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How much does preschool cost?

Preschool tuition, funding, and financial aid

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Quick summary:

  • Preschools tend to be on the lower side of private school tuition. Most charge between $450 and $1300 a month or $5400 and $16, 200 a year.

  • There are several sources of funding and aid for private schools and preschools. The main ones are school subsidies (needs-based financial aid), support from community organizations, and sibling discounts. Applying for needs-based financial aid will not affect your child’s chances of admission into a school.
  • When inquiring into preschool costs, you should ask about tuition rates, and what they include. You can also ask if a flexible payment plan is an option to meet your budget constraints.

  • Some preschools also offer tax relief, where you can deduct expenses incurred from the childcare part of the day. For more specific information, you should speak to an accountant or check out our guide on tax breaks.


Preschool is an affordable and appealing option for many families. Indeed, parents are surprised to learn the cost of preschool is similar to that of many other childcare options. For instance, it’s comparable to daycare centres and nursery schools.

In fact, preschool can be cheaper than other childcare options. For instance, it often costs less than finding one-on-one care for your child through a third party (such as a nanny). And it can be far cheaper to send your child to preschool than to care for your child yourself, especially if this means leaving a full-time paying job.

Click here to view a list of preschools

Tuition

Tuition for preschools can be quite affordable. Preschools tend to be on the lower side of private school tuition. In fact, some preschools charge as little as $450 a month (although these are in the minority). In general, the price range for preschool is between $450 and $1300 a month, or $5400 and $16200 a year. Of course, the cost of preschool (or daycare or nursery school) depends on many factors, including location, size, approach, and programs offered.

Some alternative preschools are well-known to have reasonable tuition rates. For instance, according to the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA), the average Montessori school costs between $750 and $1000 a month. Waldorf and Reggio Emilia preschools also tend to have monthly and annual tuition that’s on the cheaper side.

Many religious-affiliated preschools are also more than affordable. For instance, many Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic schools have preschool programs with low tuition rates. Often the monthly cost is between $450 and $1100.


When considering schools you should inquire about their tuition rates and payment schedules. Many schools have flexible payment plans. They may allow you to stagger or adjust your monthly payments to enable you to cover your costs in a way that aligns with your budget and cash flow constraints. You should also ask schools what exactly is included in tuition.

Preschool questions (read our in-depth answers)

