You might not have heard the kids’ screams of joy at the prospect of a snow day in the northeast today. That’s because their parents were crying out in anguish.
They were faced with some tough choices: pay a sitter, take a day off of work or what? How about sending the kids to snow camp?
That’s what one Ohio town is doing to take the pressure off of working parents. Even living in the snow country, it’s hard for working parents to make the sudden adjustments that snow entails.
It’s easy to say plan ahead, but the logistics are mind-boggling: registered daycares are generally filled to their maximum capacity with the under-school aged kids, and they can’t legally take on another child. Teen sitters are an option – but there’s getting them to your house (most parents don’t want their teens driving in conditions that are too treacherous for the bus) and they’re often called into duty to watch their own brothers and sisters.
Which leaves you with taking a day off of work – and the requisite loss of pay – or calling around to every retiree in the neighborhood to see if they might possibly not be busy this one day.
Or you can do what they’re doing in Ohio – the community center in Mason is opening up as a snow camp, where there are adults on duty and parents can pay for their kids to spend the day swimming, doing crafts and the sorts of things they’d do on a summer day while you were at work and they were sitting at camp.
Parents can plan ahead by registering for the program, which automatically kicks into play when schools call a cancellation.
I’ve heard of parents who team up to switch off on who takes a day off – the person who calls out watches all the kids and it goes in a round robin – but this sounds even better. The fee is reasonable (Mason charges $25 and you only pay when you use the service, so if Granny is free one day you’re off the hook) and it’s steady.
Does your town have this option?
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