City of Tampa offers free daycare Thursday

Two dozen recreation centers to remain open
Posted at 11:33 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 06:33:24-04

"Not everybody's flexible so you kind of have to weigh your options, family first or work first," said Francesca Labrake.

Tampa mom Francesca Labrake isn't alone tonight. Thousands of parents who will have to show up for work Thursday now quickly looking for daycare options.

The threat of torrential rains and flooding shuttering schools in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando and manatee counties.

"This is unexpected, schools closing tomorrow, nobody really knew," said mother Vivian Couch.

"I wasn't expecting them to cancel because it was still very tropical, but I understand why they did," said mother Luci Pennington.

In order to unburden the parents who just cant afford to take the day off, the city of Tampa is offering an alternative.

"Certainly in the city there will be a lot of single moms and parents who have to work, who's kids will be home alone all day long tomorrow and that's really not what we want," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

That's why Mayor Buckhorn made the call to keep two dozen city recreation centers open from 8 a.m, to 6 p.m, where the public can drop their children off free of charge.

A relieving option for parents like Luci Pennington.

"If we didn't have this opportunity, we'd just have to call on grandparents, family and close friends," said Pennington. "There phone would be ringing for sure, they might not answer but I certainly would try."

"We want to do what we can to be helpful and if it means watching a whole bunch of kids on a rainy day, we're happy to do that," said Buckhorn.

View map below for all open recreation center locations: