Author Topic: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?  (Read 6996 times)

Sea Mom

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Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:03:37 AM »
Hi All,

Our child starts preschool in September. Recently the administrators emailed us with an option to prepay and receive a discount. But since my husband and I strive to be very Mustachian, we're wondering if the discount is worth forking over several grand in advance.

Our payment options:

1. Normal Tuition Payments: $3650/year (2 days/week attendance is $365.00/month, to be paid September through June)

2. Pay early by check: Receive 10% discount for full year's tuition payment by check, received by June 16th, 2014

3. Pay early by credit: Receive 7% discount for full year's tuition payment by credit card/paypal, received by June 16th, 2014 (we would use our Amex Blue card)

4. Pay by September: Receive 5% discount for full year's tuition payment by check received by September 1st, 2014


We have no credit debt and wouldn't finance it the lump some. We have the funds available to prepay.

Anyone with advice or perspective would be so helpful. Thanks in advance!

boarder42

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 10:14:50 AM »
prepay full with check you arent gonna get 3% cashback on that card.  you arent gonna make 10% with that money invested anywhere else.  I'd do the full 10% with check by june 16th.  thats an instant 10% ROI ...

Guses

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 10:16:07 AM »
Can you get better than 11% tax free garanteed annual return with other investments loan prepayments?

Yes- Do not prepay

No- Prepay

boarder42

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 10:16:22 AM »
option 5 would be to prepay with a new CC if you can get one by the 16th that has a large signing bonus and capitalize on it that way

bogart

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 10:26:20 AM »
I do know someone who prepaid and then had their preschool go belly-up and close, so that they lost whatever fraction of the tuition they hadn't "used" (i.e. not counting however many months the school was open).

How stable is the institution?  Is there any risk of your not being happy with it and wanting to move to another one or withdraw for any reason?

Psychstache

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 01:27:32 PM »
I do know someone who prepaid and then had their preschool go belly-up and close, so that they lost whatever fraction of the tuition they hadn't "used" (i.e. not counting however many months the school was open).

How stable is the institution?  Is there any risk of your not being happy with it and wanting to move to another one or withdraw for any reason?

Yeah, assuming that the daycare is sound and you have no reasonable suspicion that it will be closing soon, my plan would be to open a chase sapphire preferred card and pay in full to get 7% off +400 cash back rewards. If you already have the CSP, then I would just cut a check for the 10% off.

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 03:04:45 PM »
That is almost 10x more costly than the preschool at our local career technical school (aka vocational school), where we will be sending our kids.  Did you look into that option, assuming you are in one of the majority of states that have career technical education?

Gin1984

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 03:07:39 PM »
That is almost 10x more costly than the preschool at our local career technical school (aka vocational school), where we will be sending our kids.  Did you look into that option, assuming you are in one of the majority of states that have career technical education?
Blink.... can you expand on this?

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 05:34:23 PM »
That is almost 10x more costly than the preschool at our local career technical school (aka vocational school), where we will be sending our kids.  Did you look into that option, assuming you are in one of the majority of states that have career technical education?
Blink.... can you expand on this?
At vocational schools, the students are there for their 11th and 12th grade of high school to learn a trade.  This particular school has an Early Childhood Education program.  I know at least 2 others in the area have one too.  So, the students watch your children under the tutelage of the vocational instructor of the program.

The cost is so low because you aren't paying any wages to the students, only the cost of materials over the course of the year.  These schools also provide cosmetological services like $2 for brow waxing, $8 for coloring, free car washes, etc.  It's great.  The students get experience and you reap the benefits. 

MrsPete

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 06:44:38 PM »
Thought #1:  Preschool isn't a need for academic reasons.  Are you doing this because you want to expose her to other children /group interactions, or are you doing it because you need day care?  If you just want some exposure to school, I'd consider some type of a church "Mother's Morning Out" type of program.  It would cost less. 

Thought #2:  What happens if you pre-pay and then your job transfers you across the country?  Or you hate the preschool?  Hey, these things happen!

Gin1984

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 06:52:25 PM »
Thought #1:  Preschool isn't a need for academic reasons.  Are you doing this because you want to expose her to other children /group interactions, or are you doing it because you need day care?  If you just want some exposure to school, I'd consider some type of a church "Mother's Morning Out" type of program.  It would cost less. 

