So why do people think kids are so expensive to raise? They weren’t expensive to raise for most of the history of our species, or even most of the tiny slice of history since the Industrial Revolution. But now, all of a sudden people think it costs a million dollars to raise a child It's true, raising kids doesn't cost a lot of money unless you make it cost a lot of money. Just like traveling doesn't cost a lot of money, it's all relative.
Funny story; When my sister and brother in law had recently found out they were going to have a baby. They decided to make a monthly budget and my brother in law made a list (I'm making up the numbers):
When my sister looked at the list she asked, "where's the baby?" To which my bro-in-law replied, "Oh, I put him in with the groceries."
It's funny because he hadn't realized how much his son was going to actually cost given their style of life and what a kid costs with their expectations. -Much more than he allocated.
But yeah, they don't have to be expensive and never should be. Things shouldn't be "expensive" or else you shouldn't do them. If a restaurant is "expensive," then you shouldn't be eating there. There are things that I would consider "expensive" and therefore, I don't partake. However, if you can afford a choice and you find value in making it, go for it.
EDIT: As for the "Ivy League Preschool," a lot of that has to do with where you live. Some public school's really do suck and therefore you want to pay for your kid to have a better option. In about 4 months my 3 year old daughter will be starting a spanish emersion Montessori school. Why? Because it kicks ass. I spent two days auditing the classrooms and it really is something special. It's not $30k, but it's not free either. Not sure if that qualifies as "Ivy League Preschool Syndrome," but if it does, that's fine by me. We've done our due diligence on this and I'm completely cool with it. That said, I've never complained once that kids are "expensive."