VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A nearly 25 per cent hike in prices has shocked parents at a Vancouver day care. The change has them feeling trapped by long wait lists if they want to take their kids anywhere else.

As of September 1st, five-day-a-week infant care at Kids & Company in the Fairview area will be $1,915 a month.

Ryl Hemus says right now, care for his daughter costs $1,550 at the facility. He calls the new price outrageous. “It’s more than our mortgage and our strata fees put together.”

That’s in a city known for its very high housing prices. “So, it’s kind of ironic that our mortgage is now, or will be, secondary to our day care costs,” argues Hemus.

In a letter to parents, the day care blames rising costs, along with licensing changes, which have cut overall capacity while increasing spaces for infants.

Annabelle Pykalo is also a parent of a child at Kids & Company. She points out other day cares have cheaper rates, but their wait lists are over a year long; that makes for a tough choice.

“Do I still stay with my career or do we make the decision that I have to be a stay at home mom? [That] should be a parent’s decision. Day care should not put you in that position,” she insists.

Pykalo believes the day care is taking advantage of a child care crisis in Vancouver. Her husband Martin adds they are happy with the care, but “it’s a big increase.”