Seattle Public Schools families struggle to find child care amid strike

SEATTLE — Classes are canceled once again for all students in the Seattle Public School District. Friday will mark the third day of the strike. SPS announced that classes would be canceled around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. The district and the teachers union are still in negotiations but have not reached a deal. For many parents, they’ve been scrambling to find child care and figure out what to do while they’re at work.

“Boys and Girls Club has been a lifesaver,” parent Zoila Lopez said. She said her family wouldn’t know what to do if they couldn’t bring their son to the club.

“It’s really challenging. I’m a full-time employee, so is my partner,” she said. “It would have been really, really difficult to keep our kid entertained at home.” At the Boys & Girls Club in Ballard, there were close to 200 kids there.

“We have hit capacity at this building for the spaces that we have available and the staff we have available for those spaces,” said Hannah Tait, the senior teen director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

“Here at Ballard we’ve absorbed a lot of the school sites because they haven’t been able to be open as well during the strike,” she said. This week child care is free at the clubs, but next week, if the strike continues, there will be a small fee for families. Scholarships will also be available.

“We fully support the teachers. We understand why they’re on strike and what they’re doing, and we’re behind them; and it is also true that this is incredibly challenging to us as working parents and to our kids,” Lopez said.

The city of Seattle will also be offering free drop-off child recreation services beginning Monday, Sept. 12. Parents can register their kids online here.