It’s going to cost parents more for after school care. By 2018, the DOE will raise the After School PLUS (A+) Program fees to $120 a month.
The Department of Education recommended an increase in fees proportionate with the State mandated wage increases. Paula Adams, Executive Director for the Hawai`i Afterschool Alliance, recaps the timeline: “On January 1, 2016 the minimum wage will increase to $8.50 per hour; on July 1, 2016, A+ fees will increase to $100. On January 1, 2017 minimum wages will increase to $9.25 per hour and A+ fees will increase in July 1, 2017 to $110. Finally, on January 1, 2018, wages will increase to $10.10 per hour and on July 1, 2018, A+ fees will increase to $120. The Board of Education passed this recommendation on Tuesday, November 17.”
While some parents and guardians may be financially burdened by these increases, Jolena Tanuvasa of Kama’aina Kids counters, “Our State of Hawai`i after school fees are the lowest in the nation, even after the final increase to $120. The national average of after school fees are a low $146 and a high of $740 per month. We are also the only state-mandated and funded program in the nation. Private schools like I`olani charge $206, Mid Pacific charges $267, and Punahou charges $144 for their after school programs.
Tanuvasa says, “All after school program providers strive to provide safe and high quality programs at reasonable rates. We will continue to provide these services with the same high standards and work on improving program content and staff development to better serve our after school families.”