I finally got the chance to watch Nursery University this weekend. The film is a documentary that focuses on five Manhattan families who face the near-impossible task of getting accepted by highly competitive preschools. I blogged about this documentary a few weeks ago before I had the chance to see the film. Check out my previous blog about Nursery University that includes the trailer.
Nursery University is not for parents with soft hearts as it could cause you to lose a significant amount of sleep. The movie really affected my wife and our son is not even a year old yet. The movie was well made, and opened the door wide enough to allow you to connect with the families involved. You could laugh at some of the hoops that the families went through to get their kids into preschool as well as empathize with the families as they go on their emotional roller coasters.
There was a scene in Nursery University with one of the mothers sitting in a workshop with a “preschool consultant.” If you hire the consultant, it is their job to assist you in navigating through the process of getting your child into preschool as well as be a sounding board through the stressful period. The mother walked out of the workshop when the consultant mentioned their fee – $4,000 for seven sessions!
I appreciated that some of the directors of the preschools (i.e. director of Mandell) actually allowed the camera to roll when they were having their “closed door” conversations about the families/kids they were selecting to be admitted (or not). Watching these school directors go through the screening of their applicants reminded me of the college admissions process. It is crazy that parents (could be me in the near future) pay all of this money, go through all of this stress, and waste so much time, going through a process like this when your child is 2 or 3 years old.
*Nursery University is worth the 1 1/2 hour time investment as entertainment or a lesson in the agonizing preschool process. It’s currently playing on cable – Showtime. Cue it up on your Showtime on-demand & let me know what you think of the film.