Local News

Growth Puts Squeeze on Wake County Preschools

Posted September 13, 2007 12:58 a.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2007 8:44 a.m. EDT

— Growth is taking its toll on school systems across the Triangle. Parents of the youngest children are feeling the pinch.

Waiting lists at preschools are so long, couples are signing up before they even get pregnant.

Charlie and Christine Adair knew finding the perfect preschool for their two small children would be hard when they moved from Maryland to Wake Forest.

"(It was) very difficult. We checked with at least seven different preschools and this was the only one that had openings actually," said Charlie Adair.

The Goddard School is one of just a few preschools in Wake Forest without a waiting list. At the Hope Lutheran Church Preschool, afternoon programs were recently added to help meet the growing demand.

"Right now, there are 150 [children] on the waiting list," said Regina Fisher, Hope Lutheran Preschool.

There is such a big demand at Hope Lutheran Preschool that when they have open enrollment, parents camp out overnight just to get a spot.

"I can't believe that they are going to just sit out here and wait to get a spot and some of them don't even get a spot, especially if they have a 2-year-old. The 2-year-olds are very hard to find spaces for anywhere," said Fisher.

The Goddard School has several new preschools being built in the Triangle.

"It takes about a year to two years to get one of these schools up and running, so we are growing very rapidly trying to keep up with the demand," said Tom Carver, spokesman for The Goddard School.

The price of preschool is a big reason certain schools may have openings. Private preschools often charge double what church based preschools cost.