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Day Care Closures In Water Crisis Putting Stress On Families, Employees

Reported: Jan. 17, 2014 11:40 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 17, 2014 12:31 PM EST
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CROSS LANES, W.Va. (Katelyn Sykes) -- Families all across the area were left scrambling this week to find child care alternatives after providers and day care facilities had to shut their doors because of the ongoing water crisis.

The YMCA in Cross Lanes was forced to close last Friday because of the contaminated water. The closure affected 100 families who rely on these services and about 30 employees were left without work for a week.

On Thursday, the YMCA got the green light from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department after an inspection to open the YMCA's child care and day care services, but with restrictions.

The center can't serve any hot meals for the kids, and parents with infants must provide enough bottles for their babies for the day since they can't do any washing because of the water.

Water bottles and sanitizer are in all of the rooms, and water fountains are covered and are not allowed to be used.

YMCA officials said this has been a challenging experience especially for the families who rely on them.

"It's not just having a place to bring their kids bu . . . they trust us," said Debi White, executive director, YMCA, Cross Lanes. "So you're taking a child some place, having to find some place else to go where you don't know the people, the child might not know them. Getting open again has been great."

White said they are not sure how long it will take to be completely back up and running. The YMCA is currently on a list for another round of inspections by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department but haven't been given a time frame for when that can happen.



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