A new business trend is making headlines. Pricey play date consultants are being hired by well-to-do Manhattan parents. The idea is to prepare children at an early age to make it into highly competitive private kindergartens.
Yes, consultants are charging upwards of $400 an hour in some cases. And what they teach children certainly seems obvious. Lessons include how to share crayons, be at ease and play with other children. The young clients, it seems, are already overburdened by too many private lessons in violin and Mandarin to learn this on their own.
But to be fair, consulting businesses offering this new and expensive option also provide plenty of other more accepted services. A glance at the website of one such firm, Aristotle Circle, shows services like tutoring and test prep, for example.
Greater Competition Creates More Demand
The idea of greater competition in the education system leading to more need for support services is nothing new.
Greater importance placed on standardized testing increased demand for test prep professionals in the first place. By branching into early childhood development, Aristotle Circle and other businesses are just expanding into a younger pre-K market.
Nationally, a push to create public Pre-K programs has been on for years. The Pew Charitable Trust says the benefits of Pre-K education are more invaluable than ever. On its website, the organization states wryly that, “Today’s kindergarten is yesterday’s first grade.” So companies like Aristotle Circle, despite some short-lived derision, have clearly identified a trend.
What do you think?
Play Date Photo via Shutterstock