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justifying high fees for kids classes

  1. #1
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    justifying high fees for kids classes

    The going rate for toddler/kids extracurricular classes these days seem to be $250 an hour (save for those run by local non-profits), which I just can't get myself to pay (affordability aside). I can't justify paying that rate for my 3yr old to sit among 10 other kids "learning to draw" or singing songs or "learning sport". If there are 8 kids in the class, the place is taking in $2000 an hour. A lecturer teaching a class of 40 bachelor degree students in a local university gets less than $500/hr. I know there is also rent and material cost etc, but no insurance or even licensing/regulation fee for most of these places.
    So, can anyone try to convince me that it's worth it to send kids to these classes? (I know, the places are nicely decorated, teachers are nice etc)
    And of course, if anyone know of places (local or not) that offer more reasonably priced classes in south side or causeway bay, I would love to hear that too.

  2. #2
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    unfortunately you are quite right. I would only justify sending my daughter to gym class cause it is useful to development her gross motor skills which she is behind. they do similar things that she is learning in her OT class (at a NGO where she attends) and so it helps reinforce such skills. she does no other class. of course, she has two other siblings at home so she has all the stimulation she needs from them. guess if you have an only child, it might be a nice way to learn skills- both academic and socialization skills..you won't find anything more reasonably priced in south side / causeway bay is a bit pushing it too...perhaps south horizon (ap lei chau) you can...but no personal experience there...sorry!

  3. #3
    charade is offline Registered User
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    I am of the belief that there is no need for toddlers to go to any class - except to stave off boredom and give the primary caregiver a break - but I think the discussion of what is worth it is extremely subjective depending on income. I see these as one of those fashiony frills things... if you can afford it, why not? (except I think too many of them might actually hamper a kid's development), if you can't, your kid will be perfectly fine without.
    marie313 and miran like this.

  4. #4
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    $250 seems to be the price target for any class that is going after the expat populace.

    Does your child speak any Cantonese? If yes, then look into Happy Valley Community center; they have a lot of options at a fraction of the cost.

  5. #5
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    sorry, but i can tell you from experience, that there IS insurance... and you cannot discount the rental/management fees we pay. the first $100k+ that comes in, goes right back out again! rent (we even pay a reasonable rent), mgmt fees, cleaning staff, reception staff, teachers, insurance, supplies, decoration (it does cost a LOT of money to get a place ready to open), advertising.... the list is endless.

    and you don't think of these things and what they actually cost unless you are in the business.

    when we were looking for a space, we looked at a lovely space with huge windows etc in an office tower in New Town Plaza, and the asking rent for 1600'???? $90,000/month PLUS mgmt fees.

    also, keep in mind that not all classes will be full... there are likely classes throughout the week that are not full, so that class with 8 kids is subsidising the class earlier in the week with 4.

    please, please, please do not think of us as "money-grubbing".... we are not. we are only trying to run a business and hopefully, if we are lucky, have a little left over at the end of the month/year for our own pockets...i run 2 centres and have not taken an income from either for 18-24 months. why do i keep them going if i'm not making any money? (1) i am employing about 14 people and (2) the kids enjoy the classes.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    and for the record:

    shatin: $225-250 for 75 minutes playgroup (sometimes have a discount)
    tsing yi: $200-225 for 75 minutes (sometimes have a discount)
    shwetakhanna and thanka2 like this.

  7. #7
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    cheaper class fees will probably only be found in places with comparatively cheaper rent...but is anything "cheap" these days? it all comes down to if you "need' the service - need in the terms of entertainment for the kid, practicing a skill (like my kid), learning a new skill (to add to your kids resume for P1 applications for some families) and perhaps what you can afford. there are plenty out there - even more if you speak Cantonese - like Howard pointed out.

  8. #8
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    LCSD also run many different activities for all ages in all kinds of neighborhoods. They are always free or very cheap. See http://www2.lcsd.gov.hk/cf/search/le...st.cfm?lang=en

    Privately run classes tend to be priced much higher than government or community run due to all the subsidies that the latter ones receive. They are typically geared toward Cantonese speakers however if you make the effort, they will also try to accommodate.
    inkmink and carang like this.

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