Snow Days

Office for Children Can Help Families Plan for Child Care on Snow Days

According to the Farmers' Almanac, our area will have a colder than average winter this year with mixed snow, sleet and rain. When schools are closed due to inclement weather, parents may need backup care. The Fairfax County Office for Children can help families find care for their children this winter.

"The key is to plan ahead and arrange for care now, before it snows," says Carol Keil, who oversees OFC's child care resource and referral division. She explains that parents can find child care programs near their home or office on the Office for Children's website.

The Office for Children maintains a database of family child care and center-based programs in Fairfax County. Office for Children records show that nearly half of the county's regulated child care businesses offer the option of occasional or back-up care. This includes hundreds of individuals who care for children in their homes, as well as a number of child care centers.

"It's a good idea for parents to visit a few programs ahead of time to see which child care situation will work best on snow days," Keil says. Then when bad weather hits, parents will have some child care programs to choose from.

Making arrangements ahead of time may make it less likely that children will be home alone on snow days. Fairfax County's child supervision guidelines recommend that even at age 12, children are not yet ready to be left unsupervised more than three hours at a time.



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