by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Working families in North Carolina are paying more than ever to put their children in day care.
Some are spending more than $8,000 a year for full-time care and families aren't the only ones affected.
Some local daycare officials said for the first time in years they're seeing a drop in attendance because of the rising costs.
Eyewitness News reporter Alexa Ashwell found out the costs have even exceeded the price tag of college tuition, according to a report by Child Care Aware.
Tuition and fees here at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are more than $6,000 each year and some parents spend years saving that money.
Now, it they may need to start saving for daycare also.
"That’s alarming," said Sophia Davis, a parent.
She was shocked to learn how much it would cost to put her son in day care.
The average annual cost for an infant in North Carolina is more than $8,000 while the average cost for in-state college tuition and fees more than $6,000, or 43 percent more.
The cost to care for 2-month-old Chloe is $141 a week at All About Me Learning Center in Belmont.
Owner Sonjia Lee said that’s about $20 more than it was three years ago.
"You have to take into consideration the teacher's education,” Lee said.
Lee said enrollment hasn't dropped yet and she thinks that is because 50 percent of the working parents she serves are on government issued vouchers.
But, she said those vouchers end next month.
“If there is no more funding that kicks in I feel like we will lose the ones that we got," she said.
Charlotte Parent Magazine editor Michele Huggins said many parents are now opting to stay home rather than pay a large bill.
"Parents have to look at the cost of daycare versus a dual income,” Huggins said.
North Carolina is one of 31 states where child care costs more than college.