Parenting

Want Mothers To Work? Provide Childcare

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The New York Times ran an article on the "new poor." They are working class mothers who are forced on the welfare rolls from paid work because the government has cut their childcare subsidies.

From the Times:

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Miranda Lambert saw the sign a veteran was holding up at her concert, she immediately broke down in tears:

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Miranda Lambert saw the sign a veteran was holding up at her concert, she immediately broke down in tears:

TUCSON — Able-bodied, outgoing and accustomed to working, Alexandria Wallace wants to earn a paycheck. But that requires someone to look after her 3-year-old daughter, and Ms. Wallace, a 22-year-old single mother, cannot afford child care.

Last month, she lost her job as a hair stylist after her improvised network of baby sitters frequently failed her, forcing her to miss shifts. She qualifies for a state-run subsidized child care program. But like many other states, Arizona has slashed that program over the last year, relegating Ms. Wallace’s daughter, Alaya, to a waiting list of nearly 11,000 eligible children.

Despite a substantial increase in federal support for subsidized child care, which has enabled some states to stave off cuts, others have trimmed support, and most have failed to keep pace with rising demand, according to poverty experts and federal officials.

That has left swelling numbers of low-income families struggling to reconcile the demands of work and parenting, just as they confront one of the toughest job markets in decades.

 

There is something we can do about it. MomsRising is circulating a petition to give millions of families across the country access to quality and affordable childcare.

For folks who feel like this idea does not benefit them, here is a pretty compelling reason:

Studies have shown that affordable child care is a key part of the economy and is responsible for generating nearly $580 billion in labor income and $69 billion in tax revenue while providing more than 15 million jobs.

 

Not to mention, we would have a labor force that would include the talents and skills of mothers, 80 percent of women 44 years and younger in this country.