Event Coaches Moms on How to Get Kids into Nursery School

By Della Hasselle on August 1, 2011 7:36am | Updated on August 1, 2011 9:46am

Kids whose moms are part of Divalysscious Moms.
Kids whose moms are part of Divalysscious Moms.
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Courtesy of Divalysscious Moms

MIDTOWN — For Manhattan moms, entering the fray of the city's ultra-competitive fight for nursery school places is a daunting prospect.

An event planned for Monday night aims to give them a helping hand.

Self-described "Admissions Guru" Dana Haddad is giving advice on everything from writing the best application letter, which schools to apply to and even what to wear during a tour of the school.

The only-in-Manhattan service is being offered Monday evening by networking event company Divalysscious Moms and promises to share the secrets needed to open the doors of New York's best schools for $50 per mom, or $75 per couple.

Haddad claims a 100 percent success rate in getting families accepted into one of their top three choice schools.

"There's a tremendous amount of anxiety in the application process," Haddad said. "In New York City, this is probably one of the only things that money can’t buy - getting accepted into your top nursery school."

The event, set for 6:30 p.m., will address pages of questions parents have already emailed to Haddad, the former admissions director of Claremont Prep, an elite private school in Lower Manhattan. She was also a teacher at more than a dozen public and private schools throughout Manhattan.

To further soothe frayed nerves, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be on hand.

Haddad, an Upper East Side-based consultant, has been easing the process for parents through Divalysscious Moms for three years. She works with couples primarily from the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and TriBeCa, she said.

“There’s the right school for every child, but sometimes parents are more concerned with keeping up with the Jones’ versus what’s best for their child,” Haddad said.

“I think in the beginning, parents have a vision of what’s best, but once we start talking they’re very happy to talk about what the best environment is for their child.”

Parents are mostly interested in how to increase their chances of how to get into the most competitive schools and often start the application process when the child is as young as 6-months-old, Haddad said.

A Divalysscious Mom has her tot in tow.
A Divalysscious Mom has her tot in tow.
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Courtesy of Divalysscious Moms

Most of the questions revolve around where to apply, what to write in the essay and whether to send their kids to a formal uptown school or to investigate the more traditionally relaxed environment of downtown schools.

Other questions she’s encountered include what is the best gift to bring to the admissions director (none at all), whether it’s OK to lie (absolutely not) and if there’s a way to make a child look more qualified for a certain school.

“That’s what disturbs me the most, because they start to question their child’s abilities, but it doesn’t have to do with the child’s ability,” Haddad said, adding that the admissions process is really a “numbers game.”

“The problem is that there are just too many children who are qualified.”

The anxiety is understandable, Haddad hastily added, because of the immense pressure involved with the private school sector of Manhattan, especially at the age when learning is so important for proper development.

This event is one of many held by Divalysscious Moms, a company that helps up to 275,000 power players, celebrities and other moms navigate high society with tots in tow. Being a diva mom also involves philanthropic events, attending camp with kids in the Hamptons, and doing charity work, Divalysscious Moms President and CEO, Lyss Stern said.

“A Divalysscious Mom is a universal language,” Stern said. “It’s being the best mom you can be inside and out. It’s enjoying life yet still being fashionable and fabulous.”

Nursery School Know-How will take place at cityhouse, 870 Seventh Ave., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday.

Another Divalysscious mom with her baby.
Another Divalysscious mom with her baby.
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Courtesy of Divalysscious Moms

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