Everything that can have a one-stop shop online usually does. Whether it’s Zillow, Yelp or TripAdvisor, there’s always something available to modern-day consumers when they need one place to find house listings, restaurants or travel arrangements. John Katzman, the founder of Princeton Review, now wants to add Noodle to the list.
July 7, Katzman launched what could possibly be the most comprehensive searchable database of 200,000 preschool providers in the United States. This database includes profiles of all 9,784 preschools in New York City (from public to private institutions).
Noodle wants to help the parents of millions of American children find the best preschool to match their talents and abilities. With many preschools not having an online presence, searching for the right preschool online is difficult. In response, Noodle has compiled public and private information from around the country by reaching out to preschool providers and associations to update and claim their profiles.
Speaking with the AmNews, Noodle Vice President of Marketing Sheryl Simonitis said, “Not everything is the right set for each child. The best of the best schools might not be the best for their child. If your child has been bullied or has dyslexia or thrives in larger groups or doesn’t socialize … whatever you’re looking for, we have it for your child.”
So how does Noodle work? Parents can search by location and refine searches by indicating their preferred criteria on the website. The results are shown in order of what best fits the criteria. Simonitis said that parents could also utilize the Noodle community of education experts, parents and caregivers to get questions answered and advice. She noted that the process of acquiring all the information in these private schools was difficult.
“There really is a gap in education, and it’s not an easy thing to aggregate,” said Simonitis. “States report data differently. Some are great at reporting and some are rarely thin. It’s a very long process. It took close to a year. “
Preschools do need to be licensed, according to Simonitis. “So state by state, they all need to be licensed. But other than that, it’s hard to see what else they offer.” This shortening is why Noodle encourages a relationship between the preschools and the Noodle website.
Although parents aren’t currently allowed to post reviews of schools, Katzman is confident that his creation will attract a large audience.
“Now, parents can easily search for, save and explore further schools in their area, and then get back to focusing on their child’s actual education,” Katzman said in a statement. “Schools are equally pleased with the tool as it gives them an opportunity to showcase their strengths by providing essential information about their programs, posting photos and videos and more.”