Find a preschool near you by cost

School Location Tuition
ABC MontessoriMississauga, Ontario$9,200 - $9,800
Aberdeen Hall Preparatory SchoolKelowna, British Columbia$4,500 - $14,800
Académie de la CapitaleOttawa, Ontario$15,860 - $17,240
Académie St-Laurent AcademyOttawa, Ontario$13,000 - $17,000
Alexander von Humboldt German International SchoolBaie d'Urfé, Montreal, Quebec$4,250 - $9,850
Alive Montessori & Private SchoolToronto, Ontario$13,500 - $14,500
ArtsCalibre AcademyVictoria, British Columbia$4,750 - $5,850
Avalon Children's Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$13,100 - $20,400
École Montessori International de MontréalMontreal, Quebec$8,400
BannockburnToronto, Ontario$24,150
Bayview Glen - Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World.Toronto, Ontario$16,995 - $24,000
Beyond Montessori SchoolSt. Catharines, Ontario$8,500
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolOttawa, Ontario$11,975 - $15,855
Blooming Lives Montessori Markham, Ontario$12,390 - $17,928
Bond AcademyToronto, Ontario$12,500 - $15,500
Braemar House SchoolBrantford, Ontario$12,167
Bright Start AcademyNorth York, Ontario$25,000
British Columbia Christian AcademyPort Coquitlam, British Columbia$3,800 - $14,750
Calgary French & International SchoolCalgary, Alberta$10,810 - $12,720
CEFA Kelowna - McKayKelowna, British Columbia$13,000 - $15,000
CEFA Langley - WillowbrookLangley, British Columbia$13,920 - $15,600
CEFA Richmond Richmond, British Columbia$16,440 - $18,420
Century Private SchoolRichmond Hill, Ontario$12,950 - $26,800
CGS (Children's Garden School)Toronto, Ontario$14,600 - $20,750
Children's Garden Nursery SchoolToronto, Ontario$4,800 - $16,000
Clanmore Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$7,750 - $16,500
Dearcroft Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$17,000 - $20,500
Dundas Valley Montessori School / Strata Montessori Adolescent School Ancaster, Ontario$11,300
Ellington Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$7,900 - $14,000
Elmwood SchoolOttawa, Ontario$12,956 - $22,980
Emerson AcademyWhitby, Ontario$12,500
Enquiring Minds Montessori CasaScarborough, Ontario$11,750
Forest Hill Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$16,514 - $19,124
French 4 TotsPickering, Ontario$5,200 - $11,950
Giles SchoolToronto, Ontario$19,800 - $20,300
Glenburnie SchoolOakville, Ontario$17,200 - $17,800
Halton Waldorf SchoolBurlington, Ontario$13,650 - $14,050
Hawthorn SchoolToronto, Ontario$10,000 - $18,000
High Park Gardens Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$16,300 - $17,300
High Park Oxford Learning AcademyToronto, Ontario$15,000
Hitherfield SchoolMilton-Campbellville, Ontario$11,250 - $14,250
J. Addison SchoolMarkham, Ontario$14,340 - $22,550
Kelowna Christian SchoolKelowna, British Columbia$4,600 - $6,500
Kendellhurst AcademyMississauga, Ontario$11,500 - $15,540
King Heights AcademyWoodbridge, Ontario$12,598 - $12,998
Kingsway College SchoolEtobicoke, Ontario$18,900 - $25,500
Kohai Educational CentreToronto, Ontario$33,338
La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and ScienceToronto, Ontario$16,750 - $20,750
Little Owl Preschool ElementaryToronto, Ontario$15,850
Lycée Français de TorontoToronto, Ontario$14,683 - $16,935
Lycée Louis PasteurCalgary, Alberta$12,200 - $14,300
Lynn-Rose Heights Private SchoolMississauga, Ontario$13,770
MacLachlan CollegeOakville, Ontario$9,100 - $27,500
Magnificent MindsNorth York, Ontario$16,000 - $21,400
Maples AcademyAmaranth, Ontario$8,700 - $10,400
Meadow Green AcademyMississauga, Ontario$14,990
Momentum MontessoriToronto, Ontario$20,400
Monkey See Monkey Do MontessoriVancouver, British Columbia$4,500 - $7,500
Montessori AlbertaCalgary, Alberta$6,250
Montessori Country School - Milton CampusMilton, Ontario$13,230
Montessori Country School - Nobleton CampusNobleton, Ontario$16,550 - $17,465
Montessori Jewish Day SchoolToronto, Ontario$14,000 - $17,900
Mulgrave SchoolWest Vancouver, British Columbia$17,195 - $21,370
North Broward Preparatory SchoolCoconut Creek, Florida$24,200 - $28,400
Northstar Montessori Private SchoolMississauga, Ontario$11,700 - $13,300
Oakville Christian School (OCS)Oakville, Ontario$12,160
Olivet SchoolEtobicoke, Ontario$10,150
OMS MontessoriOttawa, Ontario$13,776 - $20,388
Peel Montessori Private SchoolMississauga, Ontario$14,500 - $15,000
Peoples Christian Academy (PCA)Markham, Ontario$10,140
Prairie Christian AcademyThree Hills, Alberta$325 - $900
Prestige School - Richmond Hill CampusRichmond Hill, Ontario$9,850 - $15,000
Queen Margaret's SchoolDuncan, British Columbia$5,325 - $14,525
Richland AcademyRichmond Hill, Ontario$16,500 - $17,800
River Valley SchoolCalgary, Alberta$13,100
Roots and Wings Montessori SchoolLangley, British Columbia$7,245 - $12,000
Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS)Brampton, Ontario$4,300 - $11,700
Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic SchoolMississauga, Ontario$11,000
Shining Light Montessori SchoolMaple, Ontario$9,900 - $10,950
St. Clement's Early Learning SchoolToronto, Ontario$10,300 - $20,500
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn SchoolOakville, Ontario$15,000 - $26,300
Sunrise Montessori SchoolMarkham, Ontario$11,500 - $19,800
Taddle Creek Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$16,300 - $17,300
Tall Pines SchoolBrampton, Ontario$14,530 - $19,748
TFS - Canada's International SchoolToronto, Ontario$17,600 - $31,100
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus)Mississauga, Ontario$21,420 - $26,150
The Mildenhall SchoolEtobicoke, Ontario$16,300 - $19,500
TMSRichmond Hill, Ontario$20,250 - $25,440
Toronto French MontessoriToronto, Ontario$12,150 - $15,396
Toronto Waldorf SchoolThornhill, Ontario$17,900 - $20,900
Trillium SchoolMarkham, Ontario$9,400 - $19,500
Trinity Montessori SchoolMarkham, Ontario$10,000 - $11,000
Unionville Montessori Private SchoolsUnionville, Ontario$11,750 - $13,550
V.I.K. Academy LtdCalgary, Alberta$5,000 - $10,000
Vancouver Waldorf SchoolNorth Vancouver, British Columbia$5,940 - $14,760
Wesley Christian AcademyMarkham, Ontario$9,880 - $12,200
Westside Montessori AcademyVancouver, British Columbia$9,125 - $10,750
Wishing Well SchoolsMarkham, Ontario$12,370 - $12,620
Woodbridge Montessori SchoolWoodbridge, Ontario$8,500 - $9,000
Yip’s Music & Montessori SchoolUnionville, Ontario$10,850 - $11,200
York Montessori SchoolRichmond Hill, Ontario$11,800 - $12,500

