Skip to main content

Did you see us at a football game? Learn why #CareCantWait

MomsRising's picture
photo of family and child

This message is from Tori and Carrie, two Pennsylvania moms. We promise this is important. We are both working moms with sons with exceptionalities, so we know what being overbooked, overworked, and overtired looks like! We know that your time is precious, and so we ask for your time now, because this issue is precious and urgent.

Can you join us to tell our members of Congress that they must prioritize women and families? Click here to add your name!

RIGHT NOW our members of Congress are debating President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, and we need them to prioritize a package that would help our families care for our kids, our loved ones, and ourselves with:

  • Permanent paid family and medical leave
  • Investing in a high-quality, affordable, comprehensive child care and early learning system that children, families, early educators, providers, employers and communities need to grow and thrive
  • A permanent expanded child tax credit
  • Protecting reproductive rights and investing in affordable health care

You matter, and so do your children. Let’s fight for them, and for their futures. The time is NOW for a transformative and bold investment in our communities. Parents and caregivers like us need to speak up to push this over the finish line.

Add your name and a short comment (if you choose), to a letter we’re delivering next week.

Here’s why this matters so much to us:

As a single mom, when my son’s child care closed because of COVID and I lost my job, I was left home caring for my son with no income. This led me to start my own small business. However as a small business owner, I can’t afford paid leave. Winning paid family and medical leave will support me if something should happen to my son (or myself) and I need to take time off to care for us.

- Tori

I'm the mom of a toddler. I’ve had to work part-time due to limited preschool hours as well as my spouse often being away on medical residency, especially since Covid struck. Any time off that I take in order to care for my son when his preschool closes due to a Covid outbreak, or when he is home sick with a cold, is unpaid. Winning paid family and medical leave will support me when I need to take care of myself or my family.

- Carrie

We know we’re not alone in these struggles. Women have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and Pennsylvania is no exception. Families across the country, especially those with a female breadwinner, are struggling and in urgent need of bold investments like the ones being debated now. Consider these facts:

  • From March 2020 to August 2020, 55.4% of Pennsylvania workers receiving unemployment assistance were women, compared with 44.6% of men (1)
  • Women in Pennsylvania still make, on average, $0.81 for every dollar paid to a white man. And this number is even worse for moms and women of color. Latina women, for example, make just $0.54. (2)
  • 34.6% of female-headed households in Pennsylvania live in poverty (National figure: 33.8%). (3)

So please join us to urge our members of Congress to prioritize women and families. We’re delivering signatures next week, and hope yours will be included. Thank you! 

In solidarity,
- Tori and Carrie, and the entire MomsRising/MamásConPoder team

References:
[1] Keystone Research Center
[2-4] National Women’s Law Center

Dear Congress: Need More Reasons to Build a Care Infrastructure NOW? Read This.

Kristin's picture
Strong Care Square onesie for Care Economy Storybook

>>READ THIS NOW: Care Economy Storybook (pdf)<<

In our Care Economy Storybook 2021, MomsRising has captured powerful and moving stories from families across the nation that illustrate how our inadequate Care Infrastructure hurts families, businesses and our economy.

Building a Care Infrastructure will create millions of good care jobs, enable parents to work in much-needed jobs, cut child poverty in half, help address structural inequality, and boost businesses and our economy. A recent study found that finally building a care infrastructure would lift our country’s long-term real GDP growth by 10-15 basis points.

>>READ THESE STORIES NOW: Care Economy Storybook (pdf)<<

"Not having access to paid leave forced me to liquidate my retirement assets so I could care for my newborn." — Susan

"It is appalling to me that caring for children has been classified as a low-skill form of employment, and that day-care providers barely make enough to survive." — Rachel

"My son, who is multi-handicapped, waited 11 years for Maine state funding to reside in a group home...Parent should not have to go through this!" — Jo

Congress has a chance to fix this AND boost the economy by passing the Care Infrastructure Package. This package includes critical and robust investments in:

  • Child care
  • Paid family and medical leave
  • Living wages
  • Home and community-based services
  • Access to unbiased healthcare and addressing the Black maternal health crisis
  • Affordable prescription drugs
  • Creating a path to citizenship for immigrants
  • Permanently extending the Child Tax Credit 

They are win-win-win! And polling shows people across the political spectrum broadly support these changes.

