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Add this to the list of expenses pricing Hawaii families out: Preschool

June 16, 2017
Jim Mendoza

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Melanie Joseph knows all about sticker shock when it comes to preschool costs.

She’s shopping for a preschool facility for her daughter, Mehana, and says most places are charging about $1,000 a month.

“I have to pay for preschool. I have to pay for care for my daughter so that I can go to work,” said Joseph, who works in marketing at Hawaii News Now.

Jessica Gong pays $12,000 for nine months of preschool for her daughter Anabelle.

“You have to take a lot of sacrifice in order to make things work for schooling,” she said.

The high costs of early childhood education in the islands is believed to be a big factor in a disturbing trend: Fewer Hawaii kids are going to preschool.

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book shows about 19,000 3- and 4-year-olds attended preschool in 2015.

That’s down by about 3,000 from 2011, a startling given that during that period Hawaii also did away with junior kindergarten for late-born kids.