Alternative Childcare during Thanksgiving Break

November 23, 2009 7:16:12 PM PST
Most Valley schools are closed this week, but the holidays don't begin until Thursday for most parents. Finding child care can be difficult, but there are some businesses cashing in while school is out.At northwest Fresno's Little Gym Monday morning, children played a game of indoor football during a three day fall camp. The gym canceled all of its regularly scheduled classes this week and instead opened the camp to anyone. "A lot of the parents bring their kids because obviously their kids are out of school so they're looking for some kind of structured entertainment for them, but also, for our members, who don't have classes those week, it allows them to still come and do something at the gym," said gym director Sarah Hamilton.

In northeast Fresno, drop in daycare Kidspark is also getting ready for an influx of school-aged kids this week. The center is the only licensed daycare open days, late nights, and weekends in Fresno. While it usually sees mostly preschool aged children during the day, this week the staff tweaked activities to give older children something to do. While parents work, shop, or entertain out of town guests, this is a place where kids can be kids. "If they want to have family time on Thursday and then have an adult evening on Friday night, we'll be here for them," said Kidspark owner Susi Finley.

Back at the Little Gym in northwest Fresno, parents say this fall camp does more than give adults kid-free time. "It's not healthy parent and the child to be on top of each other- no how much close, and how much you love each other. Children need to be around children. Children need to get their energy out. Children need to be in a safe environment where they can explore their personality and grow," said parent Laura Toomey. For those parents who do need a break, the fall camp has an added benefit. After three hours of nonstop action, the kids go home pretty tired.


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