With school starting up, many parents are joining in on the scramble to get their child into preschool. Whether preschool is required for your child this year, or you’re just trying to get an early start on the admissions process, you might find getting your child into preschool can be more frustrating and expensive than you initially thought. These ten tips can help you cut back on the amount you intend on spending on preschool, which will help you save on the more expensive purchases later on down the line. So, try to make preschool hunting something fun for you and your child, because these tips will help you cater to your budget.
1. Shop Around
Although you might already have an idea of what school you’d like your child to go to, you might simply bookmark the school and revisit the idea after you shop around a bit. Sometimes, the dream school is merely a name on a piece of paper and there are actually more suitable schools available for your child that might not be as high priced. Before you make a decision, try touring a wide variety of schools to choose which one is the best for your family’s needs and budget. You might be surprised that you find a really great school at a lower price or even discover that your dream school isn’t all that crack up to be. Once you meet with the director of a school, you might even be able to haggle down the price. It is important to have an idea of what you’re looking for in a school though, so you’re prepared to rule out options quickly.
If you’re looking at a more expensive school, then you might work on getting your child a scholarship. You may have to work with your school in order to do this though, so make sure you talk to them if you’re looking into this option. Some schools do have hardship scholarships to help students that don’t come from wealthy backgrounds. However, if this isn’t an option, or you don’t qualify, then your school can help you find scholarships to help your student get the education they deserve. Some of these scholarships might be academically based, so your child might have to go through tests in order to qualify.
3. Assistance Programs
When it comes to affording preschool, there are a lot of options to consider. If you don’t think you have the budget for any preschool at all, then you might look around to see if there are any public preschools. Usually, there is a charge for these, but many public schools will allow low-income families to attend for free. You will probably have to fill out some paperwork to do this, but if you do qualify you won’t have to worry about the cost of school again. There are other assistance programs available through the community, government, and certain schools. So, don’t disregard a more expensive school just because you think you might not be able to afford it, as there is still a chance you can get a bit of assistance.
4. Utilize Promotions/Coupons
Believe it or not but coupons for your child’s preschool actually exist. You will also find that many daycares will offer promotions which will help you save all the more. Often, these promotions are designed to help during the first week or so of preschool. Some preschools will even allow you to do a trial period, which will help you and your child choose the better school for your child’s needs. Often, coupons will include a break on some of the payments and are usually distributed through the preschool itself. You may have to ask for these though, as some facilities will want to limit the amount of savings that they hand out to the public.
5. Don’t Go Private
Private schools have their perks, but sometimes they aren’t exactly what they’re all cracked up to be. In fact, when it comes to preschools you are probably going to get the same service from a school that isn’t private. When it comes to schooling, a private school is going to set you back thousands of dollars. If you plan on keeping your child in this type of school, then you might use the preschool years to help you save up for all of these tuition costs. Since most curriculum are the same for this age, you’ll find that it normally isn’t worth it to enroll your child in this type of school right away.
6. Church/Business Options
One of the cheapest options that you have for your child is sending them to a church or business operated preschool. Often, these preschools are hosted in places that you might frequent to begin with. For starters, if your place of business has a childcare option then there is a good chance they also run a preschool option. Usually, business options will allow you to enroll your child as a company perk or you might have to pay a small fee for the service. Churches offer the same opportunities. Often, you’ll find that your church might offer childcare services at a reduced price, and most of these options will include childcare. All in all, you’ll end up saving big time when you use one of these services.
7. Online Schooling
In today’s world, many schools are taking to online schooling anyway. However, there are actually schools that are dedicated to offering online options for your child. These types of schools come in a wide variety of options. For starters, you can find private inspired schools which will charge you a tuition fee. There are some that only charge you for the materials your child is going to need. There are also public based online schools that will cost you nothing at all. If you’re not sure about these and would like to experiment with online school, there are lots of single course online schools you can enjoy. These schools allow you to pay by class and offer plenty of extracurricular options to keep you busy.
Another option that you might want to toy around with is homeschool. This option is pretty intimidating which makes many people shy away from it. Homeschooling isn’t as hard as you think it is though. In fact, with many free resources online, video options, and so on, you might wonder why you’d want to do anything else. Most states allow for homeschooling, so you shouldn’t have to stress out too much over it. You can even download a curriculum to ensure the state approves of your home school choices and will ensure your child is up to par. You can also get a tax credit for being a homeschooler, which is perfect for anyone hoping to save some money.
9. Free Resources
These days, you can transform the way your child learns with ease. To begin with, you can download a wide variety of resources for absolutely free. This will help your preschooler learn more than you thought possible. The free resources are perfect for helping your child learn extra when they’re not in school. However, they can be used for homeschool purposes. You can even allow your child to take on activities that they can’t in school because the resources will help guide them through a wide variety of issues.
10. Homeschooling Co-Op
This option is a lot like homeschooling your child but will take their education to a whole new level. A homeschool co-op is a group of people who work together to educate their children. In many cases, certain parents will cover specific topics that will allow the students to learn to their full capacity. A homeschool co-op is great for kids because it also allows them to socialize while still keeping them in a small tight-knit community. The homeschool co-op often works a couple of days a week, so you can still prioritize at home learning unless you’d prefer your child to learn with a group all week long
Preschool doesn’t have to be anything to stress over. There are several options out there that will help your child to get off to a great start. These ten ideas will help you to keep your budget in order as you work to give your child the best possible education.