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Snow, ice and cold leave parents struggling for child care options

MIDDLETON (WKOW) — With snow expected to last through Monday night and all day Tuesday, parents are bracing for another round of school and daycare closures.

For Alisa Sleep it would be the sixth time this year the Middleton-Cross Plains district has closed, this year leaving her without child care for her six-year-old. On top of that, if the school district is closed, the center that takes care of her four-year-old twins is likely closed as well.

“It gets really tricky to reschedule the child care and figuring out who goes where and making sure that I still have my time to work,” Sleep said.

She considers herself lucky. With her job she can work from home and flex her hours while watching the kids. Still, she said its not an easy balance.

“A lot of times I just have to shuffle my schedule around which is inconvenient, but it’s also sometimes necessary,” she said.

While daycare centers and school may have to close their doors, Rebecca Needham said in-home daycare can be more flexible.

“Never in my 15 years have I closed for bad weather,” she said.

As long as parents feel safe enough to drive their kids over, Needham said she’ll open her doors for her regulars and anyone else who needs the care.

“I have an open door policy,” she said. “I take drop-ins. I get that once in a while here and there.”

That included last week, when Needham took in school-age siblings alongside her usual five and under kids.

As for Sleep, she said she’s not excited about the prospect of another snow day. She said she is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her kids safe.

“While it is an inconvenience,” she said. “It’d be a lot worse if something happened.”

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Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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