Low-Income Parents and Caregivers Deserve a Federal Guaranteed Income Program

Across the U.S., caregivers—especially moms—are being left behind by policies that don’t value the work they do every day. Families are facing systemic problems like lack of access to childcare, transportation, safe housing and nutritious food.

Federal programs that address these issues without unnecessary and stigmatizing restrictions would enable caregivers to provide high quality care and set their children up for success.

D.C. Experimented With Giving Childcare Workers Big Raises. The Project May Not Last.

Lawmakers tried to reform D.C. childcare by giving big raises to many early childhood educators—which they used to pay down credit cards, move into new apartments, buy or pay off cars, schedule overdue dental procedures, help care for family members and even buy first homes.

But that project may be on the chopping block due to budget shortfalls.

Front and Center: With Guaranteed Income, ‘Life Feels Brighter and the Future Feels Brighter’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Once I have my degree, I’m planning to take out a business loan to open up a daycare center for the community. … I’m moved to do this because I have my own children and because I know what it’s like to be without a parent and to be without the things a family needs. Sometimes parents have a difficult time supporting their kids because of work or other life events. I want to help be a support system for families.”

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Challenges and Progress for Mothers in Political Office; North Macedonia Elects First Woman President

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: why expanding women’s power isn’t a single-issue effort but is a prerequisite to progress across the board; the number of women running for the U.S. House is down, with Republican women seeing the greatest decline; Prince George’s county executive Angela Alsobrooks won an impressive victory in the U.S. Senate primary; Suzanne LaFrance on track to be Anchorage’s first woman mayor; in North Macedonia, where Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova became the first woman president; and more.

The Hypocrisy of a Post-Roe Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day—like the countless that have come before it—conservative politicians who fancy themselves members of the party that upholds “family values” will send out social media posts praising the moms among us. They’ll wax poetic about the “decision” to become a mother and how it’s the “most selfless, most important job in the world.” Some may even go so far as to task their speech writers with crafting some moving message about how vital mothers are; how we’re raising the next generation of prolific thinkers and world leaders; how we should be revered “not just today, but every day.” 

And in the post-Roe world they created with their anti-abortion policies that have forced people into motherhood, attacked IVF and fertility treatments, and left doctors terrified to treat pregnant patients to the point that women are slipping into comas, miscarrying in hospital lobby bathrooms and enduring unnecessary C-sections instead of receiving common abortion care, it will all be one big, giant pile of bullshit.

I Used to Work Two Jobs and Made $1400 a Month. With Guaranteed Income, I Can Spend More Time With My Kids.

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Before the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, I was making about $680 every two weeks. Rent was my biggest monthly expense. … I had to work a lot of overtime before I started receiving MMT. Now I get to spend more time with my kids.”

Keeping Score: Women’s Basketball Reaches New Heights; France Protects Abortion, While Florida Tightens Its Ban

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Women’s college basketball smashed viewership records; France passed a constitutional amendment protecting abortion; Florida will soon have a six-week abortion ban; Beyoncé makes history on the country album charts; IWMF honors Palestinian journalist Samar Abu Elouf; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) managed to include $1 billion for childcare in the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills; federal employees will soon have access to insurance plans that cover fertility services; President Biden announced a new plan to cancel student debt; the Supreme Court allowed Idaho to maintain its ban on gender-affirming care for minors; and more.

For Families That Need the Most Help, Childcare Costs Are About to Drop

At the end of February, President Joe Biden’s administration announced it was going to require every state to cap its co-payments so that families that receive subsidies pay no more than 7 percent of their income towards childcare. 

This important move addresses the acute need among the lowest-income families, most of whom are families of color. With the change, more than 100,000 families are expected to save about $200 a month on average, according to the White House. The change could also encourage more providers to participate in the subsidy program because they know they’ll be paid consistently for serving low-income students in the same way they are for other children. The new rule is effective April 30. Some states will be able to make the changes quickly; others will need approval from their legislatures. All will need to be in compliance by 2026.