (Excerpt from a list of 72 schools)

Supply and Demand Research * More applications for pre-k in NYC each year, with declining acceptance rates * 72% in 2010, 68% in 2011 * 25,487 applicants in 2010, 28,815 applicants in 2011 * Exceedingly long wait lists, repeated budget cuts * Transition from pre-k to kindergarten leaves many in the dust * Kindergarten classes have up to 7 more students per class than allowed in pre-k * There is an insane amount of demand for pre-k. The application process is well-studied and extremely competitive. * The number of students qualifying for gifted kindergarten programs in NYC public school districts rose by 10% this past year. * There is a spike in gifted students – much more pressure for higher quality pre-k education. * The increase in high-scoring students was concentrated in the middle and upper middle class districts of Manhattan and Queens * Major TV networks are focusing more and more on educational programming * Ex. Nickelodeon is developing a math focused TV series. * Toddlers becoming more and more comfortable with technology * “Toddler’s Favorite Toy: The iPhone” * iPhone has become the most effective tool to mollify fussy toddlers * Children love books and toys but nothing compares to the iPhone * Simple and intuitive technology allows children to learn and respond * Apps include flashcards, educational programs and games * However, not all parents and experts agree technology is positive * The director of Columbia’s Center for Toddler Development worries that fixation on the iPhone will limit the child’s ability to experience the wider world, citing that it will take away from creative playtime

Quotations

“Nursery University” documentary, 2007
“I think the nursery school admissions process is a war zone. It’s parent against parent, it’s toddler versus toddler… Parents are crazy competitive…It’s about getting in, fitting in, it’s about belonging. That’s why people sweat it.”
- Parent
“It’s like getting accepted into the college you really want to go to, but you can’t afford it”
- Parent
“We have a friend who didn’t get into any and actually considered moving…It shouldn’t be so hard to get your kid into a nursery school!”
- Parent
“It’s a political game that we’re playing because we made a commitment to live in NYC.”
- Parent “If a two-year old program charges $50,000 per year in NYC, people would still line up to go because there is nothing as important as your child’s education.”
- Pre-K school administrator
Manhattan Private School Advisors, company that charges $6,000 to help families get their kids into desirable private elementary schools.
“Many of the rumors you have heard about private preschool and independent school admissions at any point of entry are simply…rumors. Private schools are not really harder to get into than the Ivy League. Private preschools and K-12’s are hardly a meritocracy, but children are not admitted to schools simply because their parents are wealthy or are alumni of those schools or only because they have siblings attending them. The number of legacy (alumni) and sibling rejections has actually increased tenfold in the past few years.” http://www.privateschooladvisors.com/ Ricky Martin on the pressures of pre-K, 2/17/2012
“You have no idea. A lot of people told me about this, and I didn’t know until I actually embarked on the mission….I had to write an essay about my kids. This is pre-K. This is not college.” http://celebritypregnancy.sheknows.com/2012/02/17/ricky-martin-on-the-pressures-of-pre-k/ Mom Confessionals, 2/15/2012
“When the public school Pre-K selections were announced, we were denied acceptance to ALL 10 schools…out of 12 friends with kids hoping to enter Pre-K in the Fall of 2011, not ONE of them got in. You see, simply by not having a sibling already in the system, we had already fallen down the seniority tree, to the very bottom. Which begs to ask, how does one even get a sibling into the system to begin with?” http://momconfessionals.com/2012/02/edu-care/?utm_source%3Drss%26utm_medium%3Drss%26utm_campaign%3Dedu-care “NYC Preschools Are Starting To Cross The $40,000 Threshold”, 2/17/2012
A number of private school tuitions in New York have just gone over the $40,000 mark…Riverdale Country School leads the way, with prekindergarten to grade five tuition costing $40,750 and grades 6 to 12 running $42,000. Other pricey schools include Columbia Grammar and Preparatory ($40,140 for seniors) and Chapin School ($41,100). http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-city-preschools-are-starting-to-cross-the-40000-threshold-2012-2 The Search for the “Right” Pre-K, 2/14/2012
“We believe in the public school system. Ideally, we'd like to get our son into a school where he could continue through 5th grade or later. We do fear the worst in that our son could potentially not be accepted to any Pre-K at all. But out of principal alone, we won't be throwing away deposit money by entering him into a private program that he might not attend.” http://www.nycdadsgroup.com/2012/02/search-for-right-pre-k.html New York Magazine, 11/20/2005
“If you take a deep breath and realize that there are roughly 70 private schools in New York—and a growing number of great public schools, too—and that many of these, far from second choices, might even provide a better experience, you’ll discover that you can be much more in control of the process than you’d believed possible.”
- NY Magazine

“Will bribery work? In a word, no. Not only will making a big contribution to the kindergarten of your dreams not help you get in, it will hurt you,” warns Uhry. The schools don’t appreciate being treated like the maître d’ at Per Se.”
- NY Magazine

“It’s not just talk. Several schools issued directives to their boards last year that they wouldn’t accept recommendation letters from directors.”
- Head of Mandell School on whether private school connections count
“The best way to turn off Barbara Root [admissions director at Sacred Heart] is to talk about who you know,”
- Smart City Kids, nursery and independent school admission consulting company

“But the revolution, however, is far from complete. Schools like Trinity, Dalton, and Columbia Prep have well-earned reputations for being places where not having a strong connection can mean not getting in.”
- NY Magazine http://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/education/features/15141/index2.html --------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Note*: We focus our attention on pre-school only because according to parents, in order to be seriously considered for a private kindergarten and thereafter, a child must be in a “feeder” pre-k program. Public kindergartens and continuing education are outside the scope of this project as they related to zoning laws.

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