Cost of Private School Education

Paul Romani (M.Ed.)

Putting The Cost of Private School Education in Perspective

Some families may think that private schooling is too expensive, but they aren’t looking at the big picture.

In a city as expensive to live in as Vancouver, it is understandable that most families balk at the cost of private school education; and, it is the reality that most families will never be able to send their children to a private school. However, it is equally true that most families will never be able to afford to buy their own house or apartment in Vancouver given the modern price of housing. Nevertheless, just as many families see the value in investing in buying a home, other families consider private education an equally important investment for their children.

Cost of Private School Education

The table above really puts private school pricing in perspective. The demand for daycares and preschools in Vancouver is phenomenal, and families will find themselves spending up to $13,000 per year on Early Childhood Education (ECE). The price for daycares is due to market forces (supply & demand). Many families will pay this simply because they need childcare and they have no choice. And, even if they have the money, they won’t necessarily get into anywhere.

When you consider K-7 elementary school education, you now have options. You could choose the free public school route, or you could continue to pay for private education. You could choose the new car, the vacations, the dining out, and the coffee to go… or you could choose private education for your child. It all depends on your financial situation, your family values, and your priorities. Do you view education as a worthwhile investment for your child? Did you view it so when they were in daycare, or was it just babysitting for you?

In comparison with an ECE centre, you are getting far more bang for your buck with a private school like Pear Tree Elementary! For instance, most ECE centres offer restricted hours for their services based on legal maximum hours for preschoolers attending their facilities @16.5hrs for a 3-day week. In contrast, your child would be at Pear Tree up to 37.5hrs for a 5-day week – more than double the amount. So for 5 days of ECE, you would actually be looking at $20,000 per year, and that’s still based on the shorter number of hours per day. Pear Tree Elementary is $15,500 per year, $13,500 for tuition and $2,000 for the mandatory Healthy Hot Lunch Program.

A more important consideration is the quality of educators. At most ECE centres, the staff have basic training, a 1-year ECE diploma from a community college. This is a far cry from the postgraduate of education of teachers at Pear Tree Elementary, who all have Masters of Education degrees and have at least 7 years’ of university education! In fact, no school in Vancouver has such a high requirement of education for its teachers – and that’s just our minimum requirement. Good quality ECE should also be viewed as an investment, but rare do families see it as such, which is why most ECE staff have minimal qualifications.


So for families that are willing to pay $13,000 for early childhood education for just 3 days per week, led by educators with a 1-year community college diploma, one wonders why they complain about the cost of private school education, which offers so much more.

The families that choose Pear Tree Elementary aren’t among the super rich (those families go to the heritage schools for apparent ‘prestige’). Instead, our families are dual-income families who make sacrifices to ensure that their kids get the best progressive education that Vancouver can offer.

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Pear Tree Elementary,
215-2678 West Broadway,
Vancouver, B.C.,
V6K 2G3

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