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D-FW hospitals offer child care so parents can work on a snow day

02/09/2011 10:48 PM

02/09/2011 11:10 PM

Legos, DVDs and toy trains kept kids busy and their parents on the job at North Hills Hospital on Wednesday.

The facility opened a free makeshift day care so employees with children who could not attend school could come to work despite the icy weather.

For single mom Carrie Abbott, the day care was a huge relief after she used four vacation days last week to stay home with daughter Hailey. 8.

"This is the most awesome idea they could ever have come up with," said Abbott, a CT scan technologist. "It's just a huge blessing."

About a dozen children and their parents took advantage of the day care.

Jane McCurley, chief nursing officer, said the hospital struggled to get employees to work last week.

"We had people in vans go out and get them, and we had cabs pick some people up," she said. "But the one thing we couldn't get a handle on was having no child care for kids out of school."

The solution was to childproof a classroom and stock it with games, movies and toys. Volunteers watched the children, and early Wednesday, the hospital called workers to let them know about the day care.

Other hospitals also found ways to address the child-care issue after schools were closed again.

For a fee, six school-age children spent Wednesday at a day-care center shared by employees of Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth and Cook Children's Medical Center.

Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth has an on-site day-care center, spokeswoman Mary Johnson said. And a privately owned day-care center next door to Texas Health Arlington Memorial provided services.

Jan Jarvis, 817-390-7664

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