Back to School: Is preschool worth the cost?

Body: 

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - It's a typical summer day in the splash park for 4-year-old Joshua Vaughn. But back to school is right around the corner. And Josh is a preschool pro.

Last year, Josh ditched the watering can for a backpack and went to a 3-year-old preschool class, 2 days a week. His mom says it wasn't all about learning letters and numbers. 

But for many, the experience is out-of-reach.  North Dakota is one of just seven states that have no state-funded preschool program. At some local providers, the cost to send your precious little ball of energy to preschool for full days would cover nearly a semester's tuition at UND. In almost all cases, it's more than $100 dollars a month.

So, is it worth it? State standards continue to evolve, and lead to bigger expectations for our kids. Just 14 years ago, kindergarten in Grand Forks was half-day only, filled with snacks and playtime.

Back at the splash park, Josh is getting ready for 4-year-old preschool, before he has to worry about the real world in kindergarten.

If you do decide to enroll, plan ahead. Most preschools have wait lists, and register the spring before the upcoming school year. At Sacred Heart, for example, preschool registration opened March 1st. Classes filled up before the end of the day.

If you are considering school options, WDAZ did all of the leg-work for you. Below is a list of all the area preschools, what classes they offer, and the cost.

WDAZ is your back-to-school headquarters!

-

Preschool Offerings in the Greater Grand Forks Area

Most programs run for 9 months (concurrent with the school year) and accept registrations for the upcoming school year in March/April.

Typically, 4-year-old classes are open to children who will be attending Kindergarten the following school year. 3-year-old classes are open to children who are two years away from Kindergarten.

To calculate:

ND—MUST BE 5 BY AUGUST 1 FOR KINDERGARTEN

MN—MUST BE 5 BY SEPT 1 FOR KINDERGARTEN

Private Preschools

CREATIVE KIDS CORNER

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

3-Year-Olds: $162.5/week for all week, $108.75/week for MWF, $84.75/week for TuTh

4-Year-Olds: $149.50/week for all week, $97.75/week for MWF, $77.75/week for TuTh

5 and Up: $147.5/week for all week, $97.75/week for MWF, $76.75/week for TuTh

http://childcarecenter.us/provider_detail/janes_creative_kids_corner_grand_forks_nd

-

FORKS PRESCHOOL CO-OP

M/W 9:15-11:30 AM

$25/Semester (Parent-Run)

ForksPreschoolCoop@gmail.com

-

HOPEFUL BEGINNINGS

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

3-year-olds $750/month

4&5-year-olds $700/month

Morning Preschool Only (8:30am – 11:30am)

3-year-olds $400/month

4/5-year-olds $375/month

http://hopefulbeginningsgf.com/

-

IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN CHILDREN’S CENTER

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

$175/week full time

Morning Preschool Only $42/day

http://www.immanuelgf.org/iccc/

-

LITTLE MIRACLES

Half Day (7a-12:30p or 12:30p-6p) or Full Day Option

Center requires you call for cost

https://www.littlemiraclesinc.com/

-

RIVERSIDE CHRISTIAN 

Preschool 3s (must by 3 by Aug. 1): TTH  8:30a-11:30a, $1,380/year (Plus $40 Snack/Supply Fee)

Preschool 4s (must be 4 by Aug. 1): MWF  8:30a-11:30a or 12:10p-3:10p,  $1,875/year (Plus $50 Snack/Supply Fee)

 

www.rcsrams.com

-

SACRED HEART

Morning (8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.) or Afternoon (12:15 to 3:15) Sessions

3-year-olds: Tu/Thu $1004/year

4-year-olds: MWF $1880/year

http://www.sacredheartegf.net/school/academics/preschool/

-

ST. MARY’S

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

$175/week; Option to split with another family for part-time preschool

http://www.stmarysgfnd.com/St--Mary-s-Early-Childhood-Center-and-Preschool

-

ST. MICHAEL’S

Full Time (M-F) $470/month

M-W-F (full day) $310/month

M-W-F (½ day) $180/month

Tue-Thu (½ day) 3-year-olds $170/month

-

SUNNY PATCH

Three-Year-Olds: 8-11am Tu/Th $120/month

Four-Year-Olds: 8-11am M/W/F $156/month

M/W for 3-4-5 year olds: 11:15-2:15 $120/month

http://www.sunnypatchpreschool.com/classes.html

-

UNITED DAY NURSERY

Half Day (6:45a-12:30p or 12:30p-6p) or Full Day Option

Three-Year-Olds: $485/month or $723/month

Four-Year-Olds: $446/month or $723/month

https://www.unitedgf.org/united-day-nursery

-

UNIVERSITY CHILDREN’S LEARNING CENTER

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

Monday-Friday $820/month

M/W/F $500/month

Tu/Th $333/month

https://und.edu/uclc/

-

WONDER YEARS

Full Day Childcare with Embedded Preschool

3-year-olds: $199.75/week for M-F, M/W/F 129.75/week, Tu/Th $96.75/week

4-year-olds:  $187.75/week for M-F, M/W/F $122.75/week, Tu/Th $91.75/week

5-year-olds:  $184.75/week for M-F, M/W/F $120.75/week, Tu/Th $87.75/week

-

WDAZ was unable to get in touch with All About Kids, Sunflake, Montessori Academy and the YMCA. If you would like to add your preschool to this list, email your information to news@wdaz.com.

-

Public Preschools

EAST GRAND FORKS

Full day or ½ day options

4-year-olds M/W or Tu/Th, 3-year-olds on Fridays (Option for mixed classes)

Can join anytime during school year

Sliding fee scale

https://www.egf.k12.mn.us/domain/69

-

GRAND FORKS

Grand Forks Public Schools does a peer program in the special needs preschool rooms. It's for typical developing children who are not old enough to attend K. It's free, but parents need to provide transportation both to & from school. 1/2 days only.

Head Start is a federally funded program that promotes education for children from birth to age five for low-income to moderate-income families. You must be enrolled in a qualifying social service program. The area has a number of options.

See links for more information:

https://www.tvoc.org/services/head-start/head-start-early-head-start/

http://www.headstartprogram.net/tag/grand-forks-head-start/

https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/grantee-profiles/08CH1041