alt=”" title=”shorty list takes the stress out” width=”194″ height=”259″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-11945″ />Finding, choosing and getting your kids into a great preschool can be a rather stressful and difficult task. Especially when you live in a city with sometimes year-long wait lists, lottery systems and parents having to at times camp out to ensure their child’s coveted spot at a popular daycare. When Vancouver mom Karen Young Chester was looking at preschools she also found that the lack of information available on schools only added to the stress, “There appears to be a lack of space for some childcare as well as at certain schools, making the whole process more stressful and unfortunately also more competitive. Combined with this situation is the scarcity of information about Metro Vancouver daycares and schools online.”
Sure, you can find inspection reports, test scores and school rankings, but what about the experiences and reviews of parents or information on teaching styles and philosophies? As Karen notes, “I was very surprised that a website did not exist which centralized essential information and reviews for daycares and schools. We can easily find out whether someone has raved about pork souvlaki at the local restaurant, or the summer blockbuster was a bust with user reviews – why not a similar site for something as important as the care and education of our children?” Being able to hear a range of reviews and experiences may hopefully mean that in the long run there is less competition for the one or two ‘good’ schools, as parents have access to better and more nuanced information on what school might best serve their child and in turn their family.
So, Karen decided to create exactly that which she found missing, The Shorty List. The site aims to collect comments and reviews about daycares and schools, with families whose children already attend certain facilities writing in about their experiences at the school or daycare. An observation on how a school excels or a scoop on the challenges a daycare faces – providing honest information that is incredibly valuable to parents making important choices for their children.
The Shorty List is actively seeking reviews now for the final launch of the site mid-fall. The Shorty List will be posting up-to-date government statistics including school test scores, demographics, satisfaction survey results, and daycare sizes. But, as mentioned, it’s not just about the numbers. The most important emphasis will be on the stories, feelings, and perceptions – the words that complete the picture sketched out by test results and percentages.