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Preschool fees
should we have to pay?

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#1 glasnost

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:47 AM

We just got our invoice for preschool fees for this term. $1900 ohmy.gif DS is 4.5 and will go three days a week. It is not a fancy preschool (although it is very good I might add) in suburban Sydney. We will find the money from somewhere as we believe that it is worth it however I can't help wondering how many families are priced out and their kids will either miss out on preschool or be send to FYOS before they ready.

What does everyone think- should we have to pay for or contribute to preschool/kindy fees or do you think that there should be universal access to good quality early childhood education?

#2 Rachel70

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

This is for a private preschool????

#3 lucy-lu

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

Are you in NSW?
I was thinking this today also, ds only goes 2 days, it doesn't cost anywhere near as much as yours but still $$ in my opinion......

Deer just re read...you are in sydney, dam chemicals from cleaning have gone to my head!

Edited by lucy-lu, 06 February 2013 - 09:58 AM.

#4 ~Elphaba~

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:58 AM

I have never felt so lucky to live in the ACT. You guys have to PAY for preschool in NSW????  But primary and high school is free in NSW isn't it?. How do they justify it?

#5 clm1982

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

Ouch that is expensive. We only pay less than $100 a term here in SA?

#6 Aimless

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

Yikes! And I was griping about mine. 4yo DS1 goes to pre-school 3 days a week and the invoice for this term is $790 - $47 per day. I worked out that I'm paying appox $5000 a year - which is more than the fees in private schools within my area!

#7 Jane Jetson

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

We have 15 hours free preschool in the ACT. I think it's a good move (though I have issues with the way it's organised... who can arrange child care for every *second* Wednesday without paying for a lot of unused days?) to bring preschool under the public education umbrella for several reasons, mostly to do with access for less advantaged children, and better pay for the teachers.

I'm not sure how it works in other states - are preschool fees subject to CCB/CCR or reduced fees related to income? If not, I think that's a problem, because it would certainly price lower-income families out of preschool.

#8 Heather11

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

Just makes me glad to live in SA.  

$50 a term  here.

That is more than what I pay for 2 kids at a Catholic school for the year.

#9 glasnost

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:08 AM

I works out $57 a day. I think this term is a little longer thsn 10 weeks. They went back a couple of weeks ago, a bit earlier than schools for some reason.

It isn't a daycare centre, just a regular KU kindergarten/ preschool.

ETA I want to move to the ACT or SA.

Edited by glasnost, 06 February 2013 - 10:10 AM.

#10 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:09 AM


#11 Kay1

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Yep ours was similar this term.

Ours is a not for profit community preschool. No food provided and 9-3 hours.

No government subsidies.

Yes this is why lots of people send their kids to school whether they are ready or not. Then they change schools and repeat kindergarten. Its pretty well known around here.

Edited by Kay1, 06 February 2013 - 10:10 AM.

#12 lozoodle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Ouch that is expensive!

Its one of the reasons I have elected to keep my 4 year old in long daycare where she is settled for her pre school rather than move to an actual pre school, she goes 2 days a week and it only costs me $74 a week after the child care rebate. Plus they provide food, hours are more flexible and open during school holidays tthumbs.gif

#13 ekbaby

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

Yup. We are in Sydney and DS attends a council-run preschool. It will be $5000 for the year for him to attend 2 days per week. He will only have one year of preschool, and 2 days a week, mostly because that's all we can afford. We had to start saving for it last year and set up a special account for it- it feels like we are saving for private school fees. Our kids will be going to public schools, but that one year of part time preschool is pricey.

I am not complaining from the perspective of us personally, but I do think there need to be a national free or very low cost preschool program across all states (means tested would be fine with me). At the moment all states have different systems, and in NSW I think most places are at least $40 a day. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a DET preschool, I think there is more of a sliding scale of fees- but these services are scattered throughout the state, not a universal thing. There are a limited number of specialist services like preschools targetting Indigenous children but the funding for these is not secure and they rely a lot of year-to-year grant applications, fundraising, charity donations etc. There are also programs like SACC which are great and provide playgroups/education etc in public schools but again it's not a universal thing.

For children raised in families where they have access to books, parents who can read, parents who are not stressed out with other problems and can spend time playing with them and taking them to educational things etc, I don't think missing out on preschool will disadvantage them. But for the families who can't afford preschool, and are also facing other disadvantages, multiple generations of poor educational outcomes etc, these kids are starting school behind the 8-ball, and they will suffer. If we want to address educational disadvantage, starting early and providing universal access to preschool would be a great start.

