Applying to school at any age level, especially in NYC, is mostly a matter of organization, get yourself a system in place and you are way ahead of the game!
1. Get all the books and lists on individual schools that are available. In New York, join Parents League, parentsleague.org, and get all kinds of invaluable information in addition to lists of schools. Buy Victoria Goldman's latest "Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools", available through Amazon.com. This will give you a vignette of each school, school size, address, website and other useful information. Go on line and research any public or private school that you feel is a fit for your child.
2. Decide how to store the information you gather: notebooks, individual files, binders- however it makes sense to you.
3. Talk to people that have sent their kids to any school, public or private, that you are interested in and keep notes. Be sure to ask specific questions, not "do you like it."
4. Make sure your child is ready for whatever age level you are applying.
5. Write as essay about your child, whether it is required or not, it will get your thoughts in order about exactly who your child is when you meet with anyone from the admissions team.
6. Do not ask anyone to call or write a school on your behalf if you are not prepared to go that school, people do not like to waste favors.
7. Acquaint yourself with the age cut off at the schools you are looking at, do not expect schools to make an exception for your child.
8. Do not name drop about who you know or brag about your child excessively.
9. Make sure you have a clear photo of your child.
10. Be open minded, education is a gift, make sure your child gets the best one available for their learning style, your finances and your family.
There is a lot more to do, call Wendy Levey Consulting, wendylevey.com, we got this.