American families have long been struggling with out-of-reach childcare prices. The tremendous gap between what parents pay, and what early educators earn, is a product of a broken market. It cannot be solved on its own. The federal government must step in with sustainable, long-term investments through reconciliation.
In 2021, Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan that included $40 billion in childcare relief funding, helping providers to stay afloat, parents to get back to work, and businesses to stabilize. But it’s not enough for the long-term improvements our families and providers need to succeed.
That’s why I’m calling for us to continue the fight to secure universal pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year olds and affordable childcare for all.
As Congress looks to legislation to shore up the economy, childcare should be a centerpiece of any economic plan. Families are struggling with inflation and rising costs, but Congress can provide immediate help to bring down childcare costs.
A new report on the gender pay gap might make us hopeful—but there are factors not reflected in these numbers. Even still, reports show overall upwards trends for young women’s earnings. It would be easy to conclude that this means the gender pay gap will be gone in a few years as these young women continue to gain experience … right? Not so fast.
Amidst all the challenges those of us at the frontlines have faced, the most stressful part of my life comes from the failure that is America’s childcare system.
Congress has the opportunity to change this and help millions of families by passing President Biden’s economic plan. It will cap childcare costs at 7 percent of a middle class family’s income and provide universal preschool to all children aged 3 and 4. This would directly help my family afford childcare, and indirectly help all of my patients.
It’s been just over a year since the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed, through which the federal government invested in people by giving them stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits and an expanded child tax credit that benefited nearly every parent in the country. While there was no shortage of energy from House Democrats and many of their Senate colleagues to pass Build Back Better—ARPA’s successor—the bill stalled in the Senate.
Policies that help women aren’t just the right thing to do—they’re the smart thing to do. Now is not the time to shrink behind austerity politics that prevent our government from meeting the needs of its people, especially those who have always been marginalized.
While the unemployment rates for men declined in February, the jobless rates for women showed little or no change over the month. And while the statistic for the entire female population lumped together basically stayed even with the month before, Black women lost ground.
Maybe the real headline should have been: The higher job growth goes, the more behind women get.
When crises strike, we turn to our friends, families and sometimes even complete strangers to provide an extra set of caring and supporting hands. Care workers have always played an essential role in our communities, from assisting with child care to providing professional support to the elderly.
Our government has a once in a generation opportunity to pass policies that would support fair pay and dignified work conditions for caregivers, investing in the essential caregiving economy.
The structure of employment in the U.S. has long been untenable for anyone who has caregiving duties, but now that hybrid work is here—the flexibility of which women have been advocating for basically forever—is it enough?
A stark contrast to the benefits of hybrid work: It is precisely the people who need hybrid schedules the most who will end up paying the highest price.
Last month’s USWNT landmark legal victory placed women athletes on an equal footing with their male counterparts. But true equality will never be reached unless women in all fields, with men’s support, are willing to finally stand up for themselves and collectively demand equal pay across all professions.