Daycare closures leave parents looking for child care

Daycare closures leave parents looking for child care

BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. - The snow fall across the region has caused many cancellations and early dismissals even for local daycares and that is leaving some parents scrambling to find child care.

The bitterly cold temperatures and snow are causing schools and daycares to close, leaving parents looking for childcare. "As a single parent, I have to provide care for him when daycare is not open," said parent Kristy Thomas.

Thomas tells us for the most part that means staying home and taking a day off of work. "I have a boyfriend that will watch him sometimes. I have neighbors that will watch him on a very temporary basis," she explained.

Thomas' four-year-old son goes to North Bristol Christian Pre-School; director Penny Potter tells us Tuesday they closed at 11:00 because of the snow. "We know it's hard and that we are providing a daycare service for working parents, but at the same time our main concern is the safety [of our children and employees]," she said.

Potter tells us they decide whether or not to close early based on what school systems and other daycares around them are doing. "We usually base our decisions on the current conditions of the weather, and if the weather is going to improve or decline as the day goes by," she said.

Across town in Bristol, Tennessee, president of Little Hands Christian Child Care Catherine Ratliff tells us they're always open as long as there is heat and power. "One time we were expecting a blizzard, and the teachers had a pajama party here. They spent the night. They had a really good time," she said.

Ratliff tells us it's important for them to stay open to help parents. "There are parents that have to go to work or they will lose their job if they don't," she said.

Kristy Thomas tells us she just wants everyone to make it home safely. "If the weather is inclement, you want to have your child at home with you where it's the safest place possible," she said.

Both daycares tell us when it does snow and they are ope,n they usually have fewer children in their care because some parents choose to stay home or make other arrangements.

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