To say there's a lot of hype around the preschool admissions process is an understatement of epic proportions. Anecdotal evidence regarding every aspect of the game flies back and forth across the playground like, well, children. While this post won't answer all your questions about preschool admissions, we hope it provides a solid overview.
While, for the most popular preschools, the admissions process can be very competitive because many more people apply than there are spots, outside of the most popular schools there are many other schools that one can easily find a spot in without having a nervous breakdown. The most difficult thing may be finding a spot in the exact program and schedule that you want, but if you can be flexible there are plenty of spots in very good schools.
Why are the most popular schools so sought after? One reason is that some of them are considered "feeder schools" for the most popular ongoing schools. Whether this is true is hotly debated. The truth is probably that it is partly true and partly not true. It is true that the directors of certain preschools have relationships with the directors of certain ongoing schools, but that does not necessarily mean that going to one of these "feeder schools" will give you a better chance of getting in to the ongoing school.