Parents scramble to find care for kids during strike

Jobs and WorkplaceChicago Teachers Strike

As union teachers remain on strike, non-union employees tend to the "Children First" activities being offered at 147 schools across the city for a second day.

Parents dropped children off today at the "Children First" sites, including McPherson Elementary School, 4728 North Wolcott Avenue.  But there is limited programming and no instruction.

CPS says the contingency measures served about 18,000 students yesterday, and attendance appeared just as light today.  The district insists the half-day of programming is no waste of time.

"Most of our games are memory games so they can work on their memory," McPherson Elementary School principal Carmen Mendoza tells WGN.  "There's some math-multiplication games there, so they can work on their math, their addition, their subtraction.  So there's not necessarily instruction but there is learning."

But clearly the majority of Chicago's 402,000 public school students are not in school.

The nice weather has parks busier than usual for this time of year, and children are at many workplaces.  Parents are also taking advantage of emergency church and community programs.

Quite a few kids are on the picket lines for a second day with parents who are also teachers on strike.

Teachers and parents say they are hopeful about a new contract by the end of this week.  Many tell WGN they have not made any plans for dealing with a strike long term.

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