Rachel Figueroa-Levin Rachel Figueroa-Levin

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @ElBloombito, @Jewyorican and @EveryGentrifier.

New York has an early-education problem. All over the city, parents are jumping through hoops to ensure their children not only attend a good preschool, but one at all.

There are more children than available spots, so the competition is fierce, even for preschools that are not well regarded. Unfortunately, in some low-income areas in particular, the options are few. The preschools in my neighborhood, for instance, aren't that great. Those that are, have few spots and an avalanche of applicants.

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So, how to compete for a good preschool? With solid applications, great interviews and high-scoring exams. Short of that, there are consultants who -- for a fee -- guide parents through the admissions process. For preschool.

My daughter is 3 and my husband and I should be deciding on a preschool now, but we're not. We're not sending her to preschool.

Homeschooling is something that I always considered, and seeing the stress on some of my daughter's friends sealed the deal for me. If the only way we can get her into a quality preschool is to stress her out, I'll do the teaching myself.

I began to have some doubts about our decision after I attended an event at a local private preschool. I was very impressed. It was the first preschool I actually pictured my daughter attending. The first place I thought might be worth a bit of hoop-jumping. That is, until I found out that the tuition was in the $40,000-a-year range. For preschool. I know private preschools are expensive but I wasn't expecting to pay more for it than I did for college.

Regardless of our decision, public universal pre-K should be funded for parents who believe that's the best option for their children. I don't really care how it's done -- taxing the rich (Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan), state funding (Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal) or robbing a string of banks in New Jersey (just my idea) -- the city needs to fund enough spots so that all children can get a quality education early. Studies have shown the importance of early development and its impact on academics.

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Parents shouldn't have to mortgage their lives to give their kids quality preschool. Something as basic and necessary as pre-k shouldn't be something kids or parents have to stress about.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.