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 Post subject: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:09 am 
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just curious if anyone would be willing to share what they pay to send their kid to preschool and how often (how many days per week) and how long (how many hours) they go.

i wasnt planning on sending BP to preschool until after she was 4 with the hopes that by then it would be easier for her to seperate from me and honestly since im home with her i dont see the point of preschool other than having her around other kids which is the thing she personally needs the most (she can sit and attend for long periods of time and im pretty sure she is smarter than me so she doesnt need to work on either of those things)

yesterday was our last playgroup at the cooperative nursery school and i was talking to the director asking her if the same program would restart in the fall (it does!).
i told her BP wasnt ready for preschool yet because i cant even leave her during playgroup to go to the bathroom as the director has seen the past several weeks.
she mentioned that they work with parents who have kids like BP who have a hard time seperating and the parents are allowed to stay at the school during schooltime and just basically hang out and slowly start working on seperating (basically what i did for the Early Intervention Food Group where i slowly worked my way out of the room til she was ok with me leaving.) a couple of the other parents at the playgroup have older kids who are either in the preschool currently or attended it previously and they all raved about how caring and gentle they were and one said she stayed for basically months. also since it's a coop my understanding is there would be weeks where i would be in the classroom anyways.

they also come to our house before school starts so your kid can meet the teacher and reading the website it also says they have a meet up with parents and kids before school starts so everyone can at least know each other's faces so starting school isnt so scary.

it is literally tailor made for my situation. so i told my husband we should reconsider our whole not sending her to pre-k yet thing.
he hasnt had a chance to look at it yet but im pretty sure we are going to sign her up for pre-k in the fall.

looking at the fees i am both thinking it's crazy expensive and on the other hand im also thinking it's totally reasonable.

there's an application fee, a coop membership fee, and then actual tuition. all together it ends up being a little less than $2500
BP would be in the 2 day a week program the director said. she said it's for kids who havent started school yet. it's about 2.5 hours 2 mornings a week.

i went to public school my entire life until college so the idea of paying for school just makes me think any price is exorbitant (yes i know my parents still paid taxes......blah blah blah)
on the other hand i feel like people pay way more than $2500 for pre-k for a year (although i think most people i know pre-k is just a step up from daycare since they work full time so they are probably going the entire day all week).

after some really basic math and not taking vacation weeks into consideration it's roughly $30 per class which is also what we pay for our dog's training classes ;-)

the other thing i really love about this place is it's totally play based. i didnt really see any desks in the classroom area (the playgroup is in a different room). one of the classes runs while we are in playgroup and they seem to spend a good amount of time outside.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 10:00 am 
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I can only speak for toronto prices but for here that's very reasonable!

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 11:36 am 
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We pay way way more than that for 3 days a week. Five to six hours a day. Our school is at the high end of the range.

If you're still working part time and can schedule your working hours for when she's at preschool, you can use the childcare tax credit.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 11:55 am 
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Phineas can't start kindergarten until he's almost 6 because of the cut-off, so we're going to wind up paying for 2 years of preschool. Next year, he's doing a program that's one day per week for 2 hours. It is $960 for the year. The 3 day programs we looked at (about 2.5 hours per day) were nearly $4000 for the year. And, of course, my husband loved a program that was $20,000 for the year (4 half days a week), but there's just no way in heck we would pay that even if it was in our budget. I'm still trying to decide if we're going to even do the 3 day program for 2017/2018.

In conclusion, based upon my research, $2500 for a 2 day program sounds like it's in the range of what places charge around here.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:27 pm 
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Stella is starting at a preschool in the Fall too that sounds very similar to what you are describing, 2x a week in the morning for two hours each day. It's a co-op preschool too, and all together it will cost $1,145. I'll have to be on a committee (8ish hours work for the year they said) and work in the classroom approx. 10x in the school year. BUT! I have talked to a lot of parent's in my neighborhood, and this one is definitely at the cheaper end. There is a Montessori school here that I was considering, and it is a bit more than what yours would be. I chose this one because they are play-based and are known for their strictness with allergies. They are completely dairy and nut-free and all the items on the designated snack list were (accidentally I think) vegan, so I won't have to worry about Stella ingesting something she is allergic to. They were willing to take her early too, even though she is a month younger than the cut-off. We went and observed a classroom and it was suuuuuper-cute and I think it will be good for her.

