The Rising Cost of Big-City Education
As children, school is part of everyday life. As parents, the cost -- financially and emotionally -- of sending our children to school becomes an enormous expense, often exceeding expectations.
Depending on where you live and which preschool you choose, sending your child to a full-time care center can cost up to $20,000, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). In expensive urban areas such as Boston, New York City, and San Francisco, prices are through the roof for a five-day-a-week preschool. As the NACCRRRA reports, “the least-affordable states (in ranked order) for full-time care for a 4-year-old in a center in 2011 were: New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Indiana, Maine and Rhode Island.” Looking for the best school for your child in your area? Search here.
We at Bundle wanted to find out how the escalating cost of education is affecting both parents and children. We spoke with a New York City preschool teacher and the parents of a preschooler to get their two cents. Don't break the bank on back-to-school shopping -- find the best budget-friendly school supplies here.
New York City is notoriously one of the most expensive cities in the country – and the world – in which to reside, and school prices certainly reflect the city’s ranking. “The schools here are so expensive, which sets the parents’ expectations really high,” says preschool teacher Alison P., who teaches at a private preschool on the Upper East Side. “There is a waiting list to even get into my school, and once you’re in, it’s taken very seriously.” Alison says her specific preschool’s training process for teachers is so vigorous it essentially felt like another college course, even though she had already completed her Master’s in Education.
According to the NACCRRA, 2011 child care costs exceeded college costs. Additionally, child care costs more than rent. The report’s results concluded that “center-based child care fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) exceeded annual median rent payments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.” If parents need to enroll their children in a special education program, they’ll be paying about $40,000 per child, according to this New York Times article.
“The preschool programs are so intense that I am required to keep a portfolio of every child, and I have to update it monthly,” says Alison. “I follow them around with cameras, being sure to take pictures of their motor skills and sharing skills. Then at the end of the year, I meet with each student’s parents and walk them through their child’s entire year of progress, according to the pictures.” If you're sending your child to a pre-school or elementary school in the near future, find the best ones near you.
Parents who pay sky high school prices certainly expect to get the most education for their money. "We're paying close to $15,000 to send our children to preschool," says Upper West Side parent Harriett S. "It's not that I'd want that money to go elsewhere, because I do think preschool can shape my child for the rest of his life, but I definitely want to see results. And I expect them."
Parents and teachers alike strive to give their children and students the best educational experience possible. But while they may be on the same team, as school prices soar, so does the pressure on teachers. Parents alike have goals to reach and expectations to fill, and the higher the bar is set, the higher the price tag becomes. Did you know back-to-school supplies can be outrageously expensive? Take a look at this $1,000,000 laptop.