Story by Nick Austin
Storm Alert 3 Meteorologist

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)--The threat of snow may shut down schools Thursday in Hamilton county.  However, school officials aren't the only ones dreading another snow day.  Day care center workers are also keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

"We actually spent all day cleaning and doing some extra stuff assuming that we're not going to be here tomorrow," said Emily Nasca, director of the child care center at Brainerd United Method Church in Chattanooga.  Her policy on whether to close is a "wait and see" decision.

"We here at Brainerd follow Hamilton county [schools].  So if Hamilton county closes tomorrow, we will also close," explained Nasca.  If snow shuts down the center, where does that leave the parents who normally leave their kids in Nasca's hands?

"Baby sitters go for a very high dollar on snow days," said Nasca.  "I'm sure my staff fetches about twenty dollars an hour."  Her staff members provide care at some of their clients' homes on snow days in order to make up for lost pay, but they can't baby sit for everyone.
    
     Susan Potter has two young ones at the church's child care facility.  Her boss is nice enough to let her bring three and half year old Gavin and 2 year old Miles to work if the center closes.

"If it's really bad, then we'll just stay at home.  He'll be very understanding, said Potter.  "But if not, then they're pretty understanding to let me bring the kids but it's really hard to work with kids in an office."

     For Potter and other parents of child care kids, paying a baby sitter is not always an option.  "Not a lot of people have the resources available just to say hey, I've got an extra 50 bucks.  Come and watch my kids for the day," said Potter.

     She says it isn't only stressful for the parents, but it's not fair for the children either.  "It's a lot to ask of children to be in an adult environment all day."