Source: Liza Featherstone, Jacobin, April 23, 2019
In 2017, the birth rate in the United States reached an all-time low. In her new book Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work (PM Press), activist and author Jenny Brown argues that declining birth rates represent a work slowdown, or strike, in the face of the poor conditions for those who do the labor of bearing and raising children.
Like many of the classic texts of the Second Wave feminist movement, Brown’s book is her own, yet also a collective, intellectual endeavor, growing out of her organizing work with Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation, including those groups’ discussions and consciousness raising sessions….
Source: H Luke Shaefer, Kathryn Edin Vincent, Fusaro Pinghui Wu, Social Forces, Advance Articles, March 19, 2019
From the abstract:
Since the early 1990s, the social safety net for families with children in the United States has undergone an epochal transformation. Aid to poor working families has become more generous. In contrast, assistance to the deeply poor has become less generous, and what remains more often takes the form of in-kind aid. A historical view finds that this dramatic change parallels others. For centuries, the nature and form of poor relief has been driven in part by shifting cultural notions of which social groups are “deserving” and “undeserving.” This line was firmly redrawn in the 1990s. Did the re-institutionalization of these categorizations in policy have material consequences? This study examines the relationship between the decline of traditional cash welfare between 2001 and 2015 and two direct measures of wellbeing among households with children: household food insecurity and public school child homelessness. Using models that control for state and year trends, along with other factors, we find that the decline of cash assistance was associated with increases in both forms of hardship.
Source: Emily K. Weisburst, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 38, Issue 2, Spring 2019
From the abstract:
As police officers have become increasingly common in U.S. public schools, their role in school discipline has often expanded. While there is growing public debate about the consequences of police presence in schools, there is scant evidence of the impact of police on student discipline and academic outcomes. This paper provides the first quasi‐experimental estimate of funding for school police on student outcomes, leveraging variation in federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants. Exploiting detailed data on over 2.5 million students in Texas, I find that federal grants for police in schools increase middle school discipline rates by 6 percent. The rise in discipline is driven by sanctions for low‐level offenses or school code of conduct violations. Further, I find that Black students experience the largest increases in discipline. I also find that exposure to a three‐year federal grant for school police is associated with a 2.5 percent decrease in high school graduation rates and a 4 percent decrease in college enrollment rates.
Source: Leila Schochet and Rasheed Malik, Center for American Progress, April 10, 2019
When families have access to high-quality, affordable child care, they thrive. Parents can work to provide for their families, knowing their children are safe; and young children can learn and explore, creating a solid foundation for future learning and development.
Yet many families struggle because they cannot afford or find child care. High-quality child care is expensive to provide, and without public investment, those costs are passed along to parents. As a result, half of Americans live in child care deserts, communities where there are not enough licensed child care providers to serve the population of young children who need child care.
Increasing access to affordable, quality child care and making sure parents have options to choose from requires both Congress and elected state officials to provide more public funding for child care. It is critical to address the nation’s child care shortage without sacrificing program quality or endangering child safety just to cut costs. Congress can act by increasing funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and passing comprehensive reform that address affordability, quality, and higher wages for early educators.
Find your district using the dropdowns below:….
Source: Leila Schochet, Center for American Progress, March 28, 2019
More mothers would increase their earnings and seek new job opportunities if they had greater access to reliable and affordable child care. ….
….This report highlights the relationship between child care and maternal employment and underscores how improving child care access has the potential to boost employment and earnings for working mothers. Based on new analysis of the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey (ECPP), it demonstrates how families are having difficulty finding child care under the current system and how lack of access to child care may be keeping mothers out of the workforce. The report then presents results from a national poll conducted by the Center for American Progress and GBA Strategies, which asked parents what career decisions they would make if child care were more readily available and affordable. Finally, the report outlines federal policy solutions that are crucial to supporting mothers in the workforce. ….
Source: National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), Snapshot, January 22, 2019
From the introduction:
These snapshots describe U.S. households’ costs for, and usage of, ECE in 2012, looking at differences by age of child, household income, and community urbanicity. These snapshots use data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), a nationally representative study of U.S. households and early care and education providers conducted in 2012.
• In 2012, 50 percent of infants and toddlers and 63 percent of 3-to-5-year-olds were in regular nonparental care. An additional 10 percent of 3-to-5-year-olds were already in kindergarten.
• Within every income level, 3-to-5-year-olds were more likely than infants and toddlers to be in regular nonparental care.
• Among children in regular nonparental care, infants and toddlers were more likely than 3-to-5 year-olds to only use care provided by an individual, such as a family member, friend, or family child care home.
• Among children using regular nonparental care, 3-to-5-year-olds were more likely than infants and toddlers to be in center-based care only.
• Among children using regular nonparental care, about half of infants and toddlers and one-third of 3-to-5-year-olds had no out-of-pocket costs associated with their care. Free care was much more common among households with lower incomes than households with higher incomes. Still, 27 percent of infants and toddlers from higher-income households had no out-of-pocket costs associated with their care.
• Considering only children whose care had out-of-pocket costs, the median weekly cost of care was about $100 for an infant or toddler, and about $80 for a 3-to-5-year-old.
Source: Child Trends, February 26, 2019
High-quality data can provide public officials and advocates with crucial details about the populations they serve. State-level data for understanding child welfare in the United States is a comprehensive resource, including easy-to-use interactive features, that provides state and national data on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving, and adoption. This resource compiles critical data from a variety of sources on children, youth, and families who came in contact with the child welfare system in federal fiscal year (FY) 2017.
These data are important because they help policymakers understand how many children and youth came in contact with the child welfare system, and why. States can also use this information to ensure their child welfare systems support the safety, stability, and well-being of all families in their state.
Source: Heidi Steinour, The Conversation, February 22, 2019
The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing ways to address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.
Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.
Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college. This number covers everything from housing and food to child care and transportation costs. This is up 8 percent from 1990.
As a mother myself, as well as a sociologist who studies families, I have experienced firsthand the unexpected costs associated with having a child. And this spike in costs has broad implications, including leading fewer families to have children…..
Source: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), HHS OIG Issue Brief, OEI-BL-18-00511, January 2019
The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown. Pursuant to a June 2018 Federal District Court order, HHS has thus far identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents. However, thousands of children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and HHS has faced challenges in identifying separated children.
Source: Cailin Crowe, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2018
…. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Columbia College, in South Carolina, saw similar stories. In each case the professor was praised for selflessly offering to watch a student’s baby in lieu of professional child care. While the professor’s generosity was commendable, the posts also highlighted the unmet demand for child care on campuses.
The posts go viral because they illustrate a systemic problem, said Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. People understand that colleges and universities don’t always recognize the caregiving responsibilities of students who are also parents. “It’s a statement about something bigger,” she said.
More than 25 percent of college students are parents of dependent children, according to the institute. However, the idea that colleges and universities should provide child care is still a fairly new concept, Gault said. ….
…. One obvious solution is on-campus day-care centers. For example, at Monroe Community College, in New York, student parents of young children at the campus’s day-care center have on-time graduation rates three times as high as student parents who did not use the center.
But on many campuses, including the institutions where some of those feel-good viral stories have taken place, the reality for students who have kids in need of child care is much different. ….