I think you should do it! From what you have written, I think BP will benefit greatly, whether it takes her a bit to get used to or if she surprises you and takes to it sooner. The mom who gave me the tour to our preschool told me her son was very very reserved when he first started a few years ago, and it took him half the year to really warm up and interact with the other kids, but he LOVES it now and is a little social butterfly and is more than ready for kindergarten come Fall.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:28 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:

If you're still working part time and can schedule your working hours for when she's at preschool, you can use the childcare tax credit.



the one down side to this place is it's about a 25 minute drive with no traffic (not sure what the traffic will be like to get there for 9) so there's roughly an hour in the car to drop her off/pick her up. so that would leave me not very much time to get to work and do any actual work.

however my husband thinks we can use our HSA plan to pay for it so at least the income we use to pay for it wont be taxed.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:29 pm 
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also what does a preschool that costs $20k include? do they get their own personal laptop? personal teacher?

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 12:41 pm 
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i hope Stella likes her school!
that's nice they took her early.

im not sure about the food thing at this place. BP doesnt have any allergies so at least i dont need to worry about that.
i do know they took the preschool classes to an ice cream party a week or two ago so that kinda stinks but im not very surprised. and they are having an end of year party at a park and they are providing free ice cream for the kids :-/
we are invited to that party so i may go scope it out.

im 99% sure we are going to sign her up for the fall. i dont see why my husband would be against it but i want him to look at everything

this is such a far cry from the public school system lady who was basically a jerk to me

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:48 pm 
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My older daughter's preschool this year is $650 a month for 5 mornings a week (it's 8:30 to noon). It's a totally drop-off preschool with no parental time commitment required. I wouldn't have chosen 5x a week, but that's when their PreK meets.

My twins will go to co-op preschool next year. It will be $648 for two kids, two mornings a week (9-12). They have a parent commitment of once a month per child, in addition to 4 required evening meetings.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 1:49 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
also what does a preschool that costs $20k include? do they get their own personal laptop? personal teacher?


I'm not really sure. It's in a historic building and the teacher to kid ratio was pretty low. I think they also have goats. But we're getting goats at our $900/your program, so that's not really a point of differentiation.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:22 pm 
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Wow. I never looked into what part time preschool cost. I suppose when you break it down it is around $12-15 an hour which is basic childcare rates...We did a church based Mother's Day out program that was very, very cheap - I think $150 a month for 3 days per week, four hour days. Parents were encouraged to volunteer but not required. They did the best crafts and activities with the kids.

Your program really does sound tailor made for BP! I hope it works out you get to go. I think it would be great for both of you for her to gain some confidence in independent time.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:58 pm 
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Yeah, we pay $10k+ for four 6 hour days. I don't even know the exact amount because I don't like to think about it. And then another $3k for three days a week of summer camp.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 8:03 am 
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it's crazy to even think about the fees! there's some fancy pantsy private school down the street from us on sort of a farm and it's not pre-k (i forgot what grades but i think middle school) and we looked at the tuition once out of curiousity and i think it was more than it cost me to go to a really good private college.

i dont even think the public pre-k was going to be free. obviously we didnt get very deep into discussing it because the woman turned me off the whole thing so bad but i think the whole point of the evaluation was to see if BP qualified to go for free based on special need and otherwise we would have had to pay to send her to public pre-k if we wanted. (or maybe it was just hte special needs services we would have had to pay for if she didnt qualify for them and we still wanted them)

so far i have yet to hear of a pre-k that goes more than 4 days a week. i think even the public pre-k in my town was a 4 morning a week program.
what do people who work full time do? when i left my previous job all the people with kids there either had teenagers or the kids were still daycare age and not yet pre-k age.

one of our friends have a 9 year old son and i know the mom can work from home easily and i think she worked from home on fridays when their son was little.
i literally cant figure out what i would have done in my previous job because my supervisor was NOT accomodating for the people who had kids. she was kind of a crasshole about it (one of the big reasons i chose to quit)

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:28 am 
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Before I left my job Jonah went to the same place, five days a week. They have extended care options where you can drop off earlier or stay later.

But I still left my job. Between normal life and various health issues, it was just too much for us to have two full time jobs outside the house. And my nonprofit job paid so little.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:41 am 
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My daughter's preschool is 5x a week, but it's only 8:30-12. This does seem to be an unusual schedule. Most are either 2-4x per week and only 3-4 hours, or they are full time (at least 5 hours) to accommodate full time working parents.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 12:26 pm 
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the one we are going to do seems to have available extended hours and flexible drop off/pickup tiems and an afternoon program for some kids but it does not appear to do 5 days.


one of hte main reason for me leaving my job when we decided to have a kid was they are such dicks there to people with kid (and it differs per department and my department was the worst)

one of the other girls in my dept got in trouble because she came in 15minutes late a few days in a row due to some issue with her kids. i shiitake you not. 15.minutes.late. she also was commuting about an hour everyday......so just traffic could make you that late never mind kids....

