How Much Does Kindergarten Cost?

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$ Public Kindergarten: Free to $5,000+ $ $ Private Kindergarten: $3,000-$34,000+

Kindergarten is an introduction to formal school and provided by both public and private schools.

It is a setting for five-year-olds to prepare them for first grade.

The most popular and wide-spread are the half-day programs of approx.

3 hours, however, many schools are now offering full-day programs of approx. 6 hours.

Typical Costs

A free half-day kindergarten program is offered by the public schools for the district residents.

Some public schools provide a full-day program for free, while others require a fee of $1,000-$5,000 from September to May.

Bellingham Public Schools in Washington and Rockford Public Schools in Illinois provide full-day kindergarten programs that cost nothing to district families.

However, Denver Public Schools in Colorado has a free half-day kindergarten and a full-day program that costs $310 a month for Denver residents and $365 a month for non-residents.

The annual tuition at the private school kindergartens ranges between $3,000-$34,000 based on the school reputation, the school hours per day, and the teacher-pupil ratio.

St. Boniface School in Fort Smith, AR full-day kindergarten costs $2,990 for parishioners children and $5,339 for non-parishioners.

What Is Included

  • Some of the typical objectives cover the development of student confidence and self-esteem in a classroom setting; practising cooperation and problem-solving; learning social, emotional and study skills.
  • The elements of a good kindergarten program can be found at
  • In certain states, kindergarten is optional, and in others, it is mandatory.
  • The kindergarten requirements by the state in 2011 are listed in the National Center for Education Statistics charts.
  • Whether a public school charges tuition for full-day kindergarten varies from district to district.
  • offers a detailed map of full-day kindergarten tuition rates in Massachusetts in 2011-2012, where most communities offer free full-day kindergarten.

Additional Costs

The public school lunch is $2.08 on average or $3.42 for a bag lunch, based on information by the School Nutrition Association.

Free or reduced-price 40 cents maximum lunch is offered to the low-income students.

The cost of lunch is sometimes included in the tuition fee by some private schools.

Or an annual charge of $25-$1,000 or more is applied.

For example, the Swain School in Allentown, PA, has a $745 annual kindergarten lunch fee.

Most public schools usually offer free bus service for low-income students.

Other students need to get an annual bus pass for $100-$325 or more.

For example, Jeffco Public School in Colorado charges each child $150-$200 for a bus ride to school, and the half-day kindergarten pass costs $75-$100.

In private schools, parents may be responsible for providing transportation, or it can cost $300-$2,000 or more.

Ravenscroft in Raleigh, NC, for example, charges annual bus fees of $360-$1,750, based on the student’s location.

For working parents, before and after care is offered to working parents for a sum of $100-$500 or more per month at public schools.

This service could be free for low-income students or can cost up to $300-$800 or more per month at private schools.

Some of the private schools apply a one-time-only “new family” capital fee of $1,000-$2,000 or more.

This is a contribution to the ongoing facility maintenance for families enrolling a child in the school for the first time.

The new family fee at Fort Worth Christian School in Texas, for example, is $1,500.


There is a sibling discount provided at many private schools for several students from the same family.

Saint Joseph Academy in Bogota, NJ is charging standard tuition of $7,980 for the one child, $11,760 for two children and $17,320 for three kids.

The parents participating in specified fund-raising and school-support activities pay $4,100 for one child, $6,500 for two and $7,560 for three children.

In some cases, the kindergarten tuition might qualify for an income tax credit.

Shopping For Kindergarten

  • Many schools organize an open house or guided tours before starting kindergarten enrollment.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children lists the top 10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom.
  • helps parents decide between half- and full-day kindergarten.
  • The National Association of Independent Schools, National Catholic Educational Association, American Montessori Society or Association of Waldorf Schools of North America have local public schools members.

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Muhammad Jakir Hossain Muhammad Jakir Hossain

    I am from Bangladesh, I have a 5 years kid, wishing to admit him in a kindergarten school in USA. Searching a public school with reasonable budget. Currently he is studying in Play Group.

    Wishing to admit him from next September 2023 session.

    Please give me some suggestion.

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