I thought that the Labor govt promised this, and it was one of the reasons I voted for KRudd, but it seems like it hasn't happened. It seems like it's more about ensuring all daycare centres have a preschool program (which sounds great, but it doesn't neccessarily address the affordability and access issues)

#14 FeralCrazyMum

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:13 AM

I didn't realise at the time how lucky we were, we have one of the few pre-schools attached to a primary school and run by the community, so our fees were $11 per day or $8 per day for low income families. Anything too much higher than that would have been unaffordable.

From memory, we could still claim a percentage of this back, but it wasn't paid via CCR, we had to fill in a separate form, and I think we got around a third back.

#15 GeminiSix

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

Whoa!  That is huge.  

Here in Vic (well certainly in our shire) the majority of kindergartens are run by the local council (some are also community managed ie., by a committee of parents) and there are some in Melbourne that are totally private ie., attached to elite private schools, where children attend long days and wear the school uniform.  These places have fees similar to yours.  Some children also attend child care centres that run an accredited 4 year old kinder program.  

Our fees at the council kinder, after the Government funding, are around $700 per year.  That is for 15 hours per week.  The 3yo program attracts no government funding, and costs around the same, for only 2.5 hours per week.

So I'm interested to know what type of kinder program it is?

ETA: I've just read a couple replies that were made while I was typing, I thought that 4 year old kinder funding was a Federal Government thing but going from PP's saying they are at council kinders with no government funding, is it a State by State thing I wonder?

Edited by GeminiSix, 06 February 2013 - 10:17 AM.

#16 Bunsen the feral

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:14 AM

Yep that's we paid last year (KU in Sydney), doesn't include food and they hit you up at every fundraising opportunity! We were very lucky to get a place too, very hard to get into any preschool in our area, not a chance with the council run ones which are cheaper!

#17 liveworkplay

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

I dont understand how the states can be so different. In Tas  every kindergarten (pre school for 4 year olds) is attached to a school. It is part of the school system, just non compulsory. It is "free" for every student. You local public kinder must take you if you wish to attend, just like school. OP, we pay less then that at our catholic school for kinder.

#18 lafonda

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

DS is attending a preschool program attached to the private school he will attend next year. He goes one day a week and we pay $330 a term. $660 a term for 2 days, $990 for three days etc

#19 muggins_00

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

$325 a term for 15 hours a week of 4 year old kinder in Victoria.

#20 Bluenomi

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

That's a whole lot cheaper than using a preschool program at daycare, I'd spend more than that in a month!

If it's a public preschool I'd be upset but private, you've got a bargin.

#21 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:23 AM

Wow, I was questioning $200 a term but I will stop that now.  That seems very excessive.
DH does the gardening at our kindy and that gets us a discount so we essentially pay $110 a term this is in SA.

eta that is for 2 days a week 8.30 - 3.45

Edited by lifehacker, 06 February 2013 - 10:27 AM.

#22 Kreme

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:24 AM

That is about what we paid for my kids to go to preschool in Sydney, maybe a little more. I think it cost about $7000 a year when they went 3 days per week.

In my area (north shore) there are no public preschools at all. We were in the inner west previously and there were 3 public preschools within walking distance of our house. Our kids attended a not for profit preschool which was excellent and I'm glad we sent them there, but it was quite a financial relief when DS started school this year, as we've spent $23,000 in the last 3 years on preschool fees for 2 kids.

There are no rebates for preschool fees, although essentially the price we paid is about the same as childcare fees in this area (after the rebate) albeit with much shorter hours of 9-3.

I think in an ideal world all children should receive a year of preschool education. I don't think it should be free to everyone, but certainly for those who need assistance it should be there.

Edited by kreme, 06 February 2013 - 10:25 AM.

#23 JRA

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

the challenge of course if you are sending your child to preschool you don't get child care rebate - unless of course you work and are sending them to daycare.

YES this is one of the things that REALLY REALLY p*sses me off about child care rebate and preschool

#24 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (glasnost @ 06/02/2013, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ETA I want to move to the ACT or SA.

Choose ACT laugh.gif , the electricity fees here in SA would outweigh any savings mad.gif

Edited by lifehacker, 06 February 2013 - 10:29 AM.

#25 glasnost

Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:35 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 06/02/2013, 11:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's a whole lot cheaper than using a preschool program at daycare, I'd spend more than that in a month!

If it's a public preschool I'd be upset but private, you've got a bargin.

Here where we are (and from what I understand, most of NSW) there is no public preschool so we don't have an option. If you want your kid to go to preschool you either pay for them to go to a community run one like we have or pay for them to go to a daycare with preschool curriculum which around here would be at least $100 a day. Not really an option if one of the parents is at home caring for younger kids like I am and not working (so no rebate we would have to pay the full amount).

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