After a maternity leave that felt like it went in the blink of an eye, I’m back to help my fellow Chicago families navigate raising our kids in this amazing city.
It has creeped up on us again and the time is now to schedule your school tours and begin applying for CPS or private school. If you are like us and your child will be 3 by September 1, 2014 you can enroll him/her in pre-school. There are many options with CPS if you decide to go that route. There is the tuition based option (like our neighborhood school) or pre-school for all option like many of the schools surrounding us. If you live in the boundary for your desired school applications are being accepted as of 10/1!! If you are out of the area typically applications are being accepted as of January 6th 2014.
The tuition based program is going to run you $12,220 for the school year (minus meals which must be purchased separately or brought from home). Your child must be completely potty trained to be applicable. This is a full day program open from 7:30-5:30 where the bulk of the learning is from 8:45-1:30. Your child doesn’t have to stay the entire time, but it is nice for working moms and dads. Here is the link for an application: http://www.cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/TuitionBasedApplication2014-15.pdf
The pre-school for all program enrollment begins in January 2014. This is a state funded program, however as of last year they have instituted tuition on a sliding scale based on your household income. For example if you are a family of 4 and make an annual household income of $100,000 your tuition is $427.27/month or $3956.23 for the school year (depending on how many days, I roughly based it off of 9.25 months). It’s quite the discount compared to the tuition based program however it is only a 2 hour and 40 minute program 5 days a week. Here is the link for an application: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Enroll_in_a_school/Choose/Application_process/Pages/Applicationproceduresforpreschool.aspx
Click this link to see what your tuition/fee would be: http://www.cps.edu/Schools/EarlyChildhood/Pages/EarlyChildhoodCalculator.aspx
The third option is to go private. We opted to go this route for this school year because there was an option with the Catholic School programs for kids under 3 years old. I have to say that the ease of enrollment was a breeze and the program is wonderful. They aren’t as cut-throat with their deadlines, especially if you are a parishioner of the Church. Also, there are many Catholic schools throughout the city which give you plenty of options to find a school close to where you live. We are leaning toward this route again next year. For our school the program next year will run about $5700 3 days a week for 3 hours. I also like that it isn’t as intense as a 5 day a week program. This may not be for everyone, but I like the idea of easing my child into the school structure at a slower pace. Check out your local church and school website to see if it is something you want to look into further. Most schools are now accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year.
Of course there are many montessori school options out there as well. I don’t have personal experience with these schools, but the one close to us in North Center has a Monday – Friday 1/2 day (8:30-11:30 @ $8110 and a full day option (8:30-3:15 @ $10,170). This is a comparable option to weigh against the CPS tuition based program. http://www.chicagomontessori.org/tuition/
The Yeager Team: A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move