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The high price of parenting

Rising childcare costs during the pandemic have sent parents scrambling, too often right out of the workforce. Some companies are beginning to respond.

The high price of parenting
[Illustration: Sandro Rybak]

Childcare wasn’t exactly cheap or easy to find before March 2020, but 72% of parents say that it is more expensive in 2021 due to the pandemic, according to an analysis by Care.com. Plus, one-third of childcare centers have yet to reopen. Parents—and moms in particular—have been forced to take a step back or leave the workforce entirely. To try to limit the fallout, some companies are enhancing benefits, offering employees backup care, tutoring reimbursement, or even on-site childcare.

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Sources: Care.com survey “This Is How Much Child Care Costs in 2021”; Care.com and LifeCare’s The Future of Benefits report; “Safely Back to School After Coronavirus Closures,” McKinsey & Company; McKinsey American Opportunity Survey
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About the author

Julia Herbst is a senior staff editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. Previously she worked as a writer and editor at Los Angeles magazine and BREAKER magazine

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