We, like almost all parents, always believed in offering our children the very best when it comes to education, even though we have differing views on how much college we’ll pay for .
Our First Preschool Experience
For the past 3 years we’ve sent our oldest son to the best Reggio preschool in the county, and we’ve been really happy with it. After all, we toured many preschools four years ago, and we felt it was the best one.
However, preschool has also been our biggest expense outside of our mortgage . With 2 more little ones nearing preschool age, I felt it was a little unfair to our family budget to be spending so much on preschool.
In addition, our district just passed a public 4k option.
Our Next Preschool
So we decided to shop preschools again and keep an open mind. This time, we focused on the best preschool at the best price, instead of just the best preschool.
We found a local, inexpensive preschool that many of our friends and neighbors liked. It wasn’t our favorite, but it seems like a good option at the price point we were willing to spend.
So we made three big changes with respect to preschool for the next few years:
2 Years of Preschool. First, the 2 little kids will go to 2 years of preschool, instead of 3. Savings: $13,000.
Local Inexpensive Preschool. They’re also enrolled at the local preschool instead of the private Reggio preschool for a third of the price for their first year. Savings: $9,000.
Public 4k. Since we switched to the local preschool option, they’ll also be eligible for public 4k (which will be at the local preschool). Savings: $13,000.
Total savings: $35,000.
It’s hard to argue with those numbers. After all, I’d change almost anything in our budget for much, much less, like switching between cable and satellite  and shopping insurance .
But I keep asking myself if I’m making the changes at the expense of our children? My friend, Steve, is a big believer in early education , and I’ve thought long and hard about his views.
Is it fair that the oldest got to go to the Reggio preschool, but the 2 little ones won’t?
I try to remind myself, it’s just preschool, right? But if that’s true, why am I feeling so guilty about it?
How important was it to send your kids to the best preschool? And, at what price?
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