We’ve invested a huge amount of money into our kids’ early education. For our son’s preschool and pre-k education, we will have spent $14,160. (We paid a similar amount for our daughter.) It’s absolutely crazy to me to have paid this huge sum of money for them to learn their ABCs. Why did we do it? The research says we should. It’s common to see articles citing that early education makes a huge difference in the future success of our children. They’ve even cited that every $1 spent in early education will save $7 in remedial education in the future. They are not just increasing your child’s chance of having higher math scores but also increases their chance of having the ability to more effectively problem solve socially. I would pay twice the amount of tuition if the preschool could assure me that my child wouldn’t grow up to be a jerk. Don’t tell my kid’s preschool that because I’m currently refusing to bring in more tissues to the class. Seriously, I pay $750 a month and they need tissue donations.
The part about early education that kills me is the lack of options. You have to have a flexible work schedule or a high paying job with a nanny. If you are low income you might qualify for headstart but those programs can vary significantly from site to site, so you may not be getting the same long-term benefits.
Your options are few, you could take your kid to a daycare that offered preschool classes, pay for full-time preschool, or send your child to the public school pre-k that is offered 3 hours a day. The daycares that offer high quality pre-school are not cheap and typically have the word Montessori in it. Full-time pre-schools are usually more expensive programs. And seriously, who can take their kid to school at 9 am and then pick them up at 11:30 am every day, a nanny, that’s who.
These are all the reasons I consider preschool a privilege. It seems that the kids that would need it the most aren’t getting the same opportunities as the wealthy. This is one area I would love to see more money thrown at. If we could get them to expand public
Preschool should be focusing on exploring, creating, sharing, reading the emotions of other kids around them, and following directions. They can leave counting and ABCs for kindergarten.
We have been apart of the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s Preschool since it opened. Our kids come home with more than just an academic education. They have learned cooperation, kindness, environmentalism, and caring for small creatures. I can’t describe how well rounded their education has been there. They go on long walks which I think is a huge benefit to their bodies and brains. Their class talks about caring for each other and then they watch a mommy tiger care for her cubs. They come home talking about erosion and littering. Hopefully, at the end of the day, this experience has increased the chance of my kids becoming adults that pick up trash when they see it, help someone up when they’ve fallen, and smile at a stranger having a bad day. Raising decent human beings takes more than a parent, it takes a whole community starting during these early years.
Side Note: My post-retirement volunteering goal is to help out at early education sites. I would like to teach preschoolers the importance of taking care of their bodies. Simple things like hand washing, drinking water, eating vegetables, sleep hygiene, exercise through play and using the bathroom properly. Teaching a small child to peel a carrot is an important life-long skill. Many adults struggle with self-care, imagine if you were taught it at a young age, maybe we wouldn’t be such a stressed-out society.