Is a $40,000 preschool a good investment?

Reading this article about the quest for the 1%ers to get their children into top preschools in New York City left me shaking my head.  Preschool prep classes - really?  Apparently the high society folks in NYC are convinced that going to a preschool that doesn't have yoga and a science lab will prevent their kids from getting into Harvard. 

There is some scientific rationale to (sort-of) support this movement.  It is true that early life exposure to language, for example, can improve vocabulary and ultimately help children to learn.  However, scientific studies have not examined the impact of cushy facilities and personal training at 2 years of age on success later in life.  This is a large bill to pay for a societal status symbol, but it is not setting the child up for any future success that he or she could not realize by attending a free or reasonably priced preschool program. 

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