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 1:39 pm 
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My kiddo goes to preschool 5x a week from 9:00AM to 12:30PM. We pay about $6K for the school year (September to May). My husband is a student, and has a flexible schedule and picks her up from school. Otherwise, yeah, I don't know what I'd do if we both had to work outside the home and manage daycare. At that point, extending the preschool day to accommodate our working schedule would cost an additional $7K or more.

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Right now the public pre-k Giles is in is from 8-2:15 five days a week. It is free because it has a cost which is waived based on income or if your child needs special services. I know there are kids who get picked up by daycare vans from school, so I assume that is what parents who work do? My husband picks him up now and says mostly it is grandparents picking the kids up. Must be nice!


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 9:54 pm 
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Our preschool has extended care from 7am-6pm for an additional fee, otherwise you can attend 3-5 days per week for just mornings, full day (9-2:45) or a combination. I haven't heard of a preschool that wasn't open 5 days a week here (although most have short "full days" like public schools do, so folks scramble for aftercare). The daycare facilities all go at least till 6pm and many of them have preshool and even kindergarten programs you transition into at 3 or 4. All that being said, lots of folks have nannies (as we do) because there are waitlists for good daycares. There is a serious shortage of quality childcare in our area (and in the country, although some places are better than others!). The public schools mostly have aftercare programs, since this problem doesn't go away when you get to school age.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:00 pm 
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PS the reason for the kindergartens that are part of preschools/daycares is either a) because the public school is half day and parents don't want to go from full preschool to halfday kindergarten and then full day first grade or b) the public school is full day and parents want half days or c) parents are freaked about kindergarten and they are choosing to insulate their kid from the public school system one exta year.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:06 pm 
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I'm sure I've said this before, but we were something like 224th on the wait list for our first choice school. They contacted us a year and a half later to say they had a spot...

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:33 pm 
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I think the language is confusing too, and differs regionally. Where I am, pre-K is the year before kindergarten (for kids turning 4 in a calendar year). It is a school readiness program and the move is to push for full day rather than half (8:30-2:50). It has been a godsend for us that just recently universal pre-K has been offered by the public school system and has meant a huge chunk of change for my family not to have to pay for that this year. Only a few areas have put universal pre-k into practice because local school districts are not federally required to provide Pre-K services.

Daycare/pre-school/nursery school is not the same thing as Pre-K for us. Daycare is for kiddos younger than turning 4's or extra care after the regular school day has ended. Quality daycare is expensive and in short supply.


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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:20 am 
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it seems pretty universal here in MA that preschool can start at 2.9 years old which to me seems like such a random number.
i think it's pretty rare for a kid to be allowed into any preschool program before 2.9. what makes kids magically ready for preschool at 2.9 rather than 2.5 or 2 is beyond me.

all i know is i have a lot of friends and relatives who had kids in the same timeframe as i did and all of a sudden one day my fb feed was full of people talking about signing their kids up for preschool this fall. and i know for BP we had to wait til a certain time before we could start the referral for the public school system. but it also had to be done before she aged out of EI at 3!

i dont think here there is a difference between preschool and pre-k so i was using the terms interchangably.
i think kindergarten (everywhere?) starts at 5? it's a little confusing because the preschool website for the place we are sending BP to has a program that 3, 4, and 5 year olds can go to but im guessing it has to do with where your birthday falls in the calendar year. i know i was always one of the older kids in my class when i was in school because i have a fall birthday so i went to kindergarten a year later.

ive also heard that here they have daycares that have a preschool within the daycare so the kids that become preschool age just transition to more of a classroom setting and then i dont think it's a full day so they just go back to the daycare part until their parents are able to pick kids up after work.

i believe here getting into preschool is kind of crazy too. i know our vegan friends from early intervention had to get up at like 6 am to go wait outside the school they wanted to drop off the application or something crazy.
she had a very specific school in mind that is near them though because like BP the little boy has some similar issues with seperation (though not as extreme as BP) and i guess the one she found is very nurturing and gentle.

i dont know if it's because it's a coop or because it's totally play based and not really education based but there were 5ish openings left in the coop preschool the other day for the fall when i talked to the director. i think every other school around here i would be shiitake out of luck just thinking about it now.

daycare is crazy expensive here too. i never looked into the cost but i knew it was expensive enough that for us it was basically a choice of me staying home or almost my entire salary going to daycare so i could go do a job that made me miserable. there does seem to be a ton of choices around though as i feel like daycare places are like every 10 feet. there is even one at the end of the road i live on (though i strangely i almost never see kids outside there)

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:21 am 
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mollyjade wrote:
I'm sure I've said this before, but we were something like 224th on the wait list for our first choice school. They contacted us a year and a half later to say they had a spot...


i bet they thought you would just jump at the chance too! ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: preschool fees
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:57 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:


i dont know if it's because it's a coop or because it's totally play based and not really education based


The best education for pre-K students is play based.


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