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Father's Day is a great time to reflect on the joys, struggles, challenges and epiphanies that come with fatherhood. I'm honored to introduce this Blog Carnival that focuses on the early days of fatherhood - Fathers on Family Leave, with revealing stories from dads about their introduction to fatherhood.

Like me, there are other fathers for whom the arrival of their children was revelation to the important demands of child care. However, I had the privilege of paid family leave - a privilege that seems to bestowed by chance in this country. Based on data the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 % of private firm workers and 16% of state and local government employees have access to any paid family leave at all. Only 40 % of workers have access to unpaid, job-protected leave, but many can't afford to take time away from work without pay, and far far too many parents struggle with absolutely no job-protected leave, paid or unpaid. To put this in an even more apparent context, the U.S. remains the only industrialized country without a paid family leave policy.

As you read our stories, you will understand why researchers state that paid family leave can improve breastfeeding rates, increase earnings for women and reduce costs for recruitment and retraining.  Keep the conversation going by leaving comments and sharing the posts.

Brandale Randolph, Project: Poverty
Fathers have become unicorns

Peter Walz
Investing in families pays off

Scott Kurashige, University of Michigan
Real Nurturing Leave

Adam Sotak, Democracy North Carolina
An Organizing Dad

Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University
Marvin, Tammi, Misha and Daddy

Jared Make, A Better Balance
Supporting LGBT Workers and Their Families in Times of Need 

Tom Stocky, Facebook
Reflections on being an at-home dad

Stan Kimer, Total Engagement Consulting
The Evolving Role of Men Regarding Work and Family Leave

Kevin Rogers, Action North Carolina
Unanticipated rewards

Charlie Dotson

David Leonard, Washington State University, Pullman
Priorities? America's Family Values

AUTHOR, Center for American Progress
Odd Man Out. Why isn't anyone else taking paternity leave?

Grant Dotson
Family leave and self-employment

Brady Bogenreif
It takes time

Ellen Bravo & Stewart D. Friedman
A Father's Day gift that keeps giving

David Uy
Family Leave Meant A Strong Start for My Son, My Family and Me

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