Skip to main content
Sarah Francis's picture

Less than two weeks ago, the New York Times reported that more and more moms are losing their jobs and turning to welfare for one shocking reason: They simply can't afford to work.

Can't afford to work?! How could that be? Well, it turns out that too often the high cost of childcare is more than the pay that moms bring home. It's a catch-22. Many modern families now need the wages of two breadwinners to put food on the table.

“It’s a blow to my own self-image and self-worth as a person who can take care of myself,” explains a mom in Tuscon. “I’m totally able, physically and intellectually, to continue working. But I can’t work without child care, and I can’t afford child care without work.”

There are federal programs in place that can help solve this child care crisis—but Congress needs to invest in them.

That's why we’re launching a petition today urging Congress to put families back to work by investing in affordable, quality child care. If thousands of people (like you) join together by signing this petition we can remind Congress that working families are essential to our nation's economic recovery.

As cash-strapped states slash funding for programs that help families afford child care, moms are often caught in a terrible bind – many can’t find work that pays enough to afford safe care for their kids, and they can’t work at all without safe care.

All you have to do is look at the numbers to see why investing in child care is key to our economic recovery:

  • 71.2% of women with children are in the labor force.
  • Child care is one of the major costs for working families; low-income families child care is one of the largest expenditures after housing, eating up nearly 30% of a household budget for a family below the poverty line.

We need to take action now. Cash-strapped states across the country are slashing programs that make childcare affordable for working families just when these programs are most needed. At least twelve states are making cuts to their child care assistance programs or child care quality initiatives. And as the New York Times reported, this means many moms have no other choice but welfare, slowing our economic recovery down even more and leaving kids in the lurch.

Existing funds are already stretched too tight, leaving teachers in a bind. Teachers and care givers already subsidize these child care costs by working for low wages and few benefits. Only 23 of 820 occupations reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics have lower average wages than child care workers. Over a third of child care workers leave the field each year, many because they can't afford to do the jobs they love without decent pay and benefits.

That’s why families, child care providers, advocates and others are joining together to speak out for increased federal investments to make early care and education affordable.

Together, we can get families working again and care for our children. Sign on today!

And please pass this link along to everyone you know. The power of thousands of moms standing together is so great even Congress can’t ignore it!

P.S. Thanks to National Women's Law Center, SEIU and NACCRA for all the great work the do for moms and families!

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!