HOW much to teach my kids how to share? I don't think so!
My daughter just turned three. I work as a substitute teacher and I thought it would be great for her to have some socialization with other kids and attend preschool so I started researching options in Brooklyn.
The most affordable preschool I could find was $1,100 a month for five days a week, 8 AM to 4 PM. Yes, you read correctly: over a grand a month. Let me give you context: For $1,100 in New York City, you can rent a studio apartment in Ditmas Park or a one-bedroom in Clinton Hill.
Something is wrong with this picture.
Let's take it a step further. If you multiply $1,100 by 12 months, you have the annual tuition for a "reasonably priced" preschool: $13,200 per year. Now, please refer to the State University of New York, Albany. Annual tuition to attend SUNY Albany (save for room and meals) is $10,164.
In New York City, it costs more to let a three-year-old socialize with other three-year olds than it does to educate a college student. Mind-blowing.
But it's not only about the cost.
Let's say that I was able to pay $1,100 a month to put my daughter in preschool. Well, too bad, because there's a waitlist to get her in. Certain nursery schools are as coveted as some of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in America.
Currently, my three-year-old is on the wait list for three different preschools because there are no available slots. (Although should a place open up, these schools are more than happy to take $1,100 to $1,400 per month to teach my daughter how to share and build with blocks.)
I primarily work from home and on the days that I substitute-teach, my mother watches my daughter. I'm lucky. Other parents living and working in New York City don't have this option. Most parents work full-time and are forced to place their children in exorbitantly-priced daycare or pre-school.
My little girl won't be going to pre-school next year. Instead, she'll attend universal pre-kindergarten, which is free through New York City.
I'm not wealthy. I believe in the New York City public school system. I have worked in it since 2009 as a substitute teacher and during that time I've seen some remarkably talented people who are educating our children. It's a good education and most importantly? It's free.
This article was originally published at The Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.