Thought #2:  What happens if you pre-pay and then your job transfers you across the country?  Or you hate the preschool?  Hey, these things happen!
I am pretty sure I remember reading articles that preschool education is correlated to better academic record as the child ages.   

CarDude

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 06:56:52 PM »
Thought #1:  Preschool isn't a need for academic reasons.  Are you doing this because you want to expose her to other children /group interactions, or are you doing it because you need day care?  If you just want some exposure to school, I'd consider some type of a church "Mother's Morning Out" type of program.  It would cost less. 

Thought #2:  What happens if you pre-pay and then your job transfers you across the country?  Or you hate the preschool?  Hey, these things happen!
I am pretty sure I remember reading articles that preschool education is correlated to better academic record as the child ages.

Yup. Children around the world do better with preschool than without it. In Finland, where kids don't start formal school until age 7, the majority of kids still attend the free preschools around the country.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 06:57:43 PM »
We have always opted for the pre-pay discount when in situations like this.

CarDude

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 07:00:28 PM »
prepay full with check you arent gonna get 3% cashback on that card.  you arent gonna make 10% with that money invested anywhere else.  I'd do the full 10% with check by june 16th.  thats an instant 10% ROI ...

And to answer your question, yes, prepay. Boarder42 lays out the reasons quite well here.

Krnten

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 08:25:56 AM »
That is almost 10x more costly than the preschool at our local career technical school (aka vocational school), where we will be sending our kids.  Did you look into that option, assuming you are in one of the majority of states that have career technical education?
Blink.... can you expand on this?
At vocational schools, the students are there for their 11th and 12th grade of high school to learn a trade.  This particular school has an Early Childhood Education program.  I know at least 2 others in the area have one too.  So, the students watch your children under the tutelage of the vocational instructor of the program.

The cost is so low because you aren't paying any wages to the students, only the cost of materials over the course of the year.  These schools also provide cosmetological services like $2 for brow waxing, $8 for coloring, free car washes, etc.  It's great.  The students get experience and you reap the benefits.

My brother and sister and I went to preschool in a program like this, first at a high school, then at a community college.  It was fantastic and I have some nice memories from it.  Highly recommended!

BPA

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2014, 08:29:41 AM »
I do know someone who prepaid and then had their preschool go belly-up and close, so that they lost whatever fraction of the tuition they hadn't "used" (i.e. not counting however many months the school was open).

How stable is the institution?  Is there any risk of your not being happy with it and wanting to move to another one or withdraw for any reason?

This happened at a daycare we used.  I did not prepay and was glad for it. 

Sea Mom

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2014, 03:07:47 PM »
Taking into consideration all of your comments, we're planning to prepay via check to get the maximum discount.
Thanks everyone for all of the helpful, insightful feedback! What an awesome community this is.

MrsPete

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 10:25:26 AM »
I am pretty sure I remember reading articles that preschool education is correlated to better academic record as the child ages.
No.  You'll find articles of all sorts across the internet, but if you read Developmental Psychology articles or books, they're all in agreement: 

Kids who are raised in a positive environment that includes books and trips to the library, plenty of interaction with adults, and exposure to nature really get nothing out of preschool.  It's not that the lessons aren't positive -- it's that they're already getting it at home. I did make the assumption that the OP is providing an educationally-rich environment for the child already, but I suspect that's a pretty safe assumption. 

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, the research shows that kids who live in poor environments DO benefit from preschool.  That is, kids who would otherwise come to school not really grasping the concepts of colors, numbers, having had minimal exposure to books, not having had access to crayons and scissors, having had inconsistent discipline -- those kids DO benefit from preschool.  When these kids start K without pre-school, they lag far behind their better-prepared peers; however, when they attend pre-school, they begin slightly ahead.  That all sounds good . . . but the research also shows that this slight advantage only lasts the first couple years. When the kids reach 4th grade (ironically, this is about the point where kids really begin reading to gain content, not simply for the sake of reading improvement), that advantage disappears and they actually fall behind their never-attended pre-school peers. 