Funding and aid

In Canada, there are different ways to pay for private school. And there are many types funding and aid available. This includes schools with preschool and daycare programs for infants, toddlers, and children between three and six. The main sources of funding and aid for preschool are:

Financial aid from schools

As far as financial aid from schools goes, few preschools offer scholarships or merit-based funding. Many, though, offer needs-based financial aid for families who have difficulty covering costs.

If you can demonstrate need, some schools will help finance your child’s education. They might offer you a subsidy or a bursary to help defray the costs of tuition. This can make all the difference in the world for some families.

Needs-based financial aid, for preschools or other private schools, is not tied to any merit-based criteria. Moreover, applying for needs-based aid won’t affect your child’s chances of admission. Usually, a school will first decide who they want to admit, and only then turn to the question of aid. Also, most schools will have a third party assess your financial aid application.

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible for aid, you should ask. Schools tend to offer aid to more families than many people think.

Support from community or charitable organizations

There are lots of community, charitable, and non-profit organizations. These outfits can help finance your child’s education by covering part of your child’s tuition.

For instance, the Prosser Charitable Foundation’s Parent Choice Bursary pays for 50 percent of school tuition, up to $3500 annually for each child from a low-income household. Moreover, groups, such as the Rotary Club, can also help cover private school expenses.

There are also some faith-based organizations that can help you cover the cost of preschool for your child. For instance, the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) provides financial assistance to help with the costs of attending a Christian or Catholic school. And the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) provides financial assistance to families with children in a Jewish day school.

Sibling discounts

Some preschools, like other types of private school, offer sibling discounts. The idea is that if you send more than one child to a school, you’ll may get some kind of reduction in tuition.

Some schools with this policy offer escalating discounts based on the number of children you have in a school. For instance, if you have 2 kids in a school, you receive a 10% discount in tuition. If you send 3 kids, you get a 20% discount (and so on). In some schools, though, multiple-child discounts start only when a third child enrolls.

Sibling discounts (sometimes called “sibling bursaries”) are offered by many schools and preschools. You should contact schools directly to learn whether they offer this type of financial relief.

Tax relief

Another way to reduce the expense of school is through a tax deduction. Many private preschools and daycares offer a tax deduction or credit. These schools allow you to deduct expenses incurred for the childcare part of the day.

In some cases, preschool tuition also counts as a tax deduction or credit. For instance, in religious-affiliated schools, parents may be able to claim a tax credit for tuition, as a charitable contribution. This applies to all schools that are registered as charities.

To get more specific information about tax relief, you should speak with an accountant. You can also read our guide to tax breaks.

Answers to the question “How much does preschool cost?” from school officials

“Our school’s annual tuition for preschool to SK is $9800-10,750, which includes our full-day program. There is also a $250 one-time registration fee that is applied to all new students joining our school. Additional costs include school uniforms, textbooks, school supplies, transportation (if needed), participation in school trips, and some extracurricular activities. Included in the cost of tuition is daily breakfast and hot lunch for our preschool to SK students, as well as before and after school programs. We also offer tax breaks and sibling discounts to provide some compensation for fees.” Debbie Keough, teacher at Prestige School, a gifted school, in Richmond Hill, Ontario

“Our tuition is $12,960, which is just slightly above the average in Ottawa ($12000). Our preschool tuition is slightly more than daycare and nursery school, but less than one-on-one caregivers. Some preschools offer subsidies and sibling discounts, but we do not. However, 100% of our Early Years fees can be used toward the maximum childcare cost deduction, as allowed by CRA (Canada Revenue Agency).” Elise Aylen, teacher at Elmwood School (the early years program), in Ottawa, Ontario

“Our fees are comparable to other private and public schools. Our yearly fee is $12,950, with a one-time registration fee of $500. All snacks and lunches are included in our fees. At the present time we do not offer subsidies, but we are looking into it. We do give tax receipts, and we offer sibling discounts.” Marcel Pereira, director of Century Private School, a Montessori school in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Click here to view a list of preschools

 


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