Applying to Preschool

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Preschool admissions - renege on oral commitment?

March 2014

My child was admitted into a very desirable private preschool and I would love to accept, but as I calculate the costs again, I realize it is going to be a bit more than I had initially thought and the truth is, I have found good, less expensive alternatives. I had orally committed to accepting a spot if offered one, and so now I feel terrible about potentially turning it down. No deposits have been paid yet or contracts signed. I wonder, has this happened to anyone else - where you say that you will accept if offered a spot, are offered one, and then don't accept? How terrible is this? anon

Hello--I totally did this, and only 2 months ago. Worse yet, it was the night before I took her for the first day, with the contracts in hand to be delivered. We had some miscommunication about the costs. It was $200 more/month than I had expected/planned. In some ways, it was only $200, but in others, I knew it would really harm our financials to spend that. It was hard to communicate that, but I had to do what was best for our family. I was very respectful and apologetic, as that's how I felt, but also embarrassed. Looking back, I'm happy with my decision still. I wish I COULD have afforded it, but so grateful I chose what was best for our family. Good luck! mama who reneged on private preschool, too

It is not unusual at all for families to decline an offer of acceptance. Schools know that a certain percentage will do this. Don't give it another thought. Do what's best for your family. local mom

Not a big deal at all if you have not yet signed a contract; it's pretty common that families will look at multiple schools, and there are many reasons you might opt not to go with your top choice when it comes to the final decision. You say that you have told the school you'd take a spot if one were offered--so it sounds like you haven't actually even been offered a spot yet. If and when you are offered it, you simply tell the school that you have decided on a different program. Particularly if it is a highly desirable school, they will have no problem moving to the next person on the list (and honestly, if it is a highly desirable school they may not even offer you a spot in the first place, so the decision may be moot!) At some of the schools we considered, you had a period to change your mind even after signing the contract, too. The schools want it to be the right fit as much as you do. Mama to another preschool applicant

If the preschool is as desirable as you say it is, then I wouldn't worry about reneging on an oral agreement. Somebody else will happily take that spot and everybody's happy. Good for you for not going into debt for preschool! anon