Parents turn to Minneapolis rec centers for child care during Day 1 of teacher strike

It’s only Day 1, but the elementary students at Longfellow Community Center in Minneapolis already had lots of energy to burn off. The rec center is one of 10 throughout the city that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is opening up for child care and programming during the teacher strike.

There are free slots for 45 kids and there is already a waiting list.

RELATED: Classes canceled at Minneapolis Public Schools Tuesday, strike begins

“We have craft activities and the gym so they can run around. It’s an opportunity for them to get their energy out instead of being cooped up all day,” said Matt Bell, a recreation supervisor with MPRB.

Grateful parents were waiting for the doors to open at noon. Many of them said they support the teachers but called it stressful to have class canceled for an indefinite amount of time.

“I think we all want the teachers to be paid properly and to get the support they need,” parent Jeremy Paciorek said. “Being a parent and trying to hold down the job and get the kids off the devices and wanting them to get a good education … it’s difficult. Hopefully, it’s a quick process.”

Minneapolis Public Schools has more than 30,000 students.