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Finding last minute child care when school is canceled

A child care expert says it is best to plan ahead so you are not scrambling to find help when school is closed.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- "It's pretty cold, it's one of those days when we all ask why we live in Wisconsin," said Katie Strasburg.

Chances are you have probably heard, maybe even asked that question on Monday. Below zero temperatures, double digit negative wind chills and no school. It is days like this parents like Strausburg face a tough decision.

"Even though work doesn't cancel we have to find a place for her to go," Strausburg said of her daughter.

What do you do with the kids? Strausburg says they have family in town so it is usually not a big problem - but for others, it is.

"We try and plan our day like a school day for them," she said.

Cassi Stoeklen with the Learning Tree Child Care Center says days like this are busy. She gets last minute calls from parents hoping to get their kinds into daycare.

Usually they will have fix or six school age kids here during the winter. On days like Monday that number could be double or triple.

Even though a place like Learning Tree can take kids last minute, UW-Extension Family Educator Brook Berg says it is best to plan ahead.

"It can make for a tough day for the child, parent and child care provider if that child isn't familiar with the center or for the young children it is especially difficult," Berg said.

She says find an emergency day care at the beginning of the year, giving your child a chance to be in the environment and meet the caregivers at least once. And if all options run out -- she says remember your kids are a priority and employers should understand that.

"So really try and balance it out and talk to your employer to make it a good environment for family and work," she added.


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