You never know a place unless you experience it. I am in my fourth year at First Presbyterian. Our family could not be further from the Hollywood scene. We came to First Pres because we knew that our children would learn how to connect with themselves and others, learn to communicate, express themselves through many venues and feel validated in their individual selves...we experienced all of this and more. I could not be more grateful to the amazing staff of First Pres, and especially Mary Hartzell for her wisdom. If you are concerned about quality, First Pres will exceed your hopes and expectations.
Please keep the negative reviews coming. Hopefully, they'll discourage the thousands of parents that apply, and I'll have a better chance of getting my child in. : ) We applied and didn't get in this year, but know several non-Hollywood families that go there and love it. There are plenty of great pre-schools in Santa Monica, so I know we'll find the right fit. But honestly, I've done my research, and if you want the best, this is it. You can't buy/donate your way in.
The pre-school is truly amazing. The children benefit from the same 2 teachers who will stay with them during their 2-3 yr experience at the school. In addition, the school offers, science, movement, music, studio, woodworking teachers plus at least 1 other aid per room. The kids are pampered. Now, who can afford that??? To be fair, the preschool is amazing at offering scholarships for the rest of us. But I would say that there is definitely an economical divide. Children are generally unaffected by this except when it comes to playdates. There are many other fascinating activities, festivals, book fairs, etc. that are put together by the Rich Mamas. My peeve: having to pay for a full month's tuition in Sept. Dec, April and June when the school is only open 2 wks out of the month. Ouch! Not good for working parents.
Best preschool in America. Amazing director, teachers and program. Reggio Amelia is truly an inspired early education philosophy!!! Our son is excited to be there everyday and we feel blessed to be a part of this community.