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Nursery University

Nursery University: Parents Lose Their Minds Over Preschool

The preschool application process in many major metropolitan cities is comparable to getting into college. Sometimes dubbed the brat race, it doesn’t get more competitive than what goes on in New York City, where some believe that getting into the right nursery school will put their tots on the Ivy League path.

In his new documentary, Nursery University, which hit screens last week, Marc Simon and Matt Makar take an in-depth, satirical and oftentimes sympathetic look at a process that lead to the downfall of one Wall Street’s biggest titans and has parents competing to spend more than $15,000 a year on their two-year-old’s education. The film follows five families as they take the journey – from identifying the right schools, obtaining applications, the child’s interviews and finally their receipt of acceptance letters. Along the way, we meet two preschool directors who scoff at the myths about the process, as well as a “preschool consultant” who charges $4,000 to help families navigate the system.

To see why the film had me both laughing and feeling sorry for the families, and see a trailer,


While some of the profiled families perfectly mirror the caricatures they are modeled after – the family that spends time practicing greetings with their daughter, the clan that claims even a celebrity like Kate Winslet can’t get their daughter into a school and a couple that debates whether saying Spanish is their first language will give their child an advantage – others go through the process in an attempt to truly give their lil ones a better start than they had.

A friend who went through the Manhattan preschool process said the film accurately portrays the frantic pace at which NYC families approach wee education. If you want an inside look at the craziness some parents go through for their offspring, seek out this film, and then go home and thank your lucky stars that you don't have to participate.

Join The Conversation
kty kty 8 years
wow...just wow,way too expensive
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
well i guess when your commitment to live somewhere is number one, the highest you child can be IS number 2. it's not as if these people can't move, they just choose not to. if i thought my child really needed something the area we lived in didn't offer; i would move. it's easy to say "i'd do anything for my child". what that woman really means is "money is not as issue";not the same thing.
Gruberr1 Gruberr1 8 years
Having gone through the process, the film is really an accurate description of what goes on here. I've seen people become so wrapped up in the process that you just have to laugh.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Lil, you may enjoy reading "The Ivy Chronicles" --- a fictional story of a woman who starts a $$$ consulting business for New Yorkers to get their little ones into a good kindergarden. It's kind of silly but fun
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