Spring marks the time for blooming flowers, warmer weather … and registering your kids for the upcoming school year.
I am a Lake in the Hills mom and my son, Evan, will go to preschool through the park district this fall. But I have a few friends who are signing up their first kid for kindergarten. I was shocked to hear that they were going to pay $250 per month for the full-day program.
You can do a lot with $250 a month, I thought. Make a car payment. Pay utilities. Eat. I turned to my mom and grandma and asked, “How much was kindergarten when I was a kid?”
“Free,” they said.
The whole thing ignited my curiosity and so, I decided to do some research on why kindergarten costs so much. In fact, I went straight to the principal of the District 300 elementary school where Evan will attend kindergarten in 2013.
She informed me that all D-300 elementary schools offer a free, half day of kindergarten, which takes place from 8:25 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. Only certain schools offer a full-day program (8:25 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.).
She confirmed that starting this fall the full day will cost $250 per month, up $25 from the 2011-2012 school year. With that extra half day, students stay for lunch and receive course work in music, physical education and computers. Plus, students have more time for additional reading and math lessons.
After kindergarten, school costs drop to only a yearly registration fee of about $100 for grades one through five.
After learning more, I was relieved to find that I have the option of sending Evan to a free, half day of kindergarten, similar to what my mom and grandmother remember from way back. But if I chose to pay the $250 per month for a full day, I bet Evan would get my money’s worth.
For a related article on the all-day kindergarten program in D-300, see the Patch.com article “District 300 Brings All-Day Kindergarten Option to LITH Schools.”
Are you or have you sent your child to a full-day kindergarten? What was your experience?