Would You Send Your Baby To Private School?

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Cute baby boy with mortar board

The lucky parents of New York City will soon be able send babies as young as three months to private school for a mere £20,000 per year.

But the city's pushiest parents had better hurry to sign their child up for elite school - the Explore+Discover early learning centre, which will open in the city's swish Gramercy Park district this autumn, is only taking 80 baby pupils.

The $33,492 a year school, located in the heart of Manhattan, takes 'students' from three months old. Classes are divided into 'infant', 'mobile infants' and 'toddlers'.

Gramercy Park, NYC

"There isn't anything out there that focuses on babies," says owner Michael Koffler in an interview with DNAinfo. "We're specialising in the world of babies."

Parents of the baby scholars are assured that the curriculum is 'arts-orientated' (in our day, we called it fingerpainting).

"Teachers will be constructing the curriculum with the children," explains Jacqueline Marks, the school's director.

"Let's say the teachers notice that the child keeps going back to the same basket of rocks day after day. They'll watch to see what they're doing with them. Are they knocking them together or lining them up?

"Teachers will see what the infants are interested in and will use that as clues for how to provide more opportunities to further explore."

So what do you get for your money? The school day runs from 8am to 6pm and features all the classes you'd expect from a pre-school - music, story time, outdoor play and nap time - with a few extras (after all, you've earned them).

For instance, the toddlers can learn Spanish as part of the 'baby linguists' programme, by the end of which they should be able to 'appreciate cultural differences'.

Infant pupils will also be given the chance to engage in 'dramatic play' and 'sensory exploration'. Most important of all, the toddlers will be shown how to juice fruit and veg.

The school's tuition fees make it one of the most expensive in the city - for comparison, ultra-prestigious university Harvard charges $43,938 a year (or £26,100).

The idea of a baby private school may sound outlandish, but demand for an early start to elite education appears to be high among Manhattan's trendy high-earners - so much so that Koffler plans to open another 26 similar learning centres across the city.

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