This is why Head Start was begun years ago -- to help the kids who hadn't been prepared for school -- but somehow today it's morphed into the idea that ALL kids are starting behind the 8-ball and are in need of this type of remediation.  The reality is that kids who are exposed to all the things we know preschoolers should be doing are ready for school.   For these kids, the preschool money would be better spent on trips to the zoo or the science museum. 

It's also why Sesame Street was created.  Jim Henson was instrumental in its creation, and he modeled it after TV commercials.  The idea was that kids memorized TV commercials, which were short, repetitive, and memorable.  Just like Head Start, kids who are "heavy viewers" of Sesame Street tend to begin with what appears to be an advantage, but it also disappears after the first few years of school.  Sesame Street relies heavily on rote memorization, which is great for simply repeating ABCS, but isn't so good for application; that is, kids know the letter A, but they aren't so strong in sounding it out in a word.  Worst of all, kids who are "heavy viewers" tend to have shorter attention spans, which hurts them later in school.  Occasional viewing seems to have no lasting effect on kids, pro or con. 

The moral:  Nothing trumps consistent, repetitive time spent with parents during the preschool years.  Books, finger paints, walks, craft projects -- the list could go on -- all those things matter in the long run.  Preschool doesn't.  If you need it for day care, great -- it certainly won't hurt a kid -- but if it's a financial stretch, it's not going to benefit a kid from a good home in the long run. 





Gin1984

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Re: Preschool: Prepay Discount Worth It?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 11:56:32 AM »
I am pretty sure I remember reading articles that preschool education is correlated to better academic record as the child ages.
No.  You'll find articles of all sorts across the internet, but if you read Developmental Psychology articles or books, they're all in agreement: 

Kids who are raised in a positive environment that includes books and trips to the library, plenty of interaction with adults, and exposure to nature really get nothing out of preschool.  It's not that the lessons aren't positive -- it's that they're already getting it at home. I did make the assumption that the OP is providing an educationally-rich environment for the child already, but I suspect that's a pretty safe assumption. 

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, the research shows that kids who live in poor environments DO benefit from preschool.  That is, kids who would otherwise come to school not really grasping the concepts of colors, numbers, having had minimal exposure to books, not having had access to crayons and scissors, having had inconsistent discipline -- those kids DO benefit from preschool.  When these kids start K without pre-school, they lag far behind their better-prepared peers; however, when they attend pre-school, they begin slightly ahead.  That all sounds good . . . but the research also shows that this slight advantage only lasts the first couple years. When the kids reach 4th grade (ironically, this is about the point where kids really begin reading to gain content, not simply for the sake of reading improvement), that advantage disappears and they actually fall behind their never-attended pre-school peers. 

This is why Head Start was begun years ago -- to help the kids who hadn't been prepared for school -- but somehow today it's morphed into the idea that ALL kids are starting behind the 8-ball and are in need of this type of remediation.  The reality is that kids who are exposed to all the things we know preschoolers should be doing are ready for school.   For these kids, the preschool money would be better spent on trips to the zoo or the science museum. 

It's also why Sesame Street was created.  Jim Henson was instrumental in its creation, and he modeled it after TV commercials.  The idea was that kids memorized TV commercials, which were short, repetitive, and memorable.  Just like Head Start, kids who are "heavy viewers" of Sesame Street tend to begin with what appears to be an advantage, but it also disappears after the first few years of school.  Sesame Street relies heavily on rote memorization, which is great for simply repeating ABCS, but isn't so good for application; that is, kids know the letter A, but they aren't so strong in sounding it out in a word.  Worst of all, kids who are "heavy viewers" tend to have shorter attention spans, which hurts them later in school.  Occasional viewing seems to have no lasting effect on kids, pro or con. 

The moral:  Nothing trumps consistent, repetitive time spent with parents during the preschool years.  Books, finger paints, walks, craft projects -- the list could go on -- all those things matter in the long run.  Preschool doesn't.  If you need it for day care, great -- it certainly won't hurt a kid -- but if it's a financial stretch, it's not going to benefit a kid from a good home in the long run.
Mrs. Pete, I understand this is not most people but when I say article, I meant a research article.  Granted this was over five years ago but it was for my child psych course.  I could be misremembering or it could have been geared towards the poor but I do think I remember that preschool, in general, is correlated to better academic performance.  If you happen to have those articles that say differently, I'd love to read them, I just have not had the time to check google scholar myself and sort through.