Local/State

Parents, daycare owners breathe sigh of relief after govt. shutdown

Friday, October 18, 2013

Because of the federal government shutdown, many parents who rely on childcare help from the government were told they could no longer take their kids to daycare this week.

That meant they couldn't work, or even look for work, but when lawmakers passed a resolution to end the shutdown, they woke up to a new day.

Some parents told ABC11 they spent much of the week, even last week, in tears. Wondering what they would do about work without daycare.

Meanwhile, daycare providers who cater mostly to those on subsidies wondered how they would keep their business afloat.

Now, those tears are all dried out, and they're literally breathing sighs of relief.

"So, it's a blessing," said daycare provider Kimberly Brandon. "I was up probably a little bit after 12 watching the news of what was coming out of Washington."

Brandon runs Mount Zion daycare where more than half of her parents use government vouchers to pay for her services.

Her struggle was twofold. Not only was she having to tell parents that after this Friday they would no longer be able to bring their children here. She was also struggling with having to cut her own staff.

"I had parents crying yesterday," said Brandon. "It was heartfelt. I could feel their pain, but we have staff that have mortgages that have to work."

As the shutdown vote out of Washington raged on, teachers and parents here prepared themselves to say goodbye indefinitely.

"You have come to love the kids like they're yours and their parents are like part of your family," said daycare teacher Tiajuana Holland.

Fortunately this time around, they were able to hold off on those goodbyes and those hard decisions as lawmakers came to a decision of their own for now.

It left parents who use the daycare like Lisa Harris relieved.

"I don't want anyone to feel what I went through," said Harris.

"We're fortunate that they worked everything out," said Brandon. "We're going to look to see what happens Jan. 15."

Until then Brandon says she got an email Thursday from the county telling her to open her doors at the daycare for everyone on Monday.

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north carolina news, wake county news, local/state, angelica alvarez
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