‘It costs more than our mortgage.’ Metro East families struggle to secure child care

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BELLEVILLE – Leslie Barton and Tony Browning put themselves on a day care waitlist before Barton was three months pregnant. It was more than a year later when they secured care in Edwardsville, and even then it was part time and cost more than their monthly mortgage payment.

Their story is one with which many families in the Metro East area are familiar as the average Illinois family pays $13,762 for center-based care per infant.

The U.S. average for care for children of all ages is $9,200 to $9,600 per year per child, according to Child Care Aware. The nonprofit organization provides a caveat for this number, writing that child care costs vary greatly based on location.

Affordability of child care is affected by a number of factors, including race and ethnicity, family size, whether the child is enrolled in a center or a family program, marital status of parents, birth country of parents and age of the child or children. Child Care Aware provides data sets aiming to estimate the impact of these factors on affordability.

Barton said she could not imagine trying to find options for her child if her family made minimum wage, worked jobs that could not be done remotely or did not have family members to help out.

"I am very lucky to have a mom who’s retired who can help us," Barton said.

The couple does receive a child tax credit of $3,600, which is available to families making less than $150,000 annually. Qualifying families receive $3,000 for each child older than 6 and $3,600 for each child under the age of 6.

The average monthly price of full-time child care per child is $808 in St. Clair County, or 17% of the median income for a family with a child under 6 years old. St. Clair County and Illinois both have higher average child care costs than the U.S. as a whole.

Why are waitlists so long? Why does day care cost so much?

Barton and Browning waited more than a year to get their daughter, Margaux, into a day care facility. They shared her nursery as an office while they waited on five lists.

Licensing regulations, a declining workforce, low wages and COVID-19 regulations have all contributed to the lack of available child care options, especially impacting infant and toddler populations.

Shauna Ejeh, senior vice president of Illinois Action for Children, said one reason infant care is difficult to find is facilities actually lose money on their infant programs, so they don’t offer many spots.

"To provide quality infant care probably costs between $20,000 to $30,000 a year. First of all, parents can’t afford that, right?" Ejeh said.

In Cook County, Ejeh said parents pay college tuition rates for child care, from $16,000 to $20,000 per year, if they can even find an infant slot. But even those high rates would not cover Ejeh’s cost estimation for quality infant care.

Because day care facilities typically lose money on infant programs, Ejeh said there are typically only one or two infant classes (with about eight to 12 children in each) at any given center.

Another issue is staffing. Teaching positions that pay more than infant care are experiencing mass shortages, and day care staffing has also been affected by the Great Resignation.

"We have the challenge where salaries are not on parity with other levels of education, but particularly K through 12," Ejeh said. "We have traditionally underspent on our early care and education system, and so a lot of folks working in classrooms are not earning a living wage."

Janice Moenster, director of early childhood services for the southern region of Children’s Home & Aid, said on average, a child care teacher may earn from $13 to $17 per hour.

"It’s difficult, because they could go to other companies and have a higher wage or a very similar wage and not as many stressors in their life," Moenster said.

Ejeh said the most important thing that can be done for the child care problem in the U.S. is for federal investments to increase. Ejeh said the U.S. currently spends $2 billion per year on early education and child care, and the number should be closer to $14 billion.

How can you find somewhere for your child to go?

Children’s Home & Aid Child Care Resource & Referral is an information service providing families with consumer education and referral options based on their personal needs.

Call 800-467-9200 to speak with a professional about finding a child care facility with openings or waitlists within your price range. The referral system takes into consideration the type of care a parent is interested in, siblings, disabilities the child may have and whether the family is experiencing homelessness.

"The Child Care Resource & Referral was designed to really address quality, accessibility and affordability. Those are the three primary strategies that we employ within our program," Moenster said.

It is the family’s decision whether they decide to pursue any of the referred programs, but the professionals staffing the resource system provide a live search aimed at giving the family options on their first call.

"We do know that (for) infant/toddler care, almost every program has a waitlist," Moenster said. "Infant/toddler slots for children were minimal to begin with, and when COVID happened, programs had to cut back on the number of children in care, for safety reasons."

An alternative parents can consider is family based care. Family programs can still be licensed and may have attachment advantages, Ejeh said.

"Attachment to a primary caregiver, even outside of the home, really aids and supports that child’s development," Ejeh said.

In a child care center, children are sometimes moved from classroom to classroom without having the same teacher, and Ejeh said the stability made possible by home-based providers is a good thing.

One way to find a facility is through ExceleRate Illinois, which provides program rankings.

The Child Care Assistance Program helps families find affordable child care options and assists families in determining applicable relief programs.

Head Start and "Preschool for All" are two other Illinois programs for receiving financial support for day care. The Child Tax Credit is also available.

Most popular girl names in the 60s in Illinois

What’s in a name?

