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New study indicates rising cost of child care

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Updated: 4/05/2013 11:26 am
Parents know child care isn't cheap. A study released by the census bureau confirms costs have nearly doubled in the last quarter century. News 3's Elizabeth Donatelli went looking for the reasons why.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- It's story time at the Early Childhood Lab School where teachers play with 2-and 3-year-olds.

Teachers Like Geri Devereaux who are in a classroom that's designed to look like a home.

“All that cognitive learning is based in a play environment which is where children are comfortable.” Devereaux says.

But this early learning comes with a price and it isn't cheap A new report estimates families with a child under age 5 pay $179 a week.

“I don't know (why the it is so expensive) because it's not the salaries,” She says with a laugh. “But I think there's lots of liability. It costs money to do what you do.”

She's right. According to the report the salaries of full-time workers have barely increased in the past two decades and yet overall costs are up.

“I think it's because our standards have gone up” said Childhood Education Lab Director Janis Fikes-Buntjer.

“You have the cost of your employees,” Fikes-Buntjer said. “You have to maintain certain ratios in the classrooms. Facilities costs are expensive, and (there is) liability.

And not to mention Nevadans have fewer options.

Kids ofen enjoy a hearing a story at one of Nevada's many facilities like this but interestingly enough, for children under the age of 5, Nevada has the fewest of these types of facilities. That's just 17 per 1,000 children.”

The average for the rest of the country is 37 for every 1,000.

“It may be funding, It might be also the need rather than facilities they use families to take care of their children or in Nevada we also have a lot of shift work.” Fikes-Buntier said.

Still these employees continue teach because they love what they do.

“In my opinion, it's a calling much like being a doctor or a midwife or a pastor,” Devereaux said.

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