More Parents Missing Day Care Payments

Even though gas prices are dropping, the struggling economy is affecting many people, especially parents with children in day care.

Local day care centers say they are seeing an increase in parents missing payments and taking their children out of day care. But instead of quitting their job to care for their children, many parents are turning to the Boys and Girls Club after school program.

In the last month, the Maverick Club says they have noticed more new faces than usual. Terry Smith says, "We've increased about 30 kids since the beginning of the school year." She says most of the children previously spent the afternoon at a day care.

"I see more fear in the white collar worker than I do in the blue collar worker and I believe that blue collar workers don't have the money to invest in the market but the white collars, that's where they put their money."

And many parents are having to rely on family and friends for assistance or switch from full to half day care.

Kristi Hanes of the Night & Day, Care & Play says, "They would prefer them to be here because they are in a learning environment and their kids really enjoy day care but it all boils down to cost. We have lots of parents that are waiters and waitresses and they are saying their tips are a lot lower, they are able to pay less."

The average cost of child care is $200 a week. If you need financial assistance the Panhandle Workforce Solutions says there is still aid for those who qualify.

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