By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anticipating dangerous driving conditions, hundreds of schools and day cares made the call to close for the day.

For working parents of young kids, it means coming up with a plan “B.” WCCO’s Bill Hudson spent the day looking into daycare alternatives in a pinch.

Monday’s school closures came out of concern not for the morning, but the evening commute. That snow is now coming down at a good clip. For parents of kids home for the day, it takes a bit of creativity or an understanding boss.

Deciding to close schools in advance of a dangerous winter storm is never easy and not always popular with working parents, who must scramble to find child care or miss work.

“One parent or the other suffers, either has to take a sick day or take a day off work,” Frank Mumford said.

Monday’s pre-emptive closure at Twin Cities area schools and day cares meant parents like Frank Mumford had more time with the kids. He’s taking his son Arthur to Como Park.

“At my work if Minneapolis or St. Paul close we don’t have to go to work, it is a very nice benefit,” Mumford said.

A storm in late January stranded buses and kids when St. Paul schools didn’t close early. It angered parents who were left wondering where their children were.

“When you’re planning to be in the classroom and have nowhere to go parents will bring their kids over,” Mumford said.

With schools closed, many day cares are too. That’s not the case at YMCA’s. They offer more activities for members, knowing the kids need something to do.

“Usually when we have a snow day or school release day, the branch has a lot more kids in the building, especially during the business hours,” David Dominick said.

Snow holidays for students can bring headaches for parents. Often forcing them to get creative to find care for the kids.

“Even when the schools are closed we’re still open, to support the family,” Dominick said.

All districts build in a certain number of snow days, relatively few have been used. But of course this is only early March, usually the snowiest month of the year.


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