Dozens of parents wait all night for a childcare spot

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — More than 100 Nashville parents lined up for hours, some overnight, to get a spot at a new daycare on Friday.

“I have my first baby this fall and I want to make sure we can enroll him in a good daycare,” Corey Pettit told the Primrose School registration line.

Pettit sat in a lawn chair in front of over 100 parents, which took some commitment. “Dropped my car at noon yesterday to make sure I had a parking spot, asked my wife to pick me up and came back last night at 8pm. I thought I knew that people would do it for bourbon at 9 in December; I might do it for a baby at 8 in May.

The line was a visual representation of waiting lists for child care centers in Nashville and across the country. Pandemic survey by National Association for Early Childhood Education finds that of 5,000 early childhood educators, 2/3 said they experienced staffing shortages that affected their ability to serve families .

“I’ve been doing this for about 20 years and I’ve never seen such a need for child care,” explained Amy James, owner of the Primrose franchise.

James said Primrose will accommodate 368 children and is expected to open in early 2023.

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