Snow Days

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

According to the Farmers' Almanac, our area will have an average winter this year. Although area schools often shut down when it snows, most businesses stay open. This means parents often face a child care dilemma on snow days when they have to work but elementary schools are closed. 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 the Office for Children’s Director Anne-Marie Twohie. She explains that parents can find child care professionals near their home or office on the Office for Children’s website.

The Office for Children maintains a database of child care programs in Fairfax County. Office for Children records show that nearly half of the county’s legally-operating 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," Twohie says. Then when bad weather hits, parents will have a number of child care professionals 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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