The cost of some early childhood programs at the Wilmette Park District could rise between 3 and 10 percent in the 2012-13 year, if Park District commissioners approve a recommendation from the board’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
The hikes would include a 10 percent increase in fees for both the district’s “Lunch Bunch” program and its preschool program, and a 3 percent increase in the amount charged for full -day preschool.
If approved, the increases would go into effect with fall classes, all of which take place at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road.
Committee members who met Aug. 15 agreed with Recreation Superintendent Kathy Bingham when she said that a staff review of several similar programs showed “we’re the cheapest game in town.”
“Expenses have risen and we’re feeling the pinch,” she added.
Under the proposal, fees for morning preschool classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, which currently run between $1,190 and $2,819 per child, based on a two-, three- or five-day schedule, would rise to between $1,309 and about $3,101.
Parents who enroll their 4-year-olds in the lunch program would see their per-child fee for that rise from $1,280 to $1,408.
Parents whose 3- and 4-year-old children attend the Park District’s all-day preschool will pay 3 percent more. They currently pay between $2,342 and $5,834, depending on how many days their child attends; that will rise to a range of $2,412-$6,009.
When Commissioner Michael Murdock asked Bingham how program enrollment levels stood, she told him that both the morning and full-day classes were near their capacities of 84 and 31 slots.
“I had been concerned that this might drive people away, but after reviewing this, I’m not worried,” Murdock said.
Bingham initially suggested that the full-time fees be raised an additional 2 percent in the following school year, but committee members didn’t include that in their recommendation to the full Park District Board.