>>READ IT: The Care Economy Storybook (pdf)<<

That's why, in the past few months, MomsRising members nationwide have made a staggering 680,000+ constituent contacts advocating for these policies — signing petitions and open letters, making calls, sharing their stories and more in support of the Care Infrastructure Package.

It’s not enough to go back to where we were.

We need to build back better so women, moms, families, communities of color, caregivers, businesses, and our economy can thrive! 

>>KNOW MORE: The Care Economy Storybook (pdf)<<

Lawmakers Must Fix Our Child Care System, Which Is Failing Families Like Mine

Nina Perez's picture

A week ago, MomsRising super dad Nicholas Knight shared his family's child care story at the U.S. Treasury - giving voice to what so many families across our nation have experienced. Read his remarks below and tell us your experiences with child care as we fight to ensure child care and pre-k for all becomes a reality. 

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris joined Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin when the U.S. Treasury Department released a new report showing that our country’s child care system is failing millions of families. The report concludes that the country’s child care sector is plagued by low revenues, thin profit margins, low numbers of providers relative to the number of young children, and low pay for workers. That is something my family knows from personal experience. I was proud to introduce the Vice President and discuss my family’s struggle to find quality, affordable child care at that event:

I am a proud dad to three amazing kids, ages four, six, and ten. I am also the very proud husband of 23 years to an amazing, hardworking and beautiful woman, Daniella, who is a proud member of MomsRising. It is because of our struggles to properly care for our three children without access to quality and affordable child care, and the immense sacrifices that she has had to make as a working mother that I am here today.

When our oldest daughter was born, my wife gave up her job to care for her as we quickly realized that full-time child care was beyond our reach. Both daycare centers and in-home daycares would have cost more than her salary. In an effort to earn a living while caring for our daughter, my wife even worked at an in-home daycare for a while but was saddened that the program didn’t provide all the early learning opportunities we hoped children can have.

I worked as a government contractor providing legal technology services, but we barely hung on financially as my wife cared for and nursed our daughter while completing her degree. So, I worked as a soccer referee on evenings and weekends to supplement our income. Our daughter grew and flourished and my wife found a job that she could do from home, but even then, all we were able to afford was part-time preschool. Spots were very hard to come by, and we needed to apply for tuition assistance, which made it even more complicated. Since our daughter was only in school for a couple of hours a day, my wife ended up having to complete a majority of her work after our daughter went to sleep at night. It was exhausting.

She continued to work part-time throughout our two subsequent pregnancies, having only a couple of weeks of maternity leave to recover from childbirth and get our newborns off to a good start. Shortly before our youngest son was born my work arrangements changed and I was able to do my job from home. I worked early mornings and evenings and was able to become a more involved caregiver to my three children for the last four years. I saw first-hand the incredible work and sacrifice that my wife put in every single day, and the hidden labor, sadly unpaid, that she and so many women and mothers have done for so long.

We went through the same child care struggle with our second child securing a preschool spot and obtaining financial aid. We were also thankful that our eldest was starting kindergarten, as we knew we would not have been able to afford preschool tuition for two children at once.

As our youngest grew I supported my wife going back to an office setting, and while I cared for the children for the better part of the day, she breathed new life into a sleepy little property management business. She also earned her real estate license and worked a third job to help us save up to buy a home. It was incredibly tiring, but it felt like we were moving forward financially. Unfortunately, this was short lived and with the pandemic she, like so many women, sacrificed again letting go of her work in order to be there to support our children’s well-being during such a difficult time.

The Biden Administration with the diligent input from Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary Janet Yellen are pushing Congress to act to ensure that early childhood education can be accessible to all families. Child care  was never an option for us due to the dual issues of high cost and the inability to ensure the ones we could afford were of high quality and safe. We knew the importance of early childhood education and preschool and did all we could to ensure our children were able to receive it.

The President and Vice President want all Americans to know that they can have affordable and high-quality child care and that all children will have the same opportunity to learn in a safe and stable environment. In fact, Vice President Harris has consistently worked throughout her career as a District Attorney, Attorney General and Senator for working class families, pushing child care to be accessible and affordable for all families.I hope Congress will make that happen this year. 

Written by: Nicholas Knight

 

Quick signature to support health care in the Build Back Better plan!

A group of diverse people of different ages smiling

Right now, the U.S. Congress has a once-in-a-decade chance to take huge strides toward making our health care system more equitable, accessible, and affordable. The health care policies proposed in the Build Back Better budget plan will make key investments and critical reforms that the large majority of American voters support. We just need to get them past the finish line!

