Dozens of parents wait overnight to secure daycare spot

Long lines continue in Nashville as spots for daycare grow scarce.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - More than 100 Nashville parents waited hours in line, some overnight, to secure a spot at a new daycare Friday.

“Having my first baby this fall, and want to make sure we can get her into a good daycare,” Corey Pettit explained from the front of the Primrose School enrollment line.

Pettit sat in a lawn chair ahead of more than 100 parents, which took some commitment. “I dropped my car off at lunchtime yesterday to make sure I had a parking spot, got my wife to pick me up, and brought me back at 8 p.m. last night. Figured I knew people did it for bourbon at 9 o’clock in December; I could do it for a baby at 8 o’clock in May.”

The line was a visual representation of daycare waiting lists in Nashville and across the country. A pandemic survey by the National Association for the Education of Young Children reveals that out of 5,000 early child educators, 2/3 reported experiencing 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 childcare,” Amy James, the franchise owner of Primrose, explained.

James said Primrose will take 368 children and is expected to open at the beginning of 2023.

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