Co-op, childcare programs offering reliable, affordable pre-k - New York News

Co-op, childcare programs offering reliable, affordable pre-k

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Finding a good option for daycare without paying a fortune is always a concern for young parents. In the suburbs, some moms and dads are saving hundreds of dollars on preschool by doing it themselves.

At some centers the cost is half compared to other pre-school programs and in some instances, pre-kindergarten can be free. The options are endless and could be cost effective for parents willing to do the research.

For $300 a month, Mundelein Cooperative Pre-school provides Monday through Friday pre-kindergarten and childcare services. It's able to keep cost down by increasing parental involvement.

Ryan Deheer's two little ones attend the school that is owned and operated by parents who fundraise, clean, maintain the campus and volunteer in-classroom help.

It's been that way since 1948.

"It's part of what attracted us to it because it wasn't part of some established school system," says Deheer. "It takes some of the burden off the teachers. The schools now are getting so crowded, just out for the necessity of budgets that large class sizes are a reality."

Executive director and teacher Laura Davenport says the business model here could be a blueprint for others.

"We can keep tuition low because we don't have to pay for the outside expenses that can occur with owning a building," Davenport explains.

For $500 a month, Mount Prospect Childcare Center, also offers a Monday through Friday pre-kindergarten program.

They too thrive on daily parental support.

"It helps the teachers, it helps the administration and it helps the kids," Mount Prospect Childcare Center's Executive Director Michael Davey says.

The average cost for a pre-k program can start at nearly $1,000 a month.

Both programs are saving parents hundreds of dollars and say they're licensed by the department of Children and Families.

There are also some free preschool programs offered through Chicago Public Schools. CPS offers an interactive map to find these free programs, as well as others starting at just $15 a month, depending on your income. There are more than 700 plans to chose from. All you have to do is put in your address to find the one that fits your needs.

LINKS:

The Mundelein Co-op Pre-school has enrollment slots to fill. For information on their open house, check out their website.

You can find information on free and low-cost preschool programs offered through CPS by clicking here.

Visit Mount Prosepct Childcare Center's site for more on their pre-k program.

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