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Minneapolis Parks to ramp up youth programs if local teachers go on strike

They're extending hours and activities at 10 recreation centers around the city.

If you're a parent who's wondering what to do about childcare should Minneapolis teachers decide to strike, the city's parks may be an option for you. 

The Minneapolis Parks Board announced Friday that it's "prepared to provide extended hours and activities for youth at 10 recreation centers" around the city. 

Each of the rec centers, which the board refers to as "hub sites," will be open Monday-Friday from noon-9 p.m, a news release says. 

From 12-3 p.m., each hub site will offer "free, fun, engaging and structured activities for up to 45 youth in grades K-8." Kids must be registered to participate, which parents can do either in-person or online.

(You can find the registration website by clicking right here.)

Youth not registered for the noon-3 program "can drop in any time after 3 p.m."

The hub sites are listed below:

The Parks Board says its 37 other recreation centers will maintain normal hours of 3-9 p.m.

But what about the mornings? Unfortunately, most parents will have to look outside school to arrange childcare. Per a teachers' strike FAQ put together by Minneapolis Public Schools, preK-5 "child supervision" will be available — albeit with "extremely limited" openings at "only a few" schools. 

"Families are strongly encouraged to find other child care options as openings are intended for families who have no other child supervision option," the district notes. 

The announcement comes as both Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers prepare for a possible strike, which will commence on Tuesday, March 8, if the unions and the districts can't reach a deal. 

Union members in both cities voted last month to authorize a strike amid strained contract talks. The teachers are seeking higher pay and improved conditions. You can learn more about the negotiations right here. 

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