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As Western New York reopens, many parents now seek child care

A lot of parents are finally going back to their jobs, and they're happy about that, but they have young children and are in need of child care.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As Western New York starts to reopen, we've heard from a lot of parents who are going back to work and have questions about finding child care.

On social media, we've heard from a lot of parents who are finally going back to their jobs, and they're happy about that, but they have young children and are in need of child care.

On Wednesday, 2 On Your Side spoke to Kaley Donaldson, a communications specialist at the Child Care Resource Network in Buffalo.

The agency says about 60 percent of local day cares closed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still a lot that remain open because they are essential services and have slots available.

There's a number of factors contributing to slots being open, with people losing their jobs and now caring for their kids. Also, because of the pandemic, some families are choosing not to send their kids into day cares, concerned about them getting sick. 

"There is an adequate supply right now for those people who are calling, but they do have to do a little digging to find the best fit for their child," Donaldson said. "A lot of the child care providers who have closed their doors over the last couple of months due to low enrollment are working on their own reopening plans."

Donaldson says that day cares are implementing safety protocols, but that can vary.  

As for cost, the Child Care Resource Network says expenses for day care have increased, but so far, that cost is not being passed onto families, in most cases.

A lot of families are still awaiting the state's decision on summer school; an announcement on that is expected by the end of the month.

The state is still deciding what to do with summer camps. 

If you are in need of child care or just have questions, you can call the Child Care Resource Network at 716-877-6666.

Erie County also provides information on child care programs and services. 

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