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Times are fiscally tight in the for-profit world of childcare as well, and insurance is among the first line items that childcare providers think they can drop—and an unregulated childcare facility is able to do so without any state government intervention, says Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, in Arlington, Va., which works with more than 600 state and local childcare resource and referral agencies nationwide. 

Indeed, unregulated childcare across the country is putting pressure on the cost of childcare inside the regulated system, Smith says. 

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