Quick signature: Tell Congress to make health care more equitable, accessible, and affordable!

What’s happening? The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities and shortcomings of our nation’s health care system, with communities of color, people with disabilities, people who are older, and people who are low income being hit disproportionately hard. In addition, the cost of health care continues to rise faster than wages and inflation, putting quality, affordable coverage out of reach for millions of families.

The health care provisions in the Build Back Better package that is making its way through Congress will go a long way toward lowering the cost of health care for working families and seniors. Time is short and while lawmakers are weighing many important issues, it’s critical for us to make our voices heard to tell Congress to make bold and robust investments in the health of our communities and our country.

Add your name! Tell Congress that critical health care improvements must be included in the budget reconciliation bill.

In order to make health care more equitable, accessible, and affordable, we need to make our voices loud and clear that we want Congress to:

  • Provide a permanent and comprehensive federal solution to close the Medicaid “coverage gap” for people in states that refuse to expand Medicaid for low-income uninsured adults, 60% of whom are people of color and have no other pathway to coverage.
  • Permanently extend the increase in premium tax credits enacted under the American Rescue Plan for people buying coverage through the health insurance Marketplace. This increase contributed to more than 2.8 million people gaining health coverage between February and August. 
  • Lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices which nearly 90% of Americans support
  • Improve the quality of and access to Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) which helps people with disabilities and seniors live safely in their homes and communities rather than in nursing homes or congregate settings.
  • Make the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) permanent that nearly ten million children rely on and has reduced the uninsured rate for children by nearly 70%.
  • Invest in reducing maternal mortality by requiring Medicaid and CHIP to cover full benefits for one year for pregnant and postpartum women. This, along with other key provisions of the Momnibus legislation, would make over $1 billion in historic investments in the health and care of moms.
  • Expand Medicare to include much needed hearing, vision, and dental services for seniors.

How do we pay for this? It’s simple—make corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes and rein in price gouging by big pharmaceutical corporations. By closing the loopholes that allow profitable multinational corporations to dodge tens of billions of dollars a year in U.S. taxes by shifting profits to offshore tax havens and billionaires to evade paying taxes, we can ensure everyone has access to high quality and affordable health care. Furthermore, we can rein in drug corporations that this year alone have hiked up the prices of 1,100 prescription drugs, more than 90% of which were above the inflation rate.

Don’t forget to add your name! Tell your members of Congress that health care must be a top priority in the Build Back Better plan!

Take #5actions This Week for Child Care!

Nadia's picture

Summer has come and gone, and not only are kids back in school, Congress is now back in session! I don’t know what summer and the last year and a half looked like for members of Congress, but for many of us, it looked like we were running around with our hair on fire, juggling our families, a still-ongoing pandemic, the biggest school re-adjustment of our lives, homework, all the things!

But amidst all that, we have some super EXCITING news. Child Care and Pre-K have passed the U.S. House of Representatives - which is HUGE! But this movement in the House is just the first step. It’s critical that the U.S. Senate and all of Congress continue to advance child care and early learning so we can end the struggle with child care for families throughout the country!

That’s why we need you to raise your voice (especially your typing and dialing fingers!) urging Congress to MOVE FORWARD on solutions that can help us and our families!  Here are some actions you can take to urge your elected leaders to make comprehensive, affordable, high-quality child care. Together we can win this!

-- Nadia, Nina, Diana Kristin, Donna and the rest of the MomsRising / MamásConPoder Team 

CALL your U.S. Senators and tell them “Make a comprehensive, high-quality child care and pre-k system for families a reality!"

Congress is back and already moving, but this movement is just the first step. It’s critical that Congress continue to advance child care and early learning so we can end the struggle with child care! This is why your fast phone calls are needed! Join our Welcome Back to Congress Child Care Call-In week and call your U.S. Senators to let them know that you want them to support robust investments for quality, affordable and accessible child care!

Text “ChildCareNow” to 747464 to urge your elected leaders to make a comprehensive, high-quality child care and pre-k system for families a reality by passing the Build Back Better Plan. 


Make sure child care is in every paper lawmakers read!

