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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Kindergarten

Kindergarten Cost


How Much Does Kindergarten Cost?

 
average costPublic Kindergarten: Free to $5,000+high costPrivate Kindergarten: $3,000-$34,000+
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Offered by both public and private schools, kindergarten is generally an introduction to a formal school setting for five-year-olds, to prepare them for starting first grade. Traditionally students attended half-day programs (about three hours), but many schools are moving toward full-day programs (about six hours) that match the school's elementary class schedule.

Typical costs:

  • Public schools typically provide a free half-day kindergarten program (about three hours) for district residents. Although some provide a full-day program (about six hours) for free, others charge full-day tuition of $1,000-$5,000 or more for 10 months (September to May). (Federal funding typically makes full-day kindergarten at public schools free to children from homeless or economically disadvantaged families.)
  • For example, both Rockford Public Schools[1] in Illinois and Bellingham Public Schools[2] in Washington offer full-day kindergarten programs at no cost to district families. Denver Public Schools[3] in Colorado offers half-day kindergarten for free, while the full-day program is $310 a month or $3,100 a year for Denver residents and $365 a month ($3,650 annually) for non-residents; full-day tuition for disadvantaged families is paid by federal funding.
  • Private school kindergarten annual tuition can cost $3,000-$34,000 or more, depending on the length of the school day, the teacher-pupil ratio and the reputation of the school. For example, for full-day kindergarten St. Boniface School[4] in Fort Smith, AR charges $2,990 for children of St. Boniface parishioners and $5,339 for non-parishioners. Kindergarten tuition is $18,610 at the Swain School[5] in Allentown, PA.
Related articles: Pre-Kindergarten Programs, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Nursing School, School Uniform

What should be included:
  • Typical objectives include developing the student's self esteem and confidence in a classroom setting; learning social, emotional and study skills; and practicing cooperation, patience and problem-solving. Scholastic.com lists the elements of a good kindergarten program[6] .
  • Kindergarten is optional in some states and mandatory in others. The National Center for Education Statistics charts kindergarten requirements by state[7] in 2011.
  • Whether a public school charges tuition for full-day kindergarten varies from district to district; StrategiesForChildren.org provides a map of full-day kindergarten tuition rates in Massachusetts[8] in 2011-2012, with most communities providing free full-day kindergarten.
Additional costs:
  • It averages $2.08 to buy a public school lunch or $3.42 to bring a bag lunch, according to the School Nutrition Association. Low-income students may qualify for free or reduced-price 40 cents maximum) lunches. Some private schools include the cost of lunch in the tuition, or there may be an annual charge of $25-$1,000 or more. The Swain School[9] in Allentown, PA has a $745 annual kindergarten lunch fee.
  • Public schools typically provide free bus service for low-income students but other students may have to buy an annual bus pass for $100-$325 or more. Jeffco Public Schools[10] in Colorado charges $150-$200 per child to ride a bus to school, or a half-day kindergarten pass costs $75-$100.
  • Parent may be responsible for providing transportation to a private school; or it can cost $300-$2,000 or more. For example, Ravenscroft[11] in Raleigh, NC charges annual bus fees of $360-$1,750, depending on the student's location.
  • For working parents, before and after school care can cost $100-$500 or more a month at public schools (although it might be free for low-income students) or $300-$800 or more monthly at private schools.
  • Some private schools charge a one-time-only "new family" capital fee of $1,000-$2,000 or more as a contribution to ongoing facility maintenance/improvement for families enrolling a child in the school for the first time. For example, Fort Worth Christian School[12] in Texas has a $1,500 new family fee.
Discounts:
  • Many private schools offer a sibling discount for multiple students from the same family. For example, Saint Joseph Academy[13] in Bogota, NJ charges standard tuition of $7,980 for the one child, $11,760 for two children and $17,320 for three; or for parents who participate in specified fund-raising and school-support activities, $4,100 for one child, $6,500 for two and $7,560 for three.
  • In some circumstances, kindergarten tuition might quality for an income tax credit[14] .
Shopping for kindergarten:
  • Most schools hold an open house just before starting kindergarten enrollment; or contact the school and ask for a guided tour. The National Association for the Education of Young Children lists the top 10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom[15] and TeachersandFamiles.com discusses how to decide between half- and full-day kindergarten[16] .
  • Search for local public schools[17] or members of the National Association of Independent Schools[18] , National Catholic Educational Association[19] , American Montessori Society[20] or Association of Waldorf Schools of North America[21] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Kindergarten YMCA before school program
Amount: $4,345.00 per year
Posted by: AliciaR in Gibsonia, PA.Posted: January 12th, 2020 04:01PM
School: Hampton Township School District
Our school district does not offer full day kindergarten because they do not believe in the investment in the children, families, and community growth. We are in the first year of the YMCA because the district wanted to accommodate the families that work, but only allowed for 6 families in each of the 3 schools to eliminate the need of additional kindergarten teachers if the program had a large enrollment. My child is participating in the half day program because of the YMCA, but when asked about school, does not speak about her kindergarten afternoon, she speaks of her YMCA morning.
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External Resources:
  1.  www2.rps205.com/Parents/SAC/Pages/Kindergarten.aspx
  2.  bellinghamschools.org/kindergarten
  3.  earlyeducation.dpsk12.org/tuition-and-billing/tuition-and-tuition-assistance-2/
  4.  www.stbonifaceschool.org/uploads/pdfs/Tuition%20&%20Fees%20Schedule%202012%20-%202...
  5.  www.swain.org/admissions/tuition-information/kindergarten-8th-grade.html
  6.  www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/choosing-schools-programs/what-makes-...
  7.  nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab5_3.asp
  8.  www.strategiesforchildren.org/eea/6research_maps/EEAMap_FDKTuition10.pdf
  9.  www.swain.org/admissions/tuition-information/kindergarten-8th-grade.html
  10.  www.jeffcopublicschools.org/transportation/
  11.  www.ravenscroft.org/page.cfm?p=24
  12.  www.fwc.org/admissions/admissions-tuition-fees.cfm
  13.  www.sjsbogota.com/tuition.php
  14.  www.accountingweb.com/topic/tax/irs-explains-dependent-care-credits-kindergarten-c...
  15.  www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Top_10_Signs_Good/
  16.  www.teachersandfamilies.com/open/parent/kg-day4.cfm
  17.  nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/
  18.  www.nais.org/Users/Pages/SchoolSearch.aspx?src=footer
  19.  www.ncea.org/news/SchoolDiocesanLocator.asp
  20.  www.amshq.org/School%20Resources/Find%20a%20School.aspx
  21.  www.whywaldorfworks.org/05_FindASchool/?src=trakkware
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