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How to Save Money During the Toddler and Preschool Years

By Money Ning on 10/04/2010 – 5:06 am PDT2 Comments

The recent post about how to have a baby on a budget gave me a small chuckle. Don’t get me wrong, new babies are expensive and it’s great to give new parents advice on how to keep costs manageable, but as a mom of five, I’m afraid I have to tell you the expense only goes up as they get older. The good news is that you can give your child a rich, happy childhood without breaking the bank. All it takes is some creativity and legwork on your part.

Kindergarten is a lot different these days than it was when I was five thirty years ago. In most school systems today, children are more or less expected to arrive already knowing the alphabet and how to write all of their letters.  Parents can and should be teaching these skills at home, but it sometimes helps to have a little outside assistance.

If your child is in daycare, chances are good that these skills are part of the everyday curriculum. If you are a stay at home parent and want to send your child to a preschool or nursery school to get experience socializing with other children and early education opportunities, there are affordable options.

Preschool prices vary widely and some can offer financial aid. Call around and visit many schools and don’t be shy to ask about prices and the availability of tuition assistance. You don’t have to send your child to the most prestigious or expensive preschool to get them a good start on their educational careers. The preschool my children attend is well known for being the best bargain in town and many of the children go on from there to some of the best elementary schools in our system.

Another option is a good Mother’s Day Out program. These don’t always offer formal instruction but it is a relatively inexpensive way to get your child used to the classroom environment and dealing with a larger group of children.

Visit the websites of your local zoo, museums, botanic gardens and other cultural institutions. Many offer free or low cost enrichment classes for young children. Your local library is also a good resource for finding materials to help you teach your child at home and most offer story times that also include songs, crafts and games

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Tags: best elementary schools, , educational careers, , , new babies

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  • Rebecca Nolan says:

    I like these tips. I think it is not easy to save money these days, but I also would like to save some. My child is 5 years old and joined the kindergarten one year ago. As I had to buy the basic load I tried to barter it on! Now I barter everything. It is easy to create an account! I think it it is a very good method to save money.

  • Nora says:

    Saving during these times is important, since toys and clothes get destroyed and outgrown quickly! Luckily, online savings and group-buying sites can be a great way to save on the things you need for your toddler or preschooler.

    A great site to use to find deals is They’ll email you daily with the best buys on a variety of products in your area, ensuring you don’t miss out on a huge discount on something you might really be needing!

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