Childcare woes during SR 99 closure? Some providers keeping an eye on traffic

WEST SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Alaskan Way Viaduct closure might impact parents in a place they're not expecting - their pocketbooks.

Q13 News spoke with childcare providers in places expected to be hardest hit by traffic during the closure. With many providers charging late pick-up fees, some are keeping a close eye on traffic flows.

Tonya Martinez, the executive director of West Seattle's Ages in Stages, said they saw multiple early child dropoffs Monday as parents tried to beat the morning rush.

"We did notice more kids earlier than usual," Martinez said.

The closure and the extended traffic times it could bring are on the forefront of most parents' minds, Martinez said. Most parents at Ages in Stages commute to downtown Seattle after dropping their kids off.

Staff at Ages in Stages has reminded parents about the closure for past few weeks, Martinez said. Typically, parents are charged $1 a minute for late pickups.

But staff plan to work with parents during the crunch, especially the first few days.

"We will definitely give some of our families leeway this week," Martinez said. "We're using this week day-by-day to see what we need to do to support our families."

A few other childcare facilities said they also have late pick-up fees, but planned to be lenient this week.

Martinez encouraged good communication between parents and their childcare providers. Like anything, she said, an honest conversation is key. If you think you'll be late, let your provider know.

Schools in and around Seattle reported mostly normal travel times for students Monday morning. Both Seattle Public Schools and the Highline Public Schools said bus trips were on time and there were no major travel disruptions.