Right now child care is at a critical moment in our nation. Lawmakers have a historic opportunity to build a child care system that works for children, families, early educators, communities, and our economy. But to get the robust investment needed to make comprehensive quality, affordable child care a reality, our lawmakers need to hear why child care matters to the voters - LIKE YOU! - in their communities. Letters to the editor are an incredibly powerful way to make sure our elected leaders get the message. Lawmakers are reading their local papers to get a sense of what matters to people in their community.

Can you help make sure comprehensive child care makes it to the top of their agenda by sending a quick letter now?


We want to hear from YOU about your child care experience!

To build momentum nationally for childcare we need families (like yours!) to share their experiences in order to show our leaders that high-quality, affordable childcare is a priority for their constituents.

  • Are you struggling or did you struggle to afford high-quality childcare?
  • Are you having trouble finding child care in your area? Are there long waitlists?
  • Did someone in your family have to quit their job because childcare was too expensive or not available?
  • Is lack of childcare impacting your mental or physical health?
  • Do you/did you love your kid's childcare?
  • Are you a care provider who isn't earning a livable wage? Did you leave the profession because of low wages?
  • Did you/do you work in childcare and find yourself unable to send your child to the same childcare because of the cost?
  • Did you/did you have trouble finding a childcare program that works for your family?

Tell us about it by filling out the form below and we'll share your experience directly with leaders! The good, the bad, the complicated - we want to hear it! 


Why are investments in our care infrastructure important for your family?

Right now, families in America face a wholly inadequate care infrastructure including a lack of national universal policies relating to child care. Let's finally make affordable, high-quality child care a reality! Tell us your experience by recording a video and encourage people to call their member of Congress by texting ChildCareNow to 747464!

Tell us your child care experience by recording a quick and easy video!


Welcome back Congress by taking ACTION on child care NOW!

Now is the time to build a system of early care and education that works. For far too long the high cost and limited supply of child care and preschool across the country have created insurmountable challenges for too many families. 

SIGN NOW to tell Congress: We need child care now!


P.S. Click here to take our CareLand coloring action that’s a fun way to engage kids AND support child care!

 

ICYMI: A Message From Grandma in Florida

At MomsRising, we share stories to make change, to show lawmakers the real impacts of laws and policies. A push.

And we share stories in solidarity with other women, moms and family members, so that we can feel less alone in our struggles. A release.

The content that caught our eye this week features stories that push AND release.

Scroll down and witness them, too.

And as always, Keep Rising.  


We asked for your concerns about going back-to-school amid COVID-19. Your answers were frank, and heartbreaking. View them all and record your own by following this link.;

Here's Joanne and Sarah, two of the most viewed responses:

 

ACTION OF THE WEEK: Time off to care is NOT a vacation. Families NEED paid leave. 

The Ways and Means Committee took a huge step closer to the finish line of winning paid family and medical leave for all when they voted to advance aid leave to the House Budget Committee! Next the Budget Committee must pass it and then the Senate must too, all within the next three weeks. Add your name to our letter urging Congress to pass paid leave for all!

 

MOMSRISING MEMBER: In the Room Where it Happens

MomsRising member Nik Knight was invited to speak at a news conference in support of child care investments with V.P. Kamala Harris and Treasury Secrectary Janet Yellen. Check out his speech! 

 

 

Top #5Actions for Friday, September 17, 2021: Back-to-School Edition

Sili Recio's picture

Grownups! Back-to-School season is upon us. For some of us, we are easing into our first weeks of school while others have a few weeks under our belts.

Whether you're seasoned with a consistent schedule or still finding your way around school notices, the consistent message we have been hearing from grownups everywhere is that this is a very different year filled with many emotions as we navigate rising numbers in COVID-19 cases, changing class schedules and the never-ending discussions around mask mandates.

This week, we invite you to check out these actions in the hopes that you don't feel alone, are equipped with resources and are reminded that you are not alone as you make your way through this school year.

-- Sili, Kristin, Felicia, Namatie, Tina and the rest of the MomsRising / MamásConPoder Team

 

 

 

biden-bts-covid

Let’s Support Our Public Schools as We Fight COVID-19

While parents across the country are adding masks to their back-to-school supplies list to protect their kids (and others’ kids!) from contracting COVID-19, Republican governors in at least eight states are actually BANNING school districts from requiring masks. This is contrary to public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pediatric hospitals are overflowing with COVID patients.

Add your name in support of the Biden Administration using its authority against governors who are blocking local school officials from preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their schools.

 

 

 

 

Pandemic Parenting: Back-to-School?

