In the United States, our child care system is failing and this has hidden costs for working families. The typical annual cost for child care for a family with two children (an infant and a four-year-old) is nearly $18,000. That averages to about 30% of the typical working family's paycheck. This cost is so high that many can't afford it and leave the workforce altogether, with 75% of mothers and 50% of fathers in a recent poll saying they either left the workforce or switched to a less-demanding job.
Women make up the majority of tipped and minimum wage workers. Child care costs are a huge barrier for families, and retail hours and scheduling make it difficult for working parents to make enough to survive. Women still earn less on the dollar than their male counterparts. More than four in 10 private-sector workers—and more than 80% of low-wage workers—do not have paid sick days. What century are we in?
The “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” bus tour rolls into Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday and hits Chicago on Friday. Spearheaded by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the tour highlights a much-needed economic agenda for women and working families.
For the millions of mothers who work in restaurants, it's hard enough to balance work with the responsibility of raising your children right. But a recent survey shows that many employers seem to not only not care, but they act as if they are purposefully trying to make things harder for moms. From subminimum wages to lack of career mobility, working mothers face a wide array of challenges that make their lives harder and less rewarding.
The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. With hefty profit margins exceeding those of major retail chains such as Walmart and Target, the restaurant industry is expected to create up to a million more jobs by 2020. Many restaurants tout job creation yet pay some of the lowest wages to their employees. These low wages hinder people's ability to afford child care.
Hundreds of babies and toddlers from low-income families in the Green Bay, Wis., area will be happier and drier in the coming months, thanks to the 13,000 diapers collected by Brown County United Way, in partnership with the Greater Green Bay Labor Council Community Services Committee and 21 community partners. Dan Wadle, the AFL-CIO Community Services liaison, says:
It’s a case where there’s a lot of need in the community as far as with low-income families. It’s difficult to afford diapers.
Anyone who has ever raised kids knows that in those early years, you can never have too many diapers. But for low-income families, the cost of keeping infants in an average of about a dozen diapers a day and toddlers in eight can be a major financial burden.
This week in Green Bay Wis., the Brown County United Way, in partnership with the Greater Green Bay Labor Council Community Services Committee along with 21 community partners launched the first annual Brown County Diaper Drive.
When it comes to education, few would dispute that youngsters who have access to high-quality child care and early learning opportunities have a better chance at lifelong success.
Now, two research reports show that unions are playing a big role in helping child care providers bring the highest level of care to the children and families they serve. Another study calls for more effective public investment in early childhood education.