Stacie Steelman of Carlsbad, Calif., who runs a backup child care service called Crunch Care, says panicked parents call her at 10 p.m. — or even 6 a.m. — hoping to get a babysitter before they go to work at 8:30 a.m.

“There are parents who are so pressured at work that they drop their kids off sick,” Steelman says.

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