I’m so glad my daughter is going to kindergarten next year. I’ll be registering her for it on Friday, probably, since she should be getting her shots Wednesday. I get a whole year off from paying for preschool!

I’m lucky, since the preschool Ariel goes to is through the local public school and relatively affordable at $185/month. But we do feel that in the budget. She goes because she truly enjoys it and it gives her a chance to get used to the idea of school and time with friends.

But I know that what we pay is nothing compared to what some people pay. I’ve heard of preschools that cost over $1000/month. I even know parents who insist that they will both need to continue working just so that they can afford just the right preschool. I don’t understand that, but my priorities are different.

In many areas, preschool registration has long since started. They started it in March, I believe, at the school district my daughter attends. If you aren’t yet registered you may have some searching to do to find the right school, as some may be full already.

We do save some money at my daughter’s preschool by going through the parent participation program. People can pay more if they can’t help in the class, but for a work at home mom I think participating three times a month isn’t too bad for the discount I get.

I find a lot of benefit to helping in the class. It can be a drag having to get my inlaws or my mother to watch Gage if I have to help when my husband is working, but it also means I get to see what exactly Ariel is doing in school. The trouble can be that she of course behaves differently when I’m there. But overall it’s a great experience.

We didn’t qualify, but in my state there is a state sponsored program for those on a really tight budget. Most states have something like this. I mention this because especially if you aren’t going to homeschool it’s a good idea to consider sending your child to preschool. At least where I live preschool today is much like kindergarten used to be, and kindergarten is rather like what first grade used to be. They’re expecting more of kids earlier now.

That doesn’t mean they’re really tough on the kids or make them sit still throughout the preschool class. At my daughter’s school they spend a lot of time on various projects to help them learn the alphabet, about one letter a week. There’s a good amount of physical activity and free play time for them.

[tags]preschool,cost of preschool,kids,children[/tags]