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two people with one childEmployer benefits like dependent care FSAs are not the panacea to our country’s childcare needs, but they serve as an important tool for families as we navigate these unprecedented times.

The last six months have turned our traditional notions of childcare upside down. Schools host virtual learning from home, daycare facilities and after-school programs have been closed, summer programs canceled, and kids and families are spending more time at home than ever. It’s taking a toll. Thirteen percent of U.S. parents had to quit a job or reduce their working hours due to a lack of childcare, according to Northeastern University survey.

And while many parents have been able to work from home while trying to juggle child-rearing responsibilities at the same time, essential workers did not have this luxury. They needed to go to work and were often found scrambling for options for their young children.

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