Monica Ward starts her day loading Amazon packages — and her 5-year-old daughter — into her car before sunrise. In the early hours of the morning, she delivers boxes to doorsteps around Cincinnati while her daughter eats McDonald’s breakfast or sleeps in the backseat.

“I know she doesn’t have the attention span to stay in the car and be seated and not do obnoxious things for four or five hours,” Ward says.

But as a single mother of two who can’t afford daycare, Ward, 32, says she has two options: Leave her daughter at home with her teenage son or bring her along to gigs.

“I recently had to resign from my job because I did not make enough money for childcare,” she says. “I literally had no other option.”

Ward quit a full-time job in May after being deemed ineligible for daycare vouchers through the city. Her monthly earnings  — $3,028.50 as a $20.19 per hour worker — exceeded the state’s limit of $2,726 for a three-person household.

She requested a pay increase through her employer of two months, but it was denied. So, she was forced to resign and earn less money to again be eligible for childcare assistance.

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