School Cancellations Leave Parents Searching for Daycare - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

School Cancellations Leave Parents Searching for Daycare

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This morning cheers for no school were only coming from students.  Although some offices did close today, many parents still had to go to work. And that caused problems for parents who had to scramble to find daycare.

If students are enrolled in the YMCA, or another school related child care program, parents may have been out of luck. With many other daycare centers in the Bismarck and surrounding areas full, finding emergency childcare is tough.

With life threatening cold temperatures forcing districts to cancel school, this morning could have gone one of two ways. Parents may have had the day off as well, a fun day for all. Or, it was business as usual, potentially leaving a child alone, and a frustrated parent.
 
"It's about 50/50, some of them stay home with their kids. Some of them have to go to work. And so, they're brining them in. As you can see, we're probably at about half our capacity today," says First Steps owner, Steve Arnold.

But, the day wasn't terrible. Daycares, like First Step Learning Center, didn't have many parents looking for emergency care. But there were some.

"Even on a day like today. But it is, you know? You could take that chance and try to call and see if you could get in, because we do take them occasionally."

School and daycare officials say parents should always have a Plan B, since there aren't very many options for emergency child care.

The choice to close school was left up to each school district.

 "I deeply respect Governor Dalrymple for leaving superintendents to do their work. Each community has different standards, there maybe a time and place where it would have been right to have school today in some communities," says Superintendent Tamara Uselman.

Some people still think that school should have stayed open. Saying it's North Dakota, it's supposed to be cold, and it would have made for a less stressful day.

"In the end I know it's not popular. I know it's difficult for parents to find emergency daycare. But, it is their responsibility as parents,  just as it's my responsibility to make their best decision I can," says Uselman.

School administrators say canceling school isn't a decision made lightly and ask for parents' understanding.

 

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