Thanks. Yes the application process is in March, I would have to apply in advance and rent in advance too, it's a drag but there is no way around that one. You can apply to a bunch of schools but the admissions priority is with 1. zoned students with sibling 2. zoned students without sibling (of 10 classifications), so according to my info I have much the best chance with the zoned school, but can apply to others. humble he is 4 in September, thanks for the website I'll check it out.
The application deadline for the public pre-K will have passed before you get here (I think they are around Easter).
There aren't that many public pre-K spaces and most are taken by siblings. You would be very unlikely to get a public pre-K spot in your zoned school even if you were able to apply in time. NYC does not have to to provide pre-K places.
The private or church pre-K's usually have application deadlines as well. Many have open houses from Oct-Dec and you have to apply by then, or you apply in January and put your deposit down in February.
However, that being said, often there is a lot of movement as it is a big city and you should be able to find a pre-K program of some sort you like, it may not be your first choice. You may have to take afternoons rather than mornings, etc.
Many schools are closed for August so you would not be able to get much information then.
The challenge for you is finding somewhere to live and then finding a pre-K program nearby.
Also when is your child's birthday, the school age runs Jan - Jan unlike where I was from in the UK Sep-Sep.
Sorry, it's turned into an essay! There is a woman who blogs about it who has quite a bit of info for Brooklyn called nycschoolhelp.com, you could email her or call her as well, I think she charges but info on her website.
Thanks both. math I hear you on a cobbled together routine, we did that when he was a baby in NYC and it was great. kung I'm not sure schools could be wait listed as such as the applications are yet to open, but I could be missing something. My main source of information is a friend in NYC who is doing this herself for the first time. She has a very positive outlook and understands that in-zone she would not have a problem getting a place. All food for thought, thanks again.
You should have a plan B and C up your sleeve. Church/parochial school preschools are often good (but not cheap) and organisations like the YMCA also do preschool. My DS went to YMCA preschool in the US but not in NYC and I liked it a lot. He adored his teacher, who was a Londoner as it turned out. There are also options that would require a good deal of time and effort from you -- classes at museums, art places, music, dance, gymnastics, etc. but you might be able to cobble together a nice routine that would result in a terrific experience for a child.
NYC is an option for a move this summer (we have lived there previously and recently for a few years). Our son is 3.4 now. I'm interested in public Pre-K in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and wonder if there is any experience on MN.