Choosing the best childcare setting for your son or daughter is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in their early years.
But it can also be one of the most difficult.
The average cost of childcare for an infant in the United States is almost $15,000 per year. This is a staggering amount of money, especially for families with more than one child.
When choosing a preschool or daycare center, it’s important to make sure that you can afford the monthly rates.
You’ll need to consider what you might have to sacrifice to pay the fees and whether these sacrifices are worth it.
One of the most popular and highly regarded daycare centers around is Primrose.
But is Primrose worth it? Here’s a full review.
Both of my daughters have gone to Primrose schools in Georgia, and our experience was wonderful. Top-notch facilities and teachers, an amazing curriculum, and great communication through the Tadpoles app.
However, Primrose schools are extremely expensive (and always seem to be raising their prices) and have notoriously long waitlists to get in, which can make them inaccessible for some parents.
In this Primrose school review, we look at the Primrose Schools teaching philosophy, how much tuition costs, and the pros and cons of choosing one of these preschools.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is Primrose?
Primrose Schools is an early education franchise with over 450 private preschools across 32 states.
The company was founded in 1982 and has its headquarters in Georgia.
Primrose Schools care for infants from as young as six weeks of age through to private Kindergarten.
There’s also an after-school program and a summer adventure club for children in Kindergarten to fifth grade.
All Primrose schools are accredited through Cognia, a non-profit organization that was formerly known as AdvancED.
Primrose Teaching Philosophy Explained
Primrose Schools have a ‘Balanced Learning’ approach to teaching.
This approach is designed to inspire children to think with creativity, compassion, and resourcefulness.
Built on the ideas of renowned early learning philosophers such as Montessori, Piaget, and Vygotsky, this approach is designed to instill a love of learning and discovery that will help your child to develop and excel.
Typical activities at Primrose Schools include:
- Language and literacy – Storytime, sign language, phonics, and reading
- Social studies – Understanding relationships with friends and family
- Math – Problem-solving, measurements, and patterns
- Science – Using senses and tools to observe the world and record findings
- Creative arts – Practicing the techniques of contemporary artists
- Physical development – Running, climbing, and sliding on state-of-the-art the playgrounds
- Emotional intelligence – Learning behavioral and relationship skills
- Language – Daily Spanish classes
- Music – Daily music lessons that can be continued at home via an app
On a personal note, we found that our daughters learned extremely rapidly at Primrose, especially when it comes to language and communication. Being in the classroom environment also helped a lot with potty-training, when the time came!
(See more about Primrose education and how it compares to Goddard.)
Primrose Day To Day Procedures/Typical Day
Primrose Schools are usually open from early morning (around 6.30 am) until early evening (around 6.00 pm) Monday through Friday.
There are usually full-time and part-time options available and some also offer a school day kindergarten program from around 8.00 am until around 3.00 pm.
As Primrose Schools is a franchise, the typical day will vary depending on the individual school.
Rather than giving generic details which may not be correct for your local Primrose School, you should contact your local school to ask the following questions:
- What’s the procedure for dropping off and collecting your child?
- How are daily reports provided?
- What food and snacks are provided?
- What is the teacher-to-child ratio in each classroom?
- What’s the policy regarding vacations?
You’ll find more questions to ask during your daycare tour here.
As of this writing, our local Primrose is using the Procare app — we do all our payments through the app and can see pictures throughout the day, along with notes about supplies we need to bring and more. It’s really been a great addition!
(Before Procare, our Primrose used the Tadpole app.)
Primrose Tuition Examples
Primrose Schools don’t publish prices online and the tuition rates vary hugely by location and also by age group.
To get an accurate quote for how much you can expect to pay for childcare you will need to contact your local school to schedule a tour.
FirstQuarterFinance.com reached out to five different Primrose Schools across the United States to get examples of tuition rates.
The average rates from their research are as follows:
- Early Preschool – $250 to $300 per week
- Infant – $280 to $380 per week
- Kindergarten – $230 to $270 per week
- Pre-Kindergarten – $200 to $265 per week
- Preschool – $150 to $350 per week
- Toddler – $250 to $350 per week
This mostly lines up with my personal experience. As of this writing we’re paying about $360 per week for preschool at Primrose.
You’ll find that Primrose is definitely one of the more expensive childcare options around, which goes hand in hand with their sterling reputation and long waitlists.
What Real Parents Are Saying About Primrose Schools (Reviews)
Here’s what real parents are saying about the pros and cons of Primrose Schools in online review:
Parents regularly praise the teaching at Primrose Schools, mentioning both the organized activities and how fond they are of the individual teachers that care for their children.
“We love how they teach our children lessons in fun, age-appropriate ways. Everyday, the teachers have a theme for the children to learn.
“For example, my 2 year old learned about weather by drawing pictures with ice, sorting different color leaves, and reading books about the seasons”
Parents love how Primrose Schools use advanced technology to facilitate communication between parents and caregivers.
The app and website are designed to give parents insights into their child’s day and reassurance that they are happy.
“I receive several photo updates each day through the Tadpole app. This gives peace of mind about having him in a full time program, but also a great reference for striking up a dialogue about his day.”
In current times, cleanliness is more important than ever.
Parents are quick to praise the high standards of cleanliness at Primrose Schools.
“One of the main reasons we chose this daycare was because of its cleanliness relative to the other daycares in the area. There is no constant poopy smell in the classrooms, no dirty looking areas. It is visibly CLEAN.”
Class sizes at Primrose Schools vary, so you’ll certainly want to check how many kids and how many teachers are in each room at your local school.
“A lot of Primrose schools have taken to trying to jam as many kids as possible into one classroom in order to maximize their profit. Honestly, if your child’s class has more than 10-15 students, it is not worth it.”
There’s no getting around the fact that Primrose Schools are expensive.
You’ll need to consider how the fees may change as your child gets older, as well as what might happen if your income changed or your family grew.
“I had my two children enrolled and even though it was extremely expensive I was hoping that the education would outweigh the costs.
“My children didn’t enjoy it there. I lost my job and had to withdraw my children and tried to work out an agreement to pay my remaining balance and they became unwilling to work with me and my situation.
“They demanded final payment and threatened legal/collection action if I didn’t pay.”
Primrose Schools charge a registration fee for your to add your child to the waitlist.
While schools aim to estimate how long the waitlist is, this isn’t always accurate.
“We were provided a one year waitlist but that she might get in before that time. Sold. We paid our registration fee to get put on the waitlist. 4 years later no word from them.”
Primrose Schools offer a great childcare option for parents who want the best of the best for their children.
What sets these preschools aside from others is the focus on development. Rather than simply watching your kids while you work, teachers at Primrose Schools deliver a carefully planned curriculum that will help your children to learn through play.
While Primrose Schools’ offering has great reviews, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that the fees charged are often much higher than other private and state-run daycare centers.
The waiting lists are usually at least one to two years long, so parents are literally lining up to pay the fees.
So is Primrose school worth it for your child?
As each Primrose school is different, the only way to know for sure is to schedule a tour of your local Primrose school. Be sure to check out the other childcare facilities in your area to see how they compare, like:
- Is Kids R Kids Worth It?
- Is Goddard School Worth It?
- Is Kiddie Academy Worth It?
- Is Discovery Point Worth It?
- All the best daycares and preschools compared
Hope this helps!