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Day care center feeling ripple effect of government shutdown

HabiTots Preschool and Child Care Center in Medford

HabiTots Preschool and Child Care Center in Medford said it has felt the impact of the shutdown. Credit: Shelby Knowles

Day care centers have joined the list of Long Island businesses hurt by the ripple effects of the 35-day partial government shutdown. President Donald Trump and lawmakers reached a deal Friday to fund the government for three weeks, through Feb. 15.

During the shutdown, parents who were furloughed and could no longer pay for child care services have withdrawn their kids from day care. 

Kathy Liguori, co-owner of the HabiTots day care brand, with two locations on Long Island -- Medford and Middle Island -- said four families pulled their children out last week.

"We lost about six children in a seven-day span," she said. "It was a really big hit, financially." 

The day care withdrawals represent a loss of about $6,000 a month in revenue for the business, Liguori said.  

"We know we're not the only day care being affected," she said.

"It really puts us in a tough spot, because now we're faced with having to cut the work hours of some of our employees and we know that will affect them." 

The Medford HabiTots, which lost the enrollments, has 35 employees, she said. 

"Some of the families who had to withdraw their children from our care have two parents who are furloughed," she said. "They're really hurting because of this. It's an unfortunate situation all around. My heart really goes out to them." 

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