Limited daycare availability forces parents to camp out in line to enroll their children

Updated: Feb. 8, 2019 at 7:30 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Cody Porche, a dad-to-be, says he and about 15 other parents camped out in their cars at St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist church in hopes of enrolling their children in day care.

“Everyone says that my life is going to change,” Porche said. “I think that already you’re willing to do pretty much anything for your child, even if they’re not here yet.”

According to the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, fewer than seven percent of children from birth to age two have access to publicly-funded early care education programs.

That makes daycare programs like St. Luke's highly sought after.

“You see the lines. You see the waiting list. I think you quickly realize this is serious,” Porche said. “St. Luke’s was fantastic. They did everything they could. They were essentially bombarded with a very high demand. You got 40 to 50 people wanting to get into 20 spots, you know there’s going to be a little bit of chaos.”

Porche says he was one of the fortunate ones to get his child enrolled, but others weren't as lucky.

“There’s actually a little bit of guilt for the ones that didn’t get in,” Porche said. “You feel bad but at the end of the day, I’m happy that my camping experience paid off because there were a few that stayed all night and didn’t get in because of limited spots.”

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