Parents Scramble To Find Child Care While Schools Remain Closed


UPDATED: Monday January 6, 2014 10:31 PM

Parents across Central Ohio are trying to figure out what to do with their kids on Tuesday.

For some, that means scrambling to find a daycare service. For others, that means spending another day home with the kids.

Keep in mind, many districts are coming off of a two-week holiday break, and now adding two more days at home.

For most people, it's a last minute juggling act to stay one step ahead of this wintry weather.

Inside SarahAnn's Learning Unlimited Center in Hilliard, it was a packed house with more school-age kids having to stay there the whole day.

But they are keeping very busy.

"We have extra activities planned, extra crafts planned," said Ann McCullough, the owner of the childcare center.

One of those activities includes balloons filled with colored water the kids will put outside, to create homemade ice globes.

"We've never done this before, so we don't know how it's going to turn out, we'll see," as her laugh trails off.

And there are other options, especially for the older kids forced to stay home from school.

"There's something here for everyone," says Christina Patel, the Director of Member Impact at the Hilliard/Ray Patch Family YMCA. "They'll be able to release some of that energy, that excitement they're feeling."

Mendi Ochoa and her daughter Kayla couldn't wait to get to the YMCA on Monday.

"Instead of being home doing nothing, you can actually go swimming or do something out here," Kayla said.

"We love snow days here,” said Dante Santino, the General Manager at The Star Lanes Polaris bowling alley.

He says a special incentive is available, where a person buys a food entrée at the neighboring grill, and gets a 10-dollar game card and free plate of cookies.

"A lot of people came in for the snow day package, so it's pretty cool," said Santino.

Sixth grader Mason Bricker says it beats staying cooped up at home.

“So I'm hanging out with all my friends from my neighborhood, and having lots of fun," he said.

He and other kids are happy their winter vacation was extended at least one more day.

They say there will be plenty of time to hit the books again, as they get ready to roll another strike.

The 12 YMCA facilities around the greater Columbus area are all open today as warming centers for the entire community, not just members, as a place to come in out of the cold.

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