I've just made a huge investment: Preschool for my 2-year old daughter. Starting September, she'll go to school for the first time for two days a week for almost 3 hours each session. The school is located in Aberdeen, N.J. so I didn't have to deal with the crazy admisssions process faced by parents living in Manhattan. In fact, all we did was take a 45-minute tour by the owner -- his sales pitch was strong without being obnoxious or condescending. Fortunately, a friend has two of his daughters enrolled in the school, and it's highly recommended by a few other parents as well.
But the cost is still making me whoozy. For two half-day sessions per week, it's $375 a month. Granted, the school is accredited (the teachers are certified by the state) with an impressive curriculum. It has everything you'd want, including computers in every room, a nurse on staff, security, a fenced-in locked playground, and a low student-to-teacher ratio under 10:1. Plus, she'll interact more with other kids. I know in the end, the rewards for her will be great, so I just have to get over the sticker shock and dread of writing that check each month. And I'm going to have to be stingy with other expenses, like going out to eat every weekend, which is one of my weaknesses!