Members of the Carroll County Child Care Task Force have suggested that businesses create child-care programs for their employees to helpsolve the "desperate crisis" in caring for infants and school-age children.

Recommendations ranged from corporate-sponsored financial assistance to employees with high child-care costs to a group of businesses working together to create a centrally located facility.

The group, formed in September by Commissioner Julia W. Gouge to investigate low-cost, quality day care for the county, will present afinal report of more than 20 suggestions to the commissioners in March.

Among the group's concerns are that approximately 1,000 middleschool-aged children are left unsupervised during the day and that amajority of young families cannot afford day care.

Although economic factors often dictate that both parents work, the task force found that many women quit their jobs or request public assistance because they cannot find adequate child care.

Other suggestions included encouraging partnerships between schools and child-care facilities, an amnesty program allowing unlicensed care providers to obtain licenses without penalty and businesses' reserving spots in care facilities for their employees.

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