Renee’s Round-up: Momentum for Working Moms and Dads

This week, we’ve seen a groundswell of public awareness and media attention to the economic challenges facing families and the policy solutions that Every Child Matters and our partners have been working to elevate. We’re seeing new coalitions and innovative campaigns building on years of tireless advocacy and activism. Below, we’ve rounded up some glimpses of the great work that our partners are doing on issues like paid family leave, fair wages, and affordable childcare.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center highlighted the complicated work-family tradeoffs that today’s parents have to grapple with. There’s no doubt that families are more economically secure when both parents work full-time. Indeed, it’s a necessity for all but the wealthiest families. But when both parents work, the study found, they are more likely to report feeling stressed, having a difficult time balancing work and family responsibilities, and feeling that they aren’t spending enough time with their kids. With today’s economic realities, families operate differently than they did half a century ago. It’s time for workplace policies to catch up.

Our friends at the Make It Work Campaign put together an outstanding video about “step 1.5”: the obstacles facing millennial parents as they navigate student debt, building careers, paying for child care, and balancing work and family responsibilities. Please note: the video does contain profanity.

Many millennials are feeling like we’re stuck at “step 1.5”. But it’s not all bad news: there are plenty of policy solutions out there that will help us get overcome the economic obstacles. This Wednesday, the Economic Policy Institute released a 12-point Women’s Economic Agenda that touches on everything from the minimum wage to monetary policy. Today, 64 percent of women with children under six work outside the home. This agenda not only benefits working women; it ultimately boosts the economy and improves kids’ lives.

Also this week, the Center for American Progress launched the “Within Reach” campaign, an effort to put high-quality, affordable child care and preschool within reach for working families. Watch the video below to see why investing early childhood helps families and the economy, and learn more about the campaign here.

In the new documentary mini-series The Raising of America, parents and policy experts make the case for investing in early education, paid leave, and other child- and family-friendly policies. The series discusses everything from the economic strain on lower- and middle-class families to the effects of violence and toxic stress on developing brains. All five episodes of the Raising of America are available to stream online through November 27, and are coming soon to your local TV station.

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