An Open Letter to Preschools


This has nothing to do with food.  But I feel compelled to post this PSA now that we’ve just emerged from another school year smarter and relatively unscathed.  We sent our son to preschool for the first time this year and the experience was nothing less than amazing–he is loved and cared for, learns the joy of being with other kids (he’s an only child).  The process of searching for a preschool was nothing less than harrowing and stressful and suffice it to say that there were moments when I thought humanity was doomed given the state of some of the places we visited.

But I have hope.

So here’s an open letter to pre-schools everywhere before the advent of the next school year:

I am offering the following advice as an anxious parent entrusting you with my only child for the first time.  I intend for this to be helpful so forgive the snarky tone but as you’ll read below, said snark is warranted.

  • Clearing out your house of all the furniture and calling it Learning Adventure Academy doesn’t make it a school.  You may want to update the formica counters and 70s wood laminate cabinets if you’re going to do that.
  • If you call yourself the director, consider wearing something other than a tanktop that has cutouts down the front of your chest revealing cleavage.  Your aide should probably lose the “It’s Official.  Second sucks” No Fear tee.  Neither of these outfits inspires confidence.
  • Please don’t use an old and semi-deflated truck tire as a playground toy.
  • Don’t ask me to donate my child’s old toys before I even enroll him  in your school.
  • When I ask you for advice on whether you believe that a full or part time program is best, please give me an answer that conveys your expertise as an educator or at least something more helpful than, “It’s up to you.”
  • When I ask if you provide meals and snacks, I’m really hoping for an answer that doesn’t start with “The cook quit recently and we only offer vegetarian options.”  Because that really translates to, ‘No, so  we’re hoping your kid gets full on some celery sticks and a handful of baby carrots.”
  • Sticking 24 kids in a 20×10 room and having them sit on a multi-colored rug all day spells trouble.  I don’t care if you call it a “magic carpet” or  “indoor play.”  You don’t have a playground, those kids are stuck inside all day, you do the math.
  • You might want to do the enrollment process in a private setting so that I don’t hear questions like “Will you reinforce the restraining order I have against my ex-husband at the school?”  That would make any parent want to flee, including this one.

A parent now considering homeschool


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