Parents Camp Out To Get Coveted Spot At Greenpoint YMCA’s Pre-School Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — During a time when daycare in New York City can be competitive and expensive a cheaper, popular program option in Brooklyn had some parents lining up overnight, hoping to get their children a spot.

“Worth doing anything for your children,” one dad said.

Nancy Neumann, with folding chair in hand, was one of the dozens of parents outside of the Greenpoint YMCA all vying to sign their toddlers up for its pre-school program.

“It’s no guarantee that we’ll get in but there’s a wait list so this is wait list for next September,” Neumann said.

In total, there 80 spots for a class of two year olds, three classes of three year olds, and one group of four year olds.

So what makes these parents so intent on getting their kids enrolled here?

“Probably the most competitive, affordable option in the neighborhood and it’s just known for how good the early childhood education is,” Kathy Morris-Jones of Williamsburg said.

At the Greenpoint YMCA for a two year old attending five days a week from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. it will cost families $1,224 per month, which parents say is a fraction of the cost of some other top programs.

As for the curriculum, parent Alice Callahan said it’s “Montessori-style play-based learning that focuses on asking questions and learning through exploration.”

“Everyone is just so involved — the teachers, the assistants, the parents,” said Linda Leahy, with the Greenpoint YMCA.

After finally getting inside, parents filled out paperwork and paid a $25 registration fee before emerging with pink receipts in hand.

After waiting in line and getting on the waiting list, the parents will now have to wait again until January to find out whether their child got one of the coveted spots for school next fall.

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