Tag: paid family leave

Trump’s Paid Leave Proposal: Not the Plan America’s Families Need

The words “paid family leave” made it into the Trump administration’s 2018 spending plan. This may seem like a step in the right direction, but 1,000 Days sees this for what it is: a second-rate policy proposal that does not meet the needs of America’s hardworking families.

The Trump plan would allow states to establish programs that provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents. For starters, six weeks of leave does not come close to meeting families’ care-giving needs. 1,000 Days supports a minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave for working parents upon the birth or adoption of a child. Furthermore, the President’s plan for paid leave is flawed in its proposed implementation. Built upon state unemployment insurance programs—the majority of which are underfunded and pay an average of just 46% of employee pay—it’s likely that America’s workers will receive just a fraction of their paycheck while on leave. Evidence from existing paid leave programs in states like California shows that when the wage replacement is too low, many workers—particularly low-wage workers, the vast majority of whom are women—cannot afford to take advantage of family leave. Given that states would have wide latitude to design the program the way they want, we don’t know what this program would look like, who would get which benefits and how much.

Details like this matter. And America’s families deserve better.

And while the inclusion of paid leave in the President’s budget is on the one hand a testament to the growing public demand for paid family and medical leave, it’s important to realize that it comes at the expense of health, nutrition and safety net programs that many families with young children rely on.

The time is now for Congress to act to support a well-designed and comprehensive paid leave program that truly benefits families. Earlier this year, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the FAMILY Act to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to all workers, regardless of the size of their employer, their gender, their marital status, or need for paid time off. Congress should dismiss the President’s paid leave proposal and get to work on passing common-sense legislation like the FAMILY Act to enable working families in the U.S. the opportunity to give their children the strongest start to life.

Statement on the Reintroduction of the FAMILY Act

In the United States, too many parents are forced to choose between the jobs they need and the families they love.

Without guaranteed paid time off from work, 1 in 4 women return to work just 10 days after giving birth and 40% of women do not reach their breastfeeding goals. Yet evidence shows that paid leave contributes to healthier outcomes for children and their families.

Parents need time to bond with their babies. Moms need time to recover from childbirth. And mom and baby need time to establish breastfeeding, which is proven to have significant health benefits for both women and children.

The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a national paid leave policy. America’s families deserve better and our children deserve the strongest start to life.

We applaud Representative DeLauro and Senator Gillibrand, along with their Congressional colleagues, for standing up for the health and economic security of all American families by introducing the FAMILY Act.

Reflecting on 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we at 1,000 Days are struck by the important work that has been accomplished – and how much is left to be done. Over the past year we have continued to fight for a healthier future for moms and babies here in the U.S. and around the world. We launched new findings and reports, we worked with new partners and champions, we grew our team – we even added two new babies to our 1,000 Days family!

Here are a few of our highlights from the last year:

  • In January we hand-delivered over 230,000+ petition signatures in support of paid family leave to members of Congress.
  • In April – at an event featuring Bill Gates – we launched a groundbreaking study providing a roadmap for how the world can accelerate progress against malnutrition.
  • Also in April, we sent a letter to President Obama – signed by over 100 athletes – in support of all children receiving a fair start to life with good nutrition.
  • In August we launched our Babies Unite video series in support of ending malnutrition worldwide (which has received over 400,000 views and counting!)
  • In September we released a first-of-its-kind report on nutritional health of America’s mothers, infants and toddlers.
  • In November we urged the presidential candidates to prioritize paid family leave and encouraged the FDA to regulate misleading infant formula marketing.
  • In December we presented findings from qualitative research we conducted to better understand the realities of the first 1,000 days among low-income families in the U.S.

This work would not have been possible without the incredible support of our partners and supporters. You help power our work at 1,000 Days, whether we’re pushing for a national paid family leave policy, fighting for greater investment in programs that save lives of children around the world, or supporting and promoting every woman’s right to breastfeed.

We’ve come a long way this past year, laying the groundwork in our fight for healthy moms and babies. But, there is still more to be done. We look forward to continuing to help build a healthier and more prosperous future for children and their families in the year to come, for there is no better investment we can make than in the health and well-being of our children.