Every new parent faces the difficult decision of choosing the perfect name for a newborn. First names rarely get changed after being assigned and carry with them a wide range of meanings and associations. This creates a lot of pressure on expectant parents to pick the perfect moniker for their little ones.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many parents end up choosing the same names over and over. Research suggests that we pick specific names implying desired characteristics about our children, selecting names for boys and girls intended to shape them. Male monikers are commonly inspired by political, cultural, and personal influences that suggest good, masculine, and well-rounded people.

The 1960s are commonly associated with tie-dye-clad hippies, psychedelic experimentation, and rock ‘n’ roll icons like the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. But underneath the flower power, free love exterior, the ‘60s were a period of radical social and political change—not only in the United States but around the world. The decade was one characterized by a host of juxtapositions; anger and fear over injustice and uneasy political conditions lived alongside notions of musical awakening and pacifist harmony.

Stacker compiled a list of the most popular baby names for boys in the ‘60s in Illinois using data from the Social Security Administration. Names are ranked by number of babies born. The names in this list represent the distinct intersection of Baby Boomer and Gen X and a reflection of some of the most well-known celebrities, musicians, and trends of the time. Keep reading to see if your name was among the most popular in the ‘60s in your home state.




Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock



#50. Rhonda

Rhonda is a name of Welsh origin meaning "good lance".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,670

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 5 (#813 most common name, data not available compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #44

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 93,607




Fuller Photography // Shutterstock



#49. Rebecca

Rebecca is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "servant of God".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,721

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 589 (#219 most common name, -87.5% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #41

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 99,468




Black-Photogaphy // Shutterstock



#48. Cindy

Cindy is a name of Greek origin meaning "woman from Mount Kynthos".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,742

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 85 (#1109 (tie) most common name, -98.2% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #46

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 91,589




Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock



#47. Melissa

Melissa is a name of Greek origin meaning "honey bee".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,767

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 655 (#192 most common name, -86.3% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #33

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 119,212




Blend Images // Shutterstock



#46. Jacqueline

Jacqueline is a name of French origin meaning "may God protect".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,812

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 600 (#213 most common name, -87.5% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #51

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 84,366




Zdenka Darula // Shutterstock



#45. Jill

Jill is a name of English origin meaning "child of the gods".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,853

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 600 (#213 most common name, data not available compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #61

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 69,144




Canva



#44. Maria

Maria is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "sea of bitterness".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,870

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 1,102 (#112 most common name, -77.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #49

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 88,642




Elvira Koneva // Shutterstock



#43. Robin

Robin is a name of German origin meaning "fame-bright".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,979

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 65 (#1301 most common name, -98.7% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #34

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 118,322




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#42. Catherine

Catherine is a name of Greek origin meaning "pure".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 4,988

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 618 (#208 most common name, -87.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #56

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 76,791




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#41. Margaret

Margaret is a name of Greek origin meaning "pearl".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 5,466

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 1,170 (#104 most common name, -78.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #53

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 81,869




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#40. Tracy

Tracy is a name of Irish origin meaning "fighter".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 5,545

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 5 (#3152 (tie) most common name, -99.9% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #39

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 103,778




Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock



#39. Janet

Janet is a name of Scottish origin meaning "God is gracious".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 5,686

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 73 (#1219 (tie) most common name, -98.7% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #47

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 89,307




javi_indy // Shutterstock



#38. Theresa

Theresa is a name of Greek origin meaning "late summer".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 5,774

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 92 (#1047 (tie) most common name, -98.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #42

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 97,120




Olesia Bilkei // Shutterstock



#37. Kathy

Kathy is a name of Greek origin meaning "pure".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 5,819

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 26 (#1910 most common name, -99.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #40

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 101,119




Canva



#36. Teresa

Teresa is a name of Greek origin meaning "huntress".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 6,201

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 195 (#577 most common name, -96.9% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #25

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 151,770




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#35. Carol

Carol is a name of German origin meaning "free man".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 6,597

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 55 (#1416 most common name, -99.2% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #38

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 112,341




Natee K Jindakum // Shutterstock



#34. Amy

Amy is a name of French origin meaning "beloved".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 6,751

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 605 (#210 most common name, -91.0% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #35

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 116,789




Africa Studio // Shutterstock



#33. Kelly

Kelly is a name of Irish origin meaning "bright-headed".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 6,983

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 305 (#389 most common name, -95.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #30

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 128,078




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#32. Tina

Tina is a name of English origin meaning "river".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 7,013

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 13 (#2320 most common name, -99.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #31

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 126,385




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#31. Brenda

Brenda is a name of Norse origin meaning "sword".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 7,397

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 166 (#683 (tie) most common name, -97.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #19

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 164,483




DONUT6_STUDIO // Shutterstock



#30. Cheryl

Cheryl is a name of Greek origin meaning "cherry fruit".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 7,750

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 166 (#683 (tie) most common name, data not available compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #28

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 135,650




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#29. Diane

Diane is a name of Latin origin meaning "divine".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 7,856

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 31 (#1789 most common name, -99.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #36

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 114,441




Oleksiy Avtomonov // Shutterstock



#28. Denise

Denise is a name of Greek origin meaning "to be devoted to Bacchus".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,053

