How Much Does Preschool Cost?

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    Preschool provides an awesome opportunity for children to interact with other children their age.  In addition to making friends and having fun, children also learn many of the skills needed for regular school.  In many cases, children learn to add subtract and read while in preschool.  This helps them to be well ahead of their peers once they start kindergarten.  Pre-school also gives parents a chance to have free time and get things done while their children are busy and learning.  In some cases, pre-school is offered as a free service for families with a low income.  However there are also private preschools which parents can pay a weekly fee for.  The cost of preschool really depends on where you are located and the type of school you want your child to attend.

    Does Preschool Cost Money?

    For every preschool there is a cost.  However, in some cases the preschool cost is paid for by a government agency.  The preschool may be a part of the public school system which is subsidized by federal and local grants.  On the other hand, the preschool may be a private organization that requires parents to pay the monthly or weekly fees.  The price you pay for preschool varies depending on the number of students, the size of the facility, and the educational standards that are upheld at the facility.  Some states offer free or low cost preschool facilities for families that fall below the national poverty level.  However, in some states only private preschool facilities are available.  The number of facilities that are available will depend upon the funding available in your area.

    Average Cost of Preschool

    According to child care resource and referral groups the average cost of preschool is from $4460 to $13,158.

    This averages out to a monthly cost of $372 to $1100 per month, per child. At the lower amount of $372 your child might attend school two days a week for 4 hours.  For $1100 per month your child could attend school five days a week for a minimum of 6 hours.  Again, this amount will vary depending on the school and the area. For example, in Missouri you can expect to pay $5,950 for a year of preschool while in New York you will spend twice that amount. Average preschool rates can even vary within the same city.  A private preschool that requires uniforms and offers several extracurricular programs may cost as much as $500 more than a traditional preschool down the street.

    Preschool Age Range

    In some states the preschool age begins at three and in other states it is four. The qualifying age for preschool may vary depending on the program you are considering. For example, most state or federally funded programs offer half day preschool for three year olds and all day programs for four year olds. In low income areas there may even be a prescool program for children who are as you as two years old. If you are considering a preschool that is offered through the public school system your child will probably have to be at least four years old before August 1st of the year they will attend.

    Pre Kindergarten

    Pre K programs are generally offered by your local school system. The classroom will be located within the school building and the children are offered all of the same programs that K-12 students enjoy. In this case there is usually more structure to the program as well as testing and goals to advance the child into kindergarten the following year. With this type of program every subject including reading, writing, math, science, and social studies is offered. Most parents like these programs because they teach children many of the beginning concepts required in regular kindergarten. In fact, it has been proven that children who attend a preK program score higher on tests in later years than children who never attended a preschool or preK program. As for preschool cost, you will typically pay the same fees you would if your child was in regular school. For example, you wouldn’t pay anything for public school but you will pay tuition for private school.

    Help With Preschool Costs

    In many areas there are ways by which you can get help with preschool cost. Many schools offer grants or scholorships for children to attend preschool. There are many different reasons that you may qualify for help with preschool cost. If you family is low income you may receive a discount on the cost of preschool. But you may also receive a discount on preschool costs if your child is either gifted, disabled, or has special talents.

    As you can see preschool rates can vary a great deal depending on the facility, location, and the program that is offered. The best thing you can do is shop around to find the best deal on the preschool cost you pay. Keep in mind that some schools have very long waiting lists so you may need to get on a waiting list years before the child is ready to start school.

    Low Cost Preschool

    If you are in search of low cost preschool options you might consider a preschool that is offered in a family home or as part of a daycare center.  These facilities traditionally charge much less than preschools that provide a traditional school setting.  In these facilities the child will likely receive less structure, however; you can expect the program to teach basic reading writing and math skills.  There are also ways to save money in the case of pre school tuition.  Some schools offer discounts if you have more than one child enrolled.  Many also offer discounts if you paid your tuition in full at the beginning of the year.  Don’t be afraid to ask what kind of discount you get if you pay your tuition in advance.  You can also ask if the school offers grants or scholarships for children with lower income or children that have disabilities to reduce the preschool cost.

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