5 Easy Ways To Give Your Children A Headstart In Life



This is a Guest Post. I only share with my readers information that I find fun, informative, or helpful. Enjoy!

Parenting is a stressful business. From the cost of education to the time constraints of making it to all those soccer practices and dance recitals, the stress of parenting never ends.

The main goal is always to prepare your child for the world. To give them the best opportunity to have a great life. Unfortunately, sometimes that goal can get lost in the weeds.

With that in mind, today I want to help you refocus by discussing five easy ways to give your child a head start in life.

Preschool

Getting your children started in preschool as soon as possible is a great way to give them a head start in life. Most developed countries offer public preschool starting as early as two years old for that very reason. Unfortunately in the U.S. private preschools like Phoenix Children's Academy or Montessori have long been the only options.

That is until 2015 when the HeadStart program was extended to Pre-K, now thirty-nine states plus the District of Columbia offer at least some form of voluntary Universal Pre-K.

Sadly that may be coming to an end as the Trump administration’s budget cuts have proposed eliminating the preschool development grant program that has assisted at least 18 states in expanding access to pre-K for thousands of four-year-olds.

This means private preschool may be your only option. Of course, it might be difficult for new parents to afford private preschool, but if you can it’s well worth the expense. Preschool has been proven to improve emotional maturity and academic performance over a child’s lifetime. It also makes for an easier transition into kindergarten and grade school.

The benefits of preschool can’t be overstated, so don’t wait, enroll your child today.

STEM Education

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is vital for success in our modern society. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, STEM workers earn 26% more than non-STEM workers and STEM jobs have 17% projected growth over the next five years vs. just 9% for non-STEM jobs.

Clearly, if you want your child to be set up for success in this world, they’re going to need STEM education. This may mean choosing a STEM-focused charter or private school instead of public schools that are lacking in STEM education. Or it could mean seeking out tutors, enrolling your child in science summer camps, or a number of other STEM-focused solutions. What really matters is that you get your child comfortable and excited about STEM as soon as possible.

Help Them Set Goals

Helping your child set achievable short and long term goals is a great way to give them a head start in life.

As J.C. Penney the renowned founder of the now infamous department store once said, “give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.”

Setting goals with your child is an easy and fun way to help them on the path towards success. Start small with easily achievable and understandable goals then move your way to bigger more long term goals. Practice makes perfect here. So spend time each month going over goals with your child and I promise the results will astound you.

Start A 529 Savings Plan

If you want your child to go to college than you’d better start saving. According to Value Penguin, the average tuition for the 2017–2018 school year was $20,770 for public schools (in-state) and $46,950 for nonprofit private schools, not including room and board. That’s a lot of cheddar.

Thankfully, if you start early there are a lot of options to help you make your children’s college dreams come true. Specifically, I recommend looking into the 529 Savings Plans offered by the federal government. There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans.

The prepaid tuition plan allows parents to prepay tuition credits at selected universities while the education savings plan allows parents to invest savings into ETF’s or Mutual Funds.

These plans offer tax advantages which can really add up over the years. However, the best part of these savings plans is that only 5.64% of the assets in a parent-owned 529 are factored into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). That means you can still get help from the federal government for school even if you have considerable savings in a 529 plan.

If you want your young one to go to college one day, think about starting a 529 savings plan ASAP.

Open A Custodial Brokerage Account

Custodial Brokerage Accounts are a great way to get your child ready for the investing world. Brokerage accounts allow you to buy and sell stocks and bonds on the open market. Custodial brokerage accounts are when a parent or guardian sets up a brokerage account for a minor.

There are restrictions on the account, especially when it comes to withdrawals, but custodial brokerage accounts are a great way to get your child excited about the financial markets at a young age. Together you can learn about the stock and bond markets and invest in American or International companies at the touch of a button.

When all is said and done, parenting is going to be stressful no matter what you do. However, if you can help your child get a head start in life, then all that stress will be well worth it. Watching the success you helped develop is an amazing feeling. So give it your all, start that college savings account even if you can just barely afford it, send them to preschool even if it has to be a public one, you only get one shot at giving your child a head start, so don’t wait.

6 comments :

  1. Weve been starting to save for college ( a little late ,too) thank you for the article

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  2. it is so important to get our kids and grandkids off to a good start to simply compete in life thanks for sharing

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  3. Enjoyed the article. Always looking for new information. Barbara

    ReplyDelete