Storm days leave parents scrambling

An unusual number of school closures on P.E.I. over the last month has left some parents struggling to find daycare, and it is hitting their household income.

An unusual number of school closures on P.E.I. over the last month has left some parents struggling to find daycare, and it is hitting their household income.

Storm days can be fun for children, but a financial problem for some parents. (CBC)

Chelsea Ling owns a nail studio in Charlottetown, and is mother to two boys. When school is cancelled due to a storm, she closes shop to look after them. She estimates that school closures cost her business $2,000 in December.

"Over Christmas I was hoping to use all of my extra cash money to put back into my business, and order new stock," said Ling.

"Luckily we still had enough to get through, but if I was working a minimum wage job we wouldn't have been able to."

It's not just a problem for business owners. Ashley Godfrey is a casual employee at DVA, and she stays home with her boy on storm days. It's time she is not paid for.

"The only things in my budget that I can work with are gas and food and things like that. You have fixed things like insurance and rent that you just can't touch," said Godfrey.

"So you have to start thinking about 'Maybe I won't put as much on my electricity bill this month and I'll have to make it up next month,' or you start thinking about things you can put on your credit card to make that up next month."

Parents with children in a regular after-school program can often rely on those to take children in on storm days, but there are few options for parents looking for storm-day only solutions.

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