21 Money Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Preschool
The milestone of preschool is an awesome step for your son or daughter. If you’re comparing different preschool options, it can be overwhelming. Even if your family is sure about which preschool is the right one, there’s still a financial impact. Use these questions to get educated on the cost of preschool in your area, compare preschools, and make a plan for including preschool in your budget.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3 ESV
#1 What are the tuition rates?
Start here when you begin to research private or church preschools in your community.
#2 Am I expected to pay weekly, monthly, or some other frequency?
Preschool tuition rates are important, but when you’re asked to pay is also important.
#3 Is there an annual registration fee?
Find out if the program has a registration fee when your family applies or each year you have a child enrolled.
#4 If my family is put on a waitlist, is there a fee?
Competitive preschools often have a waitlist for families. Some preschool programs require a fee to secure a spot on the waitlist.
#5 Is there a material or supply fee for books, classroom materials, or uniforms?
Some preschools have a fee that is separate for educational materials.
#6 Is there a charge for meals and snacks?
Some programs charge a fee for food provided to attending preschoolers.
#7 Does the program charge field trip fees?
Field trips are fun, but find out if your family will be expected to pay a fee for an outing.
#8 Are there any other additional fees?
It’s a good practice to ask about miscellaneous fees for the preschool you are considering.
#9 Are there options for how much my child attends during the week (Mornings only, 3 days a week, etc.)? If so, how are tuition and fees different for those options?
Some preschools offer options for how often a child attends. There’s considerations here beyond financial, but find out the impact of different choices. Choosing a 5 day options over a 3 day option may be best for your child, but investigate the impact on your budget.
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#10 Is there a discount for paying tuition up front or in advance?
Some programs offer a discount if you pay tuition at once as opposed to monthly or weekly. Find out if a discount is offered and if it’s worth a lump sum payment to get some savings.
#11 If my family goes on a vacation, do we still pay tuition?
If you decide to remove your son or daughter to go on a family vacation for a few days, find out how is tuition affected, if at all.
#12 Are any fees/tuition different based on the age of my child?
Some preschools have a different fee/tuition schedule based on the age of a child.
#13 If I withdraw my child, is there a fee or other cost for doing so?
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, families decide to withdraw a child from a preschool. Before enrolling, find out the terms related to taking a child out.
#14 If the facility shuts down for some reason, how does tuition work?
There are circumstances that could cause an entire preschool to shut down, like a virus or issue with the building. Ask about how tuition is affected during a situation like this. The possibility of a tuition refund is even more important if you paid up front for a semester.
#15 Is there a fee if I am late to pick up my child?
Some preschools, like daycares, institute a fee if you pick a child up late.
#16 Are there scholarships or financial assistance options for preschool tuition?
Grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts are all possibilities, but depend on the specific preschool program. If the program you’re considering will be a detriment to your budget, ask to see what assistance is available.
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#17 Is there a discount for multiple children (sibling discount)?
If you have children close in age, find out this answer before enrolling the oldest. Some preschools offer a sibling or “same household” discount.
#18 If the preschool is at my church, is there a discount for church members?
Some church preschools offer benefits to congregation members like early signups or discounts. If the preschool is at your home church, ask about a discount.
#19 Is there a discount for certain professions in the community (teachers, first responders, active military, veterans, etc.)?
Some preschools choose to offer discounted tuition rates for certain professions or vocations.
#20 If I refer a friend to the preschool, is there a discount on my family’s tuition?
Some preschools, in an effort to reward positive recommendations, will offer an incentive to refer new business. This could come in the form of a tuition credit, discount for the next month, or some other monetary incentive.
#21 What options do you provide for paying tuition? Check, direct deposit, card, Venmo, Etc.
Preschool costs per month are important, but you also need to pay the fees. Ask about fee differences for different payment methods. For example, some preschools will charge an additional fee if you use a credit card instead of a paper check.
There’s much to choosing and signing up for preschool than just the cost. Balance the budget impacts with the benefits. Congratulations on this next phase of your child’s life.
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