MARIETTA, Ga. --You can add another 500 names to the list of employees affected by the federal shutdown. On Friday, more than two dozen Head Start programs in the northern part of metro Atlanta closed their doors.
The decision also leaves about 2,200 families scrambling to figure out what to do with their children on Monday, as they head to work or school.
Dwayne Lindley hasn't figured out yet how to break the news to his son.
"He wakes up and wants to go. Wanting to go," said Lindley while waiting for his son to come out of the Marietta Head Start class.
Each Head Start district has a different funding cycle. The Ninth District, which includes programs in Marietta, Gainesville, Buford and Cumming endedOctober first.
While most parents got warning on Tuesday this could happen, many hoped the shut down would be resolved in time.
"In the morning she cry because maybe today is the last day," said Teresa Luna.
Luna fears lawmakers will cut funding toHead Start when they do finally reach a budget deal. That'swhy parents, exasperated by the uncertainty, say they may have to quit their jobs or find new ones.
"I don't know. We don't know what we're going to do on Monday," said Lindley, holding a letter from the school regarding the closure.
"People don't have options. People can't spend $200, $300 on daycare," said Nicole Minor as she picked up her twin daughters.
Even if they could, parents say Head Start isn't just about giving kids a safe place to go. It's therapy, and school.
"She was on speech therapy when we entered into here and she graduated after three months of being in the program and they're so excited about coming here," said Minor.