Pre-School can be one of the best things you do for your child’s education, but it can also be one of the most expensive things for your budget. Of course, choosing pre-school now can also save you lots of money down the road. When it comes to early education, you have a lot of options to choose from, so you don’t always have to travel down the expensive route if you don’t want to or can’t afford to. Although many parents begin looking for a pre-school before their child is born, you don’t have to put that much stress on yourself. Simply helping your child prepare for school can go a long way. So, check out these ten tips to ensure your child gets the education they deserve before they head off to kindergarten.
1. Low Income/ESL
One of the best options for families struggling to figure out how they are going to pay for pre-school is to actually consider asking the school for help. Most schools actually have programs for families who make less than a specified amount of money. These requirements also depend on household size too, so you could qualify even if you think you make too much money. The best thing you can do is try. This program also reaches out to children who do not speak English as a first language. Most schools want to begin teaching these students English as early as they possibly can. So, if this is the case in your home then you may even be able to get your child into pre-school at the age of 3. Contact your local school district for more information on this to see if you qualify for help.
If you have your eye on a high scale school for your child, but you don’t have the budget to follow through on your plan, then you shouldn’t give up hope. One of the best things about these schools is they often let in children on scholarships in order to help their own funding. So, you might want to fill out a scholarship application before you give up on the idea. If your child has special talents, is a legacy or meets other special criteria then you may also be able to get a scholarship for one of these schools. Sometimes, scholarships come in strange places too. For instance, some schools will take money off of your tuition if you shop at certain places and use the school’s rewards card. This can help knock down the price faster than you think.
3. Homebased Schools
You don’t have to look for larger schools to get your children a great education. Believe it or not, but there is probably a good number of home based schools in your own community. These schools are designed by people who do not want to host a large pre-school, and those that want to work from their own home. This allows your child to get more attention since these schools can only host a small number of children. The people who operate these schools are licensed and have taken early education courses, so make sure you check out credentials before you sign your child up. This is a great way to help your child adjust to going to school though. Since the environment feels more like a home, children won’t be as hesitant to adapt to their new surroundings. This will make learning come easier and will ensure your child feels happier.
4. Joy School
If you would like to take a more proactive stance in your child’s school then a < href="http://valuesparenting.com/joy-school/" target="_blank">Joy School might be right up your alley. This school is operated with you and a group of friends who have similar education goals for the children. The Joy School Program sends the information you need to help the students get on the right track for kindergarten. With this program, your student will be ready to take on the upcoming school journey and may even be ahead of the curve. They will also be able to socialize with other children, which is an important aspect to the pre-school adventure.
5. Shop Around
Reputation means a lot when it comes to a pre-school, but a lot of the time seeing the school for yourself and discovering how your child interacts there can change your mind. When it comes to choosing a school, the best thing you can do is shop around. This is even the case if you think you’ve found the perfect match. More often than not, you may choose to avoid the more expensive school because it doesn’t offer the things you need. Or, it offers the same criteria for a lot more money. Some schools may even work with you if you sit down with them and discuss your needs. So, don’t end up drawn into the pricey school, as there are many great community schools that can save you big time.
Sometimes, it is best to take things into your own hands, which can be the case with pre-school. If you have a child that is hesitant to begin school then homeschool could be a great option. Of course, there are many reasons to homeschool a child, which can range from personal needs to religion. No matter what the reason is, homeschool for pre-schoolers can be easy for the parent and the child. This also allows the parent to give the child a basis in other lessons that may not be taught in pre-school, such as languages. You can find lots of online content to help you on your journey, which can be accessed for nothing at all. You can also find pre-school requirements, curriculums and more to ensure your child meets every level of education before moving on to kindergarten. Homeschool is also great for children who may not meet age requirements for the pre-school year and must wait. This way, your child can be prepared for what will come their way in the upcoming year and will keep their mind active during their long wait.
These days, many schools are incredibly shorthanded, which can be a huge problem when it comes to keeping up with students, crafts and other aspects of the education process. So, if you plan on volunteering at your child’s school, you may be able to work on some savings. Before you sign your child up, try talking to the principle or financial office to see what they can do for you. Then, simply follow their volunteer plan and you should be good to go. This process will also give you a closer look as to how your child is interacting with others at school and how they are taking to their studies.
8. Prepare Child’s Readiness Skills
When it comes to saving money, you may want to make sure your child has some basic skills down before you send them to pre-school. This will allow your child the opportunity to get into more schools and may even allow them to go to a public school for free. Some schools might charge more for children who haven’t met certain skills, as it will mean more work for them. One of the major skills your child needs to have down is potty training. If your child can’t use the restroom and clean up after themselves then a lot of schools will not take them. The schools that do will certainly charge more because they will be working on caregiving rather than educating your child. Your little one should also have a decent grasp on motor skills. Work on coloring with crayons, using safety scissors and more at home to help develop these skills. Other than that, your child should also be talking well and should know how to write their name.
9. Short Days
A lot of parents look to send their child to school for the whole day. However, this can be pretty exhausting for a new student and they may not retain as much information. It also makes the transition from staying at home with a parent to spending most of their time at school a little harder. Full day schools also cost more money, which will put a bit of a dent in your wallet. Instead of doing this, simply look around for schools that will allow your child to go for part of the day. This is certain to help your child transition easier and will allow you to enjoy the last few days of your child not being a full time student.
10. Tax Credit
Many parents don’t have a choice when it comes to sending their child to pre-school. If your little one has to go in because you are working or are spending your time looking for work, then you may qualify for a tax credit. This tax credit usually falls along the same line as daycare charges, so make sure to talk to your accountant about your eligibility. This credit should help take care of the extra expenditures you make so that your child can go to pre-school.
Pre-school is an important part of your child’s life but you don’t have to feel pressured to go in a certain direction. These ten aspects of pre-school can help you find the right school for your child and your budget. This should help you get on the right track when it comes to your little one’s first educational experience.