How screwed am I for finding preschool in SF?
April 6, 2010 6:10 PM   Subscribe

I just got a job offer in SF. Do I stand any chance of finding preschool for my 3-year old by September? [Yes, ye childless, roll your eyes.]

I found one previous AskMeFi thread related to SF preschools and they said that some people get on lists while they're pregnant. It sounds like near-NY levels of craziness. And it looks like lots of places have application deadlines for the next school year that have already passed.

Is my situation totally hopeless? Do things get better if you live in Berkeley instead?
posted by TheWash to Education (5 answers total)
It totally depends on how picky you are and what you're looking for. Plenty of pre-schools will have spots but probably a lot of the super-competitive ones won't. What are you criteria? hVe you actually called any of the schools you're interested in? I don't think the situation will be all that different in Berkeley. Your tags suggest that you're looking for childcare so I'm a little unclear if you mean preschool in the sense of part-time, focused learning environments or all-day full-time care (which might have a preschool component but is also considered more of a daycare).
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:54 PM on April 6, 2010

No it's not utterly hopeless at all, depending on what you are looking for. A great resource for options in Berkeley and the East Bay in general (not so much SF) is Berkeley Parents Network.
posted by gubenuj at 8:05 PM on April 6, 2010

I can speak a little for SF -- some schools have waitlists but not applications, some have applications but not waitlists, some have both or neither. There's also differences between academic preschools, the public preK programs, coop preschools, and schools-that-are-really-daycare. (And all of the above can be good or bad, it's more what you're looking for.)

I'd recommend calling around to the schools. I know that for the coops (my daughter goes to one) there can sometimes be mid-year openings as folks move around, and sometimes there'll be a strong need for someone of a particular age/gender even though there's a waitlist in general. So it's *always* worth calling.
posted by feckless at 8:50 PM on April 6, 2010

A few specific options for you to consider, in case you haven't run across them yet:

Little Bear School. (I can personally vouch for the quality of this one, despite their rather off-putting website.)

Children's Day School. (I know many parents who have been quite happy with the quality of this place.)

French American International School. (Impeccable reputation, and excellent facilities.)

Of course I cannot guarantee that you could place your child in any of these by September. Welcome to San Francisco, and good luck to you!
posted by trip and a half at 9:33 PM on April 6, 2010

Although in Los Angeles, Jamie Bakal, owner of LA School Mates might be able to help you get some good leads. Good Luck with the move!
posted by Lylo at 11:10 PM on April 6, 2010

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