Snow, Ice Storms Mean a Day Care Crisis

January 12, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
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Snow and ice storms bring many more problems than the obvious from travel delays and school closings. Winter storms play havoc with the daily lives for parents of young children.

First and foremost during a winter storm is the concern for children's safety.

There are laws in place that prevent parents from leaving kids home by themselves under a certain age.

You should consider not hauling your kids around on icy roads to the day care center. You are not only not only risking your life, but also your children's lives.

Many day care centers close when schools close due to the weather, to protect the children.

Photo by

However, in this day and age when single parents, or both working parents, must go to work when the weather is bad, problems arise when snow and ice come calling and schools close.

In addition, many daycare centers have a surcharge if you pick up your kids late, regardless of the reason.

Most employers do not approve of bringing your kids to work with you in these cases, as it is a distraction for fellow workers and a liability for the employer. Wandering young children could injure themselves.

Most of employers also expect their workers to make it into work during adverse weather, unless an emergency has been declared, banning unnecessary travel.

Roads are not only hazardous for drivers, but also kids who may be riding along in the car with you. Photo by Facebook fan Kim H.

So what do you do when these situations arise?

Well, for starters, plan ahead during the winter months. Make arrangements with a relative or neighbor. At least a few responsible teenagers would probably welcome extra cash for keeping an eye on your kids.

You will want to meet with the prospective babysitter beforehand to see how he or she handles your children.

Two-parent families may have to take turns staying home when there is no other option.

If you are fortunate enough that you can take your child to work or have a day care center that remains open in benign winter storms, be sure to allow extra time for the commute.

You do not want to be rushing around on icy or snowcovered roads with your precious cargo.

Take it from a parent who has been in these situations many times during the 1990's snowstorms in central Pennsylvania.


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