AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — With inflation jumping more than eight percent many are feeling the strain of rising prices — including daycares.

” We’ve experienced an increase in rent, electric and the water bill,” Owner of Blocker Daycare Benita Blocker said.

Rising food costs and soaring gas prices are hitting the pockets of local daycare owners like Benita Blocker.

” We had two vehicles running picking children up and I’ve gone down to one vehicle now because the gas in a commercial vehicle is just astronomical,” Blocker said.

Other daycare owners said the cost of staffing is putting a dent in their budget.

” There are programs that will assist you in getting food, but there are not a lot of programs that will assist you in paying your employees,” Co – owner of A Child’s World Learning Center Shatoria Rackins said.

Those higher costs can mean higher rates for parents who have children in daycare.

” I don’t want them to have to choose between filling a prescription, having lunch for themselves and putting food on their table versus coming up with enough money to pay for daycare,” Blocker said.

Blocker said though its been challenging absorbing higher costs due to inflation she tries to keep her rates the same.

“It’s kind of sticky for me because of the families I’ve developed a relationship with. We’re feeling the brunt of it and they are as well. I’m trying to balance things out so as to not pass so much of the expenses on to them by increasing rates,” Blocker said.

Other daycare owners said with the child tax credit expiring and federal assistance set to run out soon they may have no choice but to increase rates.

” Unfortunately its something that’s going to have to come to keep up with the raises that’s been given in the last two years,” Rackins said.