How Much Is Too Much to Pay For Your Child's Education?

My daughter turns 4 next year, which is when preschool officially begins here in N.Y.C. As is common here in the city, I've already started applying for preschool programs for her to attend in 2012. Not only are lots of the applications due almost a full year before the school year begins, but there are interviews, too. Yup, my 3-year-old has to be interviewed for preschool.

Believe it or not, none of this has phased me so far. I want a school to accept my daughter for who she is so as bizarre as it sounds, I actually don't mind the interview. What is hanging me up, however, is the tuition. We all know childcare is wildly expensive, but these preschools are even crazier. I'm talking $35,000 per school year. And that's only for a 4-year-old. The older the kid gets, the more expensive the tuition becomes. And $35K is actually the cheapest school I'm looking at. The others go all the way up to $40,000.

Some schools do offer financial aid, but not until kindergarten. That means I'd be responsible for the full amount for my daughter's first year. I'm a single mom, so if my daughter gets in we're going to have to make some serious sacrifices. Like major sacrifices--I might have to move in with a relative for a year because I probably won't be able to pay rent and tuition. But as odd as it sounds, I'm willing to give up a lot of the luxuries we have now so that she can attend a great school. Am I crazy? I guess it's just one more thing you can add it to this list.

A few of my family members think so. My dad, for instance, thinks it's just unreasonable to spend that kind of money on school for a 4-year-old. "What are they teaching her for $35,000?" he asks. My mom says I should start considering Catholic school instead.

But I have my heart set on my daughter going to private Pre-K next year. And yes, even if that means I'll be spending $35,000 for it. I'm sorry, but public school--especially public school here in New York City--just isn't good enough.

What's your take? Would you ever spend $30,000 on private school tuition for your child? Share your thoughts in the comments. And what do you think of this?

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