HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Parents looking to send their children to day care should be prepared to pay a high price.
Kaitlin Nash and her husband both work full-time jobs and they have no choice but to send their 1-year-old daughter, Abigail, to day care.
“We’re both salaried employees,” Nash said. “What else are we gonna do?”
Abigail has been in day care since November. When Nash enrolled her, the tuition was $205 a week. Now,it’s $224 a week.
“Our rates have increased three different times, and they will increase again for the fall term,” Nash said. “So, it’s been tough.”
Nash and her husband have looked at other options, but nothing seems to work for their full-time schedules.
“Whether that’s in home care or…our daughter going to someone else’s home,” Nash said. “Those options are incredibly limited in this area.”
She said that if her family tried to save the money on the day care tuition, it would require a major sacrifice.
“It’s either, I give up my career, my husband gives up his career for our daughter to be able to be in the home with us every day,” Nash said. “[That] doesn’t really feel like a fair choice for either of us.”
Why are the daycare tuition costs rising so rapidly? Where is the money going?
Tender Years Daycare said it is to keep up with the rising costs of essential services needed to keep the daycare running.
“Big thing is with upkeeping on the playgrounds and with the food, especially with steep prices going up and stuff like that,” said Katie Anderson, the day care’s assistant director. “And then the teachers that go in the room, so paying help paying salary and electricity and stuff like that.”
Even though tuition has risen so much recently, she said it still is not done.
“[We’re] planning on raising prices again,” Anderson said. “Parents are willing to pay it because… it’s kinda like, what choice do we have?”
Nash and her family are not pleased with the knowledge that prices are not done rising, but she understands the reasoning.
“I want them to be paid for the incredible work that they’re doing. I love that. And I want that for them,” Nash said. “But it’s still hard on my budget because I didn’t get an increased salary in my job whenever they increased our prices.”
Day care is not the only available childcare option, but Anderson said it should still be at the top of the list when choosing childcare for young children.
“Kids need it so much to be interacting with other kids,” Anderson said. “If not for that [then for] their mental status. With this day and age, kids really need that interaction these days.”