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.

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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$5,140 - $10,850
Académie St-Laurent AcademyOttawa, Ontario$13,000 - $17,000
Academie ProvidenceOttawa, Ontario$10,670 - $12,320
Agate Private SchoolSt. Catharines, Ontario$350
Albert CollegeBelleville, Ontario$21,400 - $40,300
Alexander von Humboldt German International SchoolBaie-D'Urfé, Montreal, Quebec$9,950 - $12,350
Alive Montessori & Private SchoolToronto, Ontario$10,000 - $16,500
Ashwood GlenBurlington, Ontario$9,900 - $18,900
Aurora Montessori SchoolAurora, Ontario$19,400 - $22,150
Avalon Children's Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$7,200 - $22,275
École MontessoriPickering, Ontario$8,400 - $17,000
Balmoral Hall SchoolWinnipeg, Manitoba$15,450 - $19,210
BannockburnToronto, Ontario$17,975 - $27,300
Bayview GlenToronto, Ontario$20,950 - $31,050
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolOttawa, Ontario$6,183 - $18,375
Bond AcademyToronto, Ontario$13,500 - $16,800
Braemar House SchoolBrantford, Ontario$14,810
Calgary French & International SchoolCalgary, Alberta$9,200 - $18,570
Central Montessori SchoolsToronto, Ontario$12,500 - $20,000
Century Private SchoolRichmond Hill, Ontario$16,550 - $27,000
CGS (Children's Garden School)Toronto, Ontario$12,500 - $26,400
Children's Garden Nursery SchoolToronto, Ontario$8,500 - $24,000
Clanmore Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$8,250 - $17,500
College BourgetRigaud, Quebec$5,075 - $14,735
Community Life Christian SchoolToronto, Ontario$8,000 - $14,000
Cornerstone Montessori Prep SchoolToronto, Ontario$15,800 - $18,960
Curlew Montessori SchoolNorth York / Scarborough, Ontario$8,500 - $13,500
Dearcroft Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$8,500 - $20,500
Delano Academy & Delano HighMaple, Ontario$22,600 - $23,600
Durham Elementary, Durham Academy and G.B.M.S.Oshawa, Ontario$1,020 - $11,500
Elmwood SchoolOttawa, Ontario$15,540 - $29,700
Enquiring Minds MontessoriScarborough, Ontario$11,158 - $17,500
Fern Hill School - BurlingtonBurlington, Ontario$11,742 - $24,550
Fern Hill School - OakvilleOakville, Ontario$11,177 - $24,550
Fern Hill School - OttawaOttawa, Ontario$8,750 - $15,200
Fredericton Montessori AcademyFredericton, New Brunswick$9,500 - $14,500
Free Spirit Montessori DowntownToronto, Ontario$11,600 - $15,700
German International School TorontoToronto, Ontario$12,300 - $22,300
Halton Waldorf SchoolBurlington, Ontario$17,600
Hatch House Montessori SchoolWhitby, Ontario$12,250 - $15,750
Hawthorn SchoolToronto, Ontario$14,100 - $25,250
Head Start Montessori SchoolNorth York, Ontario$14,500 - $18,500
Hillfield Strathallan CollegeHamilton, Ontario$19,349 - $32,052
Hitherfield SchoolMilton-Campbellville, Ontario$13,600 - $16,100
Humberside Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$12,500 - $19,900
Junior AcademyToronto, Ontario$10,000 - $32,000
Kaban Montessori SchoolMississauga, Ontario$1,720 - $1,770
Kanata MontessoriKanata, Ontario$16,750 - $18,500
Kendellhurst AcademyMississauga, Ontario$15,250 - $18,540
Kingsley Primary SchoolEtobicoke, Ontario$7,000 - $12,000
La Citadelle International Academy of Arts & ScienceToronto, Ontario$20,700 - $26,150
La Villa Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$8,100 - $15,608
Leonardo Da Vinci Academy of Arts & SciencesToronto, Ontario$10,500 - $18,300
Lycée ClaudelOttawa, Ontario$12,376 - $14,527
Lycée Français de TorontoToronto, Ontario$21,300 - $24,000
Lycée international de CalgaryCalgary, Alberta$16,150 - $18,310
Meadow Green AcademyMississauga, Ontario$15,990
Montessori Learning Centre of PickeringPickering, Ontario$12 - $14,000
Mulgrave SchoolWest Vancouver, British Columbia$26,850 - $30,290
North Star Montessori Elementary SchoolNorth Vancouver, British Columbia$8,550 - $16,785
Northstar Montessori Private SchoolMississauga, Ontario$10,500 - $16,350
OMS MontessoriOttawa, Ontario$12,864 - $21,384
Peel Montessori SchoolMississauga, Ontario$7,500 - $15,000
Peoples Christian Academy (PCA)Markham, Ontario$13,060 - $16,200
Progressive AcademyEdmonton, Alberta$8,700 - $19,500
Queen Margaret's SchoolDuncan, British Columbia$17,500 - $25,680
Richmond Hill Montessori Private SchoolRichmond Hill, Ontario$25,000 - $26,800
River Valley SchoolCalgary, Alberta$8,470 - $15,040
Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS)Brampton, Ontario$15,860 - $16,380
Rutherford Private SchoolToronto, Ontario$2,000 - $18,900
Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic SchoolMississauga, Ontario$7,070 - $11,960
Sidney Ledson InstituteToronto, Ontario$12,797 - $13,848
St. Clement's Early Learning SchoolToronto, Ontario$8,500 - $20,500
Star AcademyMississauga, Ontario$16,500 - $19,500
Sudbury Christian AcademySudbury, Ontario$55 - $7,950
Sunflower Early Learning SocietyNorth Vancouver, British Columbia$2,400 - $5,500
Sunrise Montessori SchoolMarkham, Ontario$11,500 - $19,800
TFS - Canada's International SchoolToronto, Ontario$23,070 - $39,020
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus)Mississauga, Ontario$12,130 - $30,180
The Children's House Montessori SchoolPort Perry, Ontario$9,500 - $11,500
The Clover SchoolToronto, Ontario$25,160
The Giles SchoolToronto, Ontario$21,530 - $26,155
The Maples AcademyAmaranth, Ontario$460 - $10,400
TMSRichmond Hill, Ontario$19,100 - $32,700
Toronto Waldorf SchoolThornhill, Ontario$12,470 - $23,400
Town Centre Private SchoolsMarkham, Ontario$7,400 - $17,250
Trafalgar Ridge Montessori SchoolOakville, Ontario$13,195 - $14,195
Trillium SchoolMarkham, Ontario$11,500 - $16,500
Trinity Montessori SchoolMarkham, Ontario$11,000 - $13,000
Unionville CollegeUnionville, Ontario$10,650 - $19,400
Vincent Massey AcademyEtobicoke, Ontario$13,500 - $23,200
Walden International SchoolOakville, Ontario$9,850 - $19,680
Waldorf AcademyToronto, Ontario$4,160 - $19,150
Wesley Christian AcademyMarkham, Ontario$11,300 - $13,760
Westmont Montessori SchoolVictoria, British Columbia$9,565 - $32,000
Westside Montessori SchoolToronto, Ontario$18,700 - $20,700
Wise Owl Private SchoolNorth York, Ontario$18,000 - $24,000
Wishing Well SchoolsMarkham, Ontario$17,500 - $17,700
Yip’s Music & Montessori SchoolUnionville, Ontario$9,480 - $15,840

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.

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