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El Paso daycares feel the pinch during coronavirus emergency

EL PASO, Texas -- "It was in our best interest and in our families, our clients and children to make that decision to close," said Nick Frescas, a co-owner of a family-owned El Paso daycare that decided to close its' doors in the wake of the coronavirus emergency declaration in the city.  

Grammies Daycare wasn't forced to close, Frescas noted it's considered an "essential" business. It could have stayed open, but Frescas said that would've of created an unnecessary risk to the community.

Tobias Frescas, Nick's brother and co-owner, felt for the employees that are dealing with the shutdown saying, "They are having a hard time. Times are tough, not only for this but economically, and you know we do the best we can to make sure they are getting the highest pay that's possible.  With the fact that we are not able to get revenue in the business, it's hard for us to keep up that level of payment for them."

The Frescas' sister, Divina Buentello, is also a co-owner and had a question for the local government: "The school districts closed immediately and then immediately after that were the city and local run daycare centers. Why on this other end are they having us as private owners remain open?"

Nick Frescas laments on how his daycare sounded when open, "Our life is filled with noise, our life is filled with happiness, crying, laughing, it's a wonderful thing so for our buildings to not have that it's a sad thing right now."

Elsewhere in El Paso, Richard Powers kept his doors open for as long as he could.

With parents being asked to work from home, or being laid off due to the shutdown, his customers didn't need him anymore.

"About 80%, then to 30% capacity and down to 10 due to the city wide shutdown," said Powers.

That put Shaun Felice, a father to a toddler, out a daycare provider. With so many businesses shutting down, it made finding a daycare that was still accepting new clients almost impossible.  Since his wife works as well, Felice had to take time off.

"I had to take days off of work to watch Jett, because I had days saved up for vacation time where my wife didn't have any, so I was designated to stay home," said Felice.

Powers and Felice both expressed their frustrations but understand everyone is dealing with the shutdown and they want what's best for the Borderland.

Coronavirus Video / Education / El Paso / News / Video

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.

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