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Shutdown closes child enrichment center, parents scramble for alternative care

Wednesday - 10/2/2013, 7:46am  ET

WASHINGTON - The federal government shutdown hasn't just closed the Smithsonian museums -- it also has closed the programs that are run there.

The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center isn't open, but families have already paid tuition for the current week and now need childcare. It can cost anywhere between $315 and $383 a week for families employed by the Smithsonian to send a child to SEEC, according to information on the center's website.

"Looks like we'll have to pay for her to be watched during the day while my wife and I are at work, and pay these tuition payments for as long as we have to keep her in school," a father who has a kindergarten-aged daughter told WTOP.

He's worried too that if the shutdown lasts for a long time, his daughter will have to make up time in the classroom in order to advance to 1st grade.

A notice from SEEC to parents says if federal workers get retroactive pay when it's all over, they'll owe tuition retroactively too.

Watch a FOX 5 video about SEEC's closure below:

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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