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A crisis for caregivers

The pandemic has left parents with impossible choices. Rose Conlon/Marketplace

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The coronavirus pandemic has made it next to impossible for many parents to play the dual roles of caregiver and worker.

Schools and day cares closed their doors, some indefinitely. In-person sports, music lessons and after-school tutoring were canceled, while help from family, friends, babysitters and nannies became fraught with new risks.

The U.S. was ill-prepared for this crisis. It is among the only wealthy countries with no guaranteed paid family leave, paid sick leave or access to affordable child care, which costs more than college tuition in most states. 

In an October 2020 Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, we asked parents how the pandemic was affecting their work and family lives.

This series explores how a difficult problem is becoming increasingly unworkable.

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