New Horizons daycare center just outside of Chicago has seen its enrollment cut by 50
percent in the last three months. And a San
daycare saw its enrollment go from 51 kids last year to 15 this year.
As the economy goes from scary to terrifying, parents around the
country are being forced to cut back on childcare or pull their kids out of
daycare altogether, relying instead on extended family or drastic changes to
their own work lives.
“It is not about people making choices to drive a
second car,” said Diane Stout, who is the executive director of New
Horizons. “For many low income people it is making a choice for food.” And, with yearly day care costs averaging between $3,380 and
$10,787 for childcare for one preschooler, even middle income families are
being faced with the need to cut back on childcare.
Providers say they
are seeing increased disciplinary problems amongst kids who are stressed by