Some Oakland Unified School District moms provide emergency daycare during teacher strike

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ByEric Thomas KGO logo
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Moms provide emergency daycare during Oakland teacher strike
Some Oakland Unified School District moms are providing emergency daycare for parents who don't want to send kids to school during the teacher strike.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Rec centers and libraries aren't the only places Oakland parents are sending their kids for daycare during the teacher strike. Some moms are taking students into their own homes and watching them while their folks are at work.

It's lunchtime at Jen Houser's home, which has been converted into what she desperately hopes will be a temporary daycare.

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In addition to her own two kids, she's watching ten others whose parents have to work. All are students at Oakland Unified School District's Melrose Leadership Academy. Jen said she is ready and willing to help as much as she can.

"We're very luck to have a big backyard and flexible work schedules, so we knew there was no other alternative," she said.

The kids are in first through third grade. Most said they would actually rather be in school but all of them support the striking teachers.

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"Because teachers work very hard and we want them to get paid enough," said Jen's son, first grader Bridger Houser.

Classmate Tallulah Narvaez added, "Sometimes maybe we don't have the nicest teachers but at least we get to learn stuff."

At Tara Stoops' home in the Oakland Hills, she was running very orderly rotating stations for the six kids she was watching, including two of her own. There was math and reading, and a turn at video games. They even took a hike. The kids admitted school was important, but they didn't mind having a Friday off.

RELATED: Outraged parents confront Oakland Unified School District's Superintendent

"I want teachers to get better pay, but also part of my brain says it's fun not to go to school," said fifth grader Caelin Duffy.

Organizer Tara Stoops added, "I actually really enjoy spending time with the kids, but I appreciate the teachers and all the energy it takes to do that."

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the Oakland teacher strike.