A phone message from Seattle Public Schools telling parents to make back-up plans if they don't have childcare has parents worried. It warned parents that union talks could delay the school year.
Kara Witsoe wants her daughter Ella in the classroom with the teachers she counts on.
"They are the unsung heroes of our community. I don't think they get enough money or enough respect," Witsoe says.
Union members voted Monday night to turn down the proposed contract, and will vote again next week, just before the first day of school.
"My personal opinion is the school year is too short as it is. I mean we need quality education for a long period of time," Nicole Little says.
The possibility of not starting on time has parents scrambling.
"Childcare is an issue, and the childcare situation in Ballard is dire. There's not really enough," Little says.
Even people without kids in school feel the union issue has to be worked out quickly.
"That's priority number one. And if we don't have that straight we need to get it straight you know," Brandon Staggs says.
Parents want a resolution so their children can be back in the classrooms that were full just a few months ago.
"Even though it might be difficult we'll figure it out it's important the teachers get what they need," Witsoe added.