Local

Costs Adding Up For Many Parents During School Strike

Chicago public school teachers and their supporters picket outside of Marshall High School on the third day of a teachers' strike on September 12, 2012. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Chicago public school teachers and their supporters picket outside of Marshall High School on the third day of a teachers’ strike on September 12, 2012. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The teachers’ strike has many parents hurting in their wallets as they’ve been forced to pay to put their kids in day care, since they haven’t been able to rely on having their kids in full-day schools.

Lee Earle said, “I spent $240 in child care the last two days. I’m not happy about that, and I’m sure most parents can’t afford that.”

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, out of 140 youngsters of all ages in day care at the Loop Learning Center at 2001 S. Michigan Av., 21 school age children are now enrolled in the all-day program, because of the strike.

Director Matilda Ann Walker said, “It just happened all at once. On Monday morning, we had these children, so we had to scurry.”

The Loop Learning Center is not cheap. Parents must come up with $180 a week for each child.

Working mother Monica Frimbong is going to try to come up with the money for her son to attend the center.

“It’s very hard for us,” she said. “I don’t know what to do.”

Fellow working mom Charlene Jean-Baptiste has two school age children enrolled, but she won’t be able to afford to keep sending them there if the strike goes on much longer.

Asked how she deals with it, she said, “a day at a time. … A dollar at a time.”

Walker talked about another mom who will probably have to take her kids out of day care soon.

“From a financial part, it will be rather difficult for her to pay the tuition,” Walker said.

Walker also said, in order to take care of the sudden influx of school age children, the center was forced to bring in extra teachers, more supplies, and more meals.

As she put it, it’s been “chaotic” at the center since Monday.