Is your preschool implementing a COVID surcharge?

Hi all,

our preschool is looking to add a substantial surcharge to regular tuition (20-30%) and has stated that this is what preschools do these days. Has your preschool been adding a surcharge or planning to do so? If so, how much? 

Thank you!

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Nope. We recently decided to switch from our larger preschool to a smaller one, so there's less chance of spread of germs. And neither of them had upped their prices at all in this time. In fact, the larger preschool had a "pay what you can" policy during the shelter-in-place shutdown, just to help pay the teacher's salaries. Adding a surcharge in this situation seems a bit out of touch to me. I haven't heard of other places adding charges. We're all struggling to get by!

My son is at Little Beans preschool and they have not implemented any surcharge or change in tuition. I don't know what they're doing for tuition for new students, but their policy has always been that tuition rates for existing students are frozen from when the child starts at the school until they age out.

Our preschool has not added a surcharge but they were lucky in that the space they have been using can be configured to split the kids in to separated groups up in mostly outdoor areas. I'm sure some schools are limited by their available space and the challenge of keeping adults spaced apart. To achieve the teacher spacing we have had a reduction in our daily hours by 1 hour. I also believe most of the parents were paying full tuition (by choice) during the first few Covid months. I can easily imagine scenarios where a school might need to increase tuition by 20% to cover extra supplies, spacing, and a reduction in children as some parents opt to keep them home. I do think you'd be well within reason to ask for an explanation of the increase. If you don't like the explanation, you'll probably find that there are openings elsewhere right now.

I haven't heard of anything yet but will keep a look out for it...  I wouldn't be surprised.  In addition to cleaning supplies, etc. enrollment is way down at my preschool.  In addition, the max capacity is significantly lower due to the pods/CDC guidelines.  I think the owner was able to get a PPP Loan that will probably help until August.  My assumption is the owner was hoping to have enrollment increase in August/Sept so I wouldn't be surprised to see an additional charge come Sept/Oct...

No, ours is not. I have not heard of anyone else doing this. (And I'd be upset if they did.) We signed our contract for this coming school year back before all this happened. It will be interesting to see for 2021-2022 if tuition has to be increased substantially to make up for lower numbers and more costs.

Our preschool has bumped up tuition and is also charging what they call a one time"COVID fee" (equal to one month's new tuition) to get back into school. Our school did not increase the tuition 20%-30%, more like 5%-10%. They justified this by explaining that they aren't allowed to run at full capacity and therefore need to charge more. We decided not to return since our child was going to graduate in August and paying $6000+ for only two months of preschool seemed insane.

My preschool is not charging more, and I would probably protest if they did. We are getting less services (reduced hours, no more hot lunch included, no more special guests like music and drama) so I figured they are spending what they would have spent on food and the special guests on cleaning supplies and masks instead. We go to a large (50 families) school, but there are small pods of kids. I'm happy with the decisions they have made for the school.

Wow! My girl is only in daycare, but her daycare has a pre-school and they are not doing that. I think that's unacceptable!

Hi there,

Our preschool is a private Mandarin Immersion Montessori, and as far as I am aware, they have not added a COVID surcharge to the tuition. We have been doing online classes while the preschool has kept in-person care for essential workers only. They opened up more spaces for existing non-essential workers' kids in June, and we'll return at the beginning of August, with smaller classes and CDC protocols in place. There have been no positive cases of COVID there to date. I hope this helps.

We just received a letter this week that as of September 1, our preschool is increasing tuition rates by 25%. Our school director said that the increase was temporary, but did not provide a timeline for reducing the tuition. 

Hope this is helpful!

No surcharges for us, but we're at a nonprofit preschool in Berkeley.  Hours did reduce (previously went 7.30-5.30, now it's 8.30-5.30), and tuition went up $100.  I think this is because they cannot combine groups or use floater teachers in the same way, so they do have to pay some overtime to classroom teachers to meet ratio, so the extra cost felt fair.  They did discontinue less than 5 days/week schedule and now there are only options for 8.30 or 9am dropoff and 3pm and 5.30pm pickup.  Tuition went up $100 for each option.  Snacks are also not provided anymore but that seems to be the case everywhere.  I'd say 80% of kids came back in my son's class.  (It's 8 kids, will be 10 in August; prior class was 12.)

No this is not a thing for most preschools near Orinda- not yet.

Our daughter starts preschool in 2 weeks for the first time and they have not mentioned any additional costs, so no (for now)... It's La Plazita in Oakland.

No, our preschool has not added a surcharge to tuition, but has a 2% tuition increase, which is consistent with prior years (ranges 1-4%). 

Wow, brutal! No, our preschool has not said anything about a Covid surcharge. I know times are tough, but that's a lot. 

Thank you for asking this. While I don't have an answer yet to what my preschool is doing, I have been waiting to hear what strategies preschools will use to cover increased costs around staffing and cleaning. Increased tuition, fees, eliminating financial aid...I imagine it's all being discussed.

Our center is increasing tuition by 4% and adding a one time, $500 Covid fee to cover the changes needed and extra costs. We have not closed and have been able to adjust and adapt as the rules have changed. 

Hi there,

I've heard similar things from some of my friends about COVID fees. It seems like it could be common. I'm currently hunting for a preschool. Would you mind sharing the name of your preschool so I can get some more information?


Seems reasonable to cover unexpected costs for supplies to protect staff and students from spreading COVID.

We increased tuition 4%, which is similar most years - and added a $500 one time Covid fee to cover changes & supplies. We decreased hours open from 10 1/2 to 9 1/2, but parents by for specific hours already. 

We just started a preschool in Alameda, and the pricing is the same as pre-COVID. The school is located in a larger building, and is only licensed for 30 kids. I know they were considering increasing the size, but now they don't, and are able to accomodate the social distancing requirements as-is.  

Our tuition cost rose, but not significantly. However, the contract has been updated so that tuition is expected all year (no 30 days notice to withdraw anymore), regardless of if school can remain open- they will revert to “distance learning” if preschools must close, which of course, doesn’t really work for toddlers...