Philosophy and Considerations
Tuition at Allen Creek Preschool, while competitive with the other quality preschools in the Ann Arbor area, does not cover the actual costs of a child attending our school. Generally, our full tuition covers 50 to 65% of our actual costs. There are specific reasons why our tuition doesn’t cover our costs:
First, we have very low student-teacher ratios. Our highest ratio is 1:6, which is actually better than that when we factor in our creative arts teacher and participation in our programs by our administrative staff.
Second, we pay all of our teachers for 3 hours of meeting time each week during which we are learning and integrating our educational and psychological knowledge to provide the most caring, nurturing, creative, and educational environment that we can. We place high value on continuous learning and staff development, and it is costly.
Third, because our school is small, our overhead is fairly high. Our tuition levels are set to do the best we can at covering costs while staying competitive with other preschools in the area. With our current endowment and building fund campaign, we are working toward being able to expand our building, which will allow us to teach more classes at a time, and thus bring down our overhead.
While full tuition doesn’t cover the costs of our programs, we are making significant progress toward closing that gap in a number of ways. These include establishing an endowment income, grant funding, and donations. We have been operating at a significant deficit yearly and are positioning ourselves to eliminate this deficit in the next one to two years.
Some families are not able to pay full tuition. We want to help these families pay for children to attend our program. To do this, we have $25,000 budgeted for scholarships, which we distribute among our families applying for scholarships. We have a formula we use to determine need, to be as fair as we can in distributing our funds. We consider needs of returning families first until February 15th prior to the relevant school year, and then review new applications on a rolling basis.
We are very much committed to providing scholarships — we want to be able to provide a top notch preschool education for children whose families simply don't have the means nor are likely to have the means to pay for it themselves. We consider the choice of a preschool program to be extremely important in a child's development— this is the time during which the foundation is laid for all future years, and we want to make it accessible to as many as possible. We encourage families whose income will be growing or who have financial resources beyond their nuclear families to consider sources beyond our Allen Creek scholarship program to help cover the costs of preschool, as this helps us to make our scholarship funds available to the families who are most in need. We all need to work together—families and staff—to maximize the spread of our limited resources to provide the greatest reach of a wonderful preschool education for our children.