How to Fight The Nursery Admission Demon

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Nursery admission is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. After your child’s birth, everything you do is to prepare yourself and your bundle of joy for the inevitable- admission to the nursery. What you feed him, what you say to your child, the lullabies you sing, and the books you read- are all going to help decide which school your child gets admission into. Scared? Well… we did exaggerate a bit. But nursery admissions are a terrifying time for most parents, especially first-timers. And we get it. It’s a competitive world we live in. We want the best for our child, and the best school will help prepare him for a successful future. So how do you go about deciding which school is the best for your child? How do you apply? Where do you apply? Here are a few tips to help demystify the process for you.

When to Start

The admission criteria for nursery varies depending on which state you are in, but generally, most schools take admission to the nursery at the age of 3 and above. The admission process starts around August to October for the next session, which begins in April of the next year for most CBSE schools. Schools affiliated to International boards generally begin their session in June- Aug. Start your research 6 months earlier to shortlist the schools you would like to apply to.

How Should you Decide which Schools To Apply to

This is something that depends on what is a priority for you. It would be best if you considered the board the school is affiliated to, such as CBSE, IGCSE, ICSE, IB, etc. CBSE and ICSE are Indian boards, whereas the IGCSE and IB are international boards. Many people feel that the international boards are based on more practical learning, and the Indian boards maybe a little more focused on rote learning and are very conventional in their teaching system. The pedagogy of the school also matters. Some newer schools focus more on experiential learning, aims to teach the children through experience rather than just by looking at books. In contrast, you have the older, more established schools that still prefer to teach in the traditional way of textbook learning.

Tips for the Guilty Working Parent

It is essential to understand that children only need ‘good enough’ and ‘happy’ parents and not parents who hover around them all the time. Ensure to come up with rituals or home routines that you will prioritize at any cost. Select your priorities with the school your child attends. Do ensure to make time to relax and play as a family. Ensure to schedule time during the weekends to keep up with the assignments/tests from school. Train your kids to solve their problems themselves instead of giving them advice about what to do.

Distance

Is another factor you may want to consider. Some of the better-known schools may not be close to your residence. If you are ok with your child commuting for long periods, then it’s ok to apply to any schools you may prefer. However, keeping traffic and distance in mind, your child may spend well over 2 hours just commuting to and fro from school, especially if you are in a big city like Delhi or Mumbai. You may also want to consider several other factors while applying for nursery schools, such as extra-curricular activities, the facilities the school offers, the safety and security of children, academic record, fees, etc.

Process

Do you need to line up early morning for school admission forms? Well, most schools allow online applications now, which certainly makes the admission process more manageable. The criterion and documents required are mentioned on school websites before the forms open, giving you ample time to collect all the relevant documents. Some of the documents you will need are the child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, Aadhar cards, the parents’ degrees, etc. Once this is done and the application fee has been paid, the shortlisted candidates may be invited for an interview. Some schools also draw lots for admission, considering it to be a fair and unbiased means of admission. On a lighter note, some school admission forms have been known to ask very weird questions, ranging from grandparents’ details to the child’s eating habits and even questions related to your pregnancy. So be prepared to be surprised and amused. Keep in mind that most schools charge INR 1000/- and above for just the application, which is non-refundable (Very few schools actually refund the application fee if your child doesn’t get admission). To save valuable time, energy, and money, we would urge you to apply to a few selected schools only.

The Indian schooling system is undergoing a profound change. The curriculum’s 10+2 structure is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure, so things are bound to be uncertain for some time. But you need to remember that everybody will be in the same boat as you are. Therefore the one piece of advice that we would like to give you is, do not stress. Obviously, the school your child does to matters a lot, for they are the building blocks and the foundation stone for your child, which is why you spend so much time, effort, and money in looking for the right school. But, you need to remember that if your child does not get into your first preference of school, it is ok. They will learn their A, B, C, D, and 1,2,3. Some learn fast, and some learn slower. Some will learn it through the IB Board and some through CBSE. What matters is that you have done your best for your child.

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