Parents scramble for child care amid Prospect Heights teacher strike
PROSPECT HEIGHTS (FOX 32 News) - The teachers strike in Prospect Heights District 23 dragged on for a fifth day, and the child care challenge continued to be on the top of the frustration list for many working parents.
“Everybody got to come up with some idea of what to do with the kids. You know we’re both working, me and my wife we are working, so we're trying to do our best, but it is what it is,” said Max Bakman, as he picked up his son from the Prospect Heights Park District.
For some parents that has been the solution, where for $42 a day, the kids have a place to go while the teachers remain out on strike.
“So we have child care available this week, which is really helpful. He got to go swimming indoors and that's how we are coping with it,” said Laura Gross, who teaches at another school, but had to take off three days of work last week because of the strike.
“Well I feel like it's both lucky and not lucky,” said her son Evan, a second grader at Betsy Ross Elementary. “You can do extra fun time like play at parks and stuff, but it's unlucky because there isn't that much time to learn anymore.”
On Tuesday night, teachers rallied outside the school board offices where another round of negotiations was taking place. But as the strike drags on, parents are getting frustrated.
“As this week is progressing, I'm not very confident and I'm getting kind of irritated. Kids need to be in school so we need to get this resolved,” said parent Morgan Casey.
Meanwhile, parents are relying on the park district and extended families to survive the child care challenge.
“They said can you help us out because we need to watch the boys, because they have three children, so we said of course,” said Karen Jarocki, who is helping out her daughter and son-in-law by watching their three boys.
Negotiators for the school board and the teachers expressed hope that they could resolve the strike and get teachers back to work. Wednesday was a scheduled day off for Yum Kippur, so the earliest classes could resume would be Thursday.