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By now, you probably know the benefits of sending your kids to a pre-k school. The education program can contribute to nurturing early childhood development. Despite these benefits, pre-k remains a mere option for parents before kindergarten. And a top reason for this is the cost of tuition fees. Do you know how much pre-k is available these days? 

The cost of pre-k?

According to the Center for American Policy, the average cost of preschool is $10,668 per year or $889 per month. Meanwhile, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRA), it is around $4,460 to $13,158 yearly. 

Generally, the cost of preschool programs, including pre-k, differs depending on your state or even city. Plus, it is also based on the type of pre-k school.

The difference between state-funded and privately-owned schools can already dictate the tuition fees. But note that there are also school types based on education philosophies, beliefs, and cultural-related. The specialized teaching approaches also propose different price ranges that higher than the standards typically.

Among all the types, it is a state-funded type that is lower or frees up parents to pay tuition fees. An example of such is Universal Pre-K for the four-year-old kids and Headstart programs for the three to four-year-olds. Usually, public-funded targets kids from low-income earning families.

Whether it is full-time or half-day

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shared full-time preschool programs can cost around $5,806, on average, per year for four-year-old kids. Generally, the full-day pre-k is about 6 hours for most states.

Number of days

Attending a full-year program is ideal, so the kids maximize the benefits of fun learning in pre-k. Some schools have a comprehensive curriculum for the entire year. In terms of tuition fees, though, it is expected to be higher than the half-year program. The full-year program is 180 days for most states

How worthy of pre-k is?

Understandably, the cost of pre-k influences some parents to skip it and let their children enroll straight in kindergarten. The thing is, pre-k is not an expense but an investment for young kids’ development and academic success. Ideally, it should not be deemed an optional program but a vital step to accommodate young children’s short and long-term needs. Moreover, pre-k is a level that prepares them better in their primary education.

Several studies show the long-term cost-benefit of pre-k and other preschool programs. In the research entitled “Economic Effects from Preschool and Childcare Programs,” one part of the analysis is that early childhood education can help increase people’s lifetime labor productivity. It is eventually beneficial to boost the GDP and help the economy. 

The connection goes as quality pre-k and other preschool programs can strengthen the early and longevity students’ academic success as they move to higher levels. 

“High-quality preschool education increases schooling by 0.65 years on average,” an excerpt of the study mentioned above, under the direction of Efraim Berkovich, conducted by Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) economist Daniela Viana Costa with help from Youran Wu and Maddison Erbabian. 

Most likely, if students get a good schooling journey, the probability of performing well as part of the workforce is higher. It eventually helps them gain an advantage to earn better and build wealth. Early childhood education is part of human capital investment, an essential factor in labor productivity like the “innate ability, network effects and opportunities, and work experience,” as the study added.