cost of montessori school

The Cost of Montessori School: A Closer Look

Early childhood education can have a huge impact on your child’s life. The first three to five years of education can change how your child does in school, how they handle complicated emotions, and how they solve problems. Many parents have found that Montessori schools give their children the best shot in life.

While Montessori programs are stellar, they can be somewhat expensive. Read on to learn more about the cost of Montessori school and how you can make it work for your finances.

What Is a Montessori School?

Before we get into the costs of a Montessori school, let’s talk some about what they are. Montessori schools use a teaching method developed by in the early 1900s by Maria Montessori. These programs use a student-led approach to learning where teachers are guides to help students explore and learn at their own pace.

In a Montessori classroom, students can choose what they want to learn about each day. They’ll work their way through different stations, each of which is dedicated to a different subject. This allows them to pursue their natural curiosity and spend as much or as little time on a subject as they need to.

These classrooms often include children of a variety of ages and grade levels, as well as flexible work spaces.

Benefits of a Montessori School

Montessori programs can help students to develop a sense of confidence and independence in their learning. Because the classroom is self-directed, students learn to be in charge of their own education and curiosity. They become empowered to find answers, solve problems creatively, and pursue knowledge on their own.

Being in a Montessori classroom can also help students to develop stronger social skills.

Many Montessori classrooms include students of a variety of ages. This means that children get to interact with peers who are both older and younger than them. This can give them more social intelligence and teach them to both learn from and act as role models.

Average Montessori School Costs

Before we get into the specifics of Montessori school costs, it’s important to note that these costs will vary depending on your specific school. Each school manages its tuition differently, and the area you live in will have a big impact on your costs. However, there are some general price ranges you can expect for Montessori school tuition. 

In general, Montessori preschools cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per year. Elementary school prices are about the same, although those costs could be as much as $35,000 a year, depending on your location. Your costs may also vary depending on if your child is enrolled in a full-day Montessori daycare program or a half-day program.

High-Quality Teaching Materials

So what goes into a Montessori education that makes it so expensive? One of the biggest contributing factors is the fact that your child will be getting higher-quality teaching materials. Montessori schools are designed to provide your child with the ideal environment to support an early love of learning. 

In preschool classrooms, toys and classroom tools are made of better, safer materials that will stand up to use and wear. Often, toys may be made of wood painted with non-toxic paint, rather than cheap plastic. This wood gets sanded to make sure it’s safe for even the youngest kids.

Classroom furniture is also made of wood and may include a variety of creative work spaces to keep your child engaged.

Better School Facilities 

In addition to providing better classroom materials, Montessori schools often provide better facilities for their students. Many public schools are cinderblock and linoleum buildings that can feel more like prisons than places of learning. These schools may also not be able to offer much in the way of extracurriculars, depending on their budget.

Montessori school facilities are more beautiful and are designed to foster a love of school and learning. The classrooms are engaging, interactive spaces, and the location and grounds may be nicer.

Montessori schools also offer after-school programs. They may even offer other extracurricular programs to enrich your child’s education.

Improved Teacher Training

It may come as no surprise that, given the unique nature of Montessori education, teachers at these schools get better training. Many of today’s public school teachers are taught only to work with pre-set one-size-fits-all curricula. Many of these are left over from the No Child Left Behind era of education.

Montessori teachers use a more customized teaching method that engages each child in the way that works best for them.

In order to teach in a Montessori school, teachers must earn the American Montessori Society certification. This takes an additional one to two years of training, as well as a year-long practicum training following certification.

Because of these additional certifications, Montessori teachers earn higher pay. This is one of the major factors in your tuition costs.

Specialized Accreditation

It’s not only teachers that have to go through extra certification to meet Montessori school standards. The schools themselves may get a special accreditation if they want to be approved as an official Montessori school. As with teachers, these certifications come through the American Montessori Society.

Accredited Montessori schools have gone through a rigorous application and review process. They have to prove that they are committed to ongoing improvement. Currently, only 15 percent of schools that hold membership with the AMS are accredited. If your school has gone through this process, the added quality may be reflected in your tuition.

Tax Credits 

Although Montessori schools can be expensive, there are some ways you can help to offset the cost. For one thing, the federal government offers a Child and Dependent Care tax credit that you can claim when you file your taxes. This helps to reduce some of the tax burden you pay every year, which can offset some of your tuition costs.

In addition to the Child and Dependent Care tax credit, you may also be able to file for the Child Tax Credit. This credit is designed to further offset the costs associated with raising a child.

Depending on the state you live in, you might also be able to file for some state tax credits associated with raising children. Talk to your accountant or your school’s finance officer for advice on how to manage these tax credits.

Employer Benefits

You may be surprised to learn that your employer might offer some benefits that can help to offset your Montessori schooling costs. Some employers allow you to open Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). These accounts are designed to help you set aside money to provide the best school possible for your child. 

Dependent Care FSAs allow you to put aside pre-tax dollars that you can put towards expenses associated with raising your child. Best of all, since this money comes out before your taxes are drawn, it doesn’t count as part of your income and isn’t subject to taxes. Talk to your employer about if you can open one of these accounts to help cover your Montessori school costs.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Of course, there are also methods that can help to reduce the cost of your Montessori tuition, in addition to offsetting those costs. Many schools offer scholarships for children who are exceptional or who are from low-income homes. Talk to your school’s financial officer to see what scholarship programs, if any, they offer.

Many schools also offer other forms of financial aid. This may include discounts for families who have more than one child enrolled. You may also be able to qualify for reduced tuition if you meet certain income criteria.

However, these programs vary from school to school, so it’s important to check on the programs available at your school.

Learn More About the Cost of Montessori School

Montessori schools are a fantastic way to give your child the best possible start to life and learning. These schools are expensive, but the costs reflect the higher level of certification and quality they can offer. There are also several ways you can help to offset and reduce those costs, depending on your situation.

If you’d like to learn more about the cost of Montessori school, check out the rest of our site at Montessori Downtown. We offer intellectual, physical, social, and emotional education for self-inspired learners. Schedule a tour with us today and start cultivating your child’s natural curiosity.

AUTHOR: Montessori School of Downtown

It all began over 30 years ago with two newlyweds who were passionate about education. Together, Ms. Rita, a renowned professional educator, and Mr. Hersh, a natural teacher and entrepreneur, created a child care education program that focused on the concept of self-inspired learning.View all posts by Montessori School of Downtown |