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 185 (#604 (tie) most common name, -97.7% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #29

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 128,834




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#27. Tammy

Tammy is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "palm tree".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,342

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 185 (#604 (tie) most common name, data not available compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #13

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 182,218




Nolte Lourens // Shutterstock



#26. Sharon

Sharon is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "a fertile plain".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,528

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 74 (#1210 most common name, -99.1% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #23

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 154,883




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#25. Angela

Angela is a name of Latin origin meaning "messenger of God".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,579

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 592 (#217 most common name, -93.1% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #22

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 159,248




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#24. Kathleen

Kathleen is a name of Irish origin meaning "pure".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,708

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 167 (#676 (tie) most common name, -98.1% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #32

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 120,967




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#23. Barbara

Barbara is a name of Greek origin meaning "foreign".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,928

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 104 (#978 (tie) most common name, -98.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #21

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 159,750




Tatiana Katsai // Shutterstock



#22. Nancy

Nancy is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "grace".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 8,972

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 134 (#805 most common name, -98.5% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #26

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 142,707




Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock



#21. Dawn

Dawn is a name of English origin meaning "daybreak".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,061

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 22 (#2011 most common name, -99.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #37

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 114,291




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#20. Debra

Debra is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "bee".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,333

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 22 (#2011 most common name, data not available compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #24

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 153,776




Zdenka Darula // Shutterstock



#19. Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "god is my oath".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,441

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 3,509 (#13 most common name, -62.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #17

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 168,897




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#18. Christine

Christine is a name of English origin meaning "follower of Christ".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,449

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 113 (#905 (tie) most common name, -98.8% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #27

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 139,333




Africa Studio // Shutterstock



#17. Jennifer

Jennifer is a name of English origin meaning "white shadow, white wave".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,573

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 578 (#221 (tie) most common name, -94.0% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #20

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 164,429




pixelheadphoto digitalskillet // Shutterstock



#16. Pamela

Pamela is a name of Greek origin meaning "all sweetness".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,963

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 57 (#1392 most common name, -99.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #14

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 181,948




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#15. Lori

Lori is a name of English origin meaning "bay laurel".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 9,964

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 12 (#2377 (tie) most common name, -99.9% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #15

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 176,561




DONOT6_STUDIO // Shutterstock



#14. Sandra

Sandra is a name of Greek origin meaning "defender of man".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 10,062

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 152 (#730 (tie) most common name, -98.5% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #11

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 183,812




Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock



#13. Deborah

Deborah is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "bee".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 10,140

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 73 (#1219 (tie) most common name, -99.3% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #12

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 183,434




phadungsak sawasdee // Shutterstock



#12. Donna

Donna is a name of Italian origin meaning "lady of the home".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 10,563

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 44 (#1561 most common name, -99.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #8

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 213,457




Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock



#11. Cynthia

Cynthia is a name of Greek origin meaning "moon goddess".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 11,134

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 262 (#455 (tie) most common name, -97.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #10

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 196,606




Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock



#10. Michelle

Michelle is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "who is like God?".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 12,461

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 819 (#153 most common name, -93.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #9

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 208,285




Liudmila Fadzeyeva // Shutterstock



#9. Julie

Julie is a name of Latin origin meaning "youthful".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 12,535

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 217 (#536 most common name, -98.3% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #18

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 166,151




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#8. Patricia

Patricia is a name of Latin origin meaning "noble".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 13,279

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 175 (#637 (tie) most common name, -98.7% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #6

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 231,137




pixelheadphoto digitalskillet // Shutterstock



#7. Linda

Linda is a name of Italian origin meaning "beautiful".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 13,310

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 136 (#797 most common name, -99.0% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #7

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 225,412




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#6. Laura

Laura is a name of Latin origin meaning "bay laurel plant".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 14,160

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 327 (#370 most common name, -97.7% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #16

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 174,184




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#5. Kimberly

Kimberly is a name of English origin meaning "from the wood of the royal forest".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 15,870

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 1,034 (#121 most common name, -93.5% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #5

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 259,092




Krystyna Taran // Shutterstock



#4. Karen

Karen is a name of Danish origin meaning "pure".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 16,373

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 261 (#458 most common name, -98.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #4

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 286,044




phadungsak sawasdee // Shutterstock



#3. Susan

Susan is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "lily".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 18,066

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 114 (#899 most common name, -99.4% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #3

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 287,661




Marko Poplasen // Shutterstock



#2. Mary

Mary is a name of Hebrew origin meaning "drop of the sea".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 22,458

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 856 (#146 most common name, -96.2% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #2

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 355,223




Tatyana Domnicheva // Shutterstock



#1. Lisa

Lisa is a name of English origin meaning "God’s promise".

Illinois

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 25,554

– Number of babies from 2010 to 2019: 94 (#1036 most common name, -99.6% compared to the 60s)

National

– Rank: #1

– Number of babies from 1960 to 1969: 496,980




FamVeld // Shutterstock



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March 31, 2022 at 06:01PM

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