We know that back-to-school has brought with it a different level of anxiety as the COVID-19 numbers surge. We want to know where you're located and how you and your family are being affected as the kids return to school. Any tips you can offer? Any words of encouragement? We are still in this together and hearing from our community, large and small, can help us during difficult times. We have proven that before, let’s keep it going.

Please take a moment to let other parents out there know we are in this together by virtually checking in by putting your dot on our map on this page.

 

 

 

 

Back-to-School, Stressed and Exhausted

Are the kiddos back in school yet or are you getting ready for the school year to begin? We are hearing from parents about the stress being felt from all of the changes in mask mandates and the process of being back in school as COVID-19 numbers surge.

Here’s a blog post from one parent along with links to resources on what you can do.

 

 

 

 COVID_School_2021

We want to hear from YOU about your COVID-19 back-to-school concerns!

There has been a patchwork of different approaches to protect kids during this back-to-school season and a lot of parents aren’t sure whether their school supplies list should include buying extra masks.

  • What are your biggest concerns about sending your child back to school?
  • How is your child’s school doing with safety measures as school begins (masks, contact tracing, quarantining?
  • Do you have paid family leave or sick time to use if your child needs to quarantine or isolate due to potential exposure?
  • If you are a teacher or work in a school/child care facility, what are your biggest concerns about how your state is handling back-to-school and return to child care?

We want to hear your concerns about going back-to-school amid COVID-19!

 

 

 

 bts_paidleave

Does your back to school list include Paid Leave?

Families need access to a robust and comprehensive paid family and medical leave program this school year. Let’s help working people and families make the best choices when it comes to their children and their loved ones.

Urge Congress to pass paid leave for all this school year!

 

 

 

A care infrastructure is good for business

Sara Alcid's picture

Small businesses are irreplaceable cornerstones in our communities and constitute the true backbone of our economy. We know that women-owned businesses have been growing at double the rate of male-owned businesses – and we also know this means a lot of moms and MomsRising members are both new and seasoned small business owners.

>>> Are you a small business owner? If so, ADD YOUR NAME to our letter in support of building a national CARE infrastructure that will help businesses safely rehire and rebuild!

Your business voice is needed right now. That’s because, along with parents and caregivers, small business owners are a highly-valued constituent voice among Congressional lawmakers currently making budget reconciliation decisions that could make or break historic programs that will help small businesses rehire and rebuild, as well as build a care infrastructure, while also preventing tax increases for 97% of small businesses.

→ We know you spend a lot of time building your business. Can you take just a few moments to lend your business voice to building back better?

* Click here to add your NAME & BUSINESS to our care infrastructure letter!

So, what is a care infrastructure, exactly? Great question!

Creating a care infrastructure means building out universal child care, establishing comprehensive paid family & medical leave, and home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. Together, these care infrastructure policies enable parents and other caregivers to fully participate in the paid workforce and fill vacant positions. They also help small businesses recruit and retain valued employees and create secure, stable jobs.

To pay for care infrastructure investments, President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda aims to reform the tax code and level the playing field for small business owners by requiring wealthy multinational corporations to pay their fair share.

>>> The full letter to sign onto is below:

As Congress considers major investments in our nation’s infrastructure, a growing list of business owners and operators - large and small, across the country, from a range of industries - have added their names to the urgent call for a care infrastructure, comprised of a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, universal child care, a permanently expanded Child Tax Credit, home and community-based services, plus living wages and a path to citizenship for essential workers and care workers.

We urge Congress to meet the moment by passing a comprehensive care infrastructure that provides long-term health benefits and economic security to all American families and contributes to the vitality and sustainability of our businesses.

We need a federal paid family and medical leave policy that is inclusive and that protects all workers equally, regardless of what kind of work they do, where they live, or whom they love. An equitable and comprehensive paid family and medical leave program must include time to welcome a newly arrived child, time to care for a seriously ill family member, and time to care for one’s own serious illness. With an equal paid leave policy in place, we can help stem the historic tide of women leaving the workforce and ensure that low-wage earners and people of color have the time they need to care for themselves and their families.

A care infrastructure that includes universal access to child care, paid leave, and other services also leads to better retention, personal health, and improved morale, which contributes to greater stability and viability for our businesses, ultimately helping our bottom line. In short, care infrastructure investments are good for business.

Don’t forget to sign onto our care infrastructure letter to Congress by adding your name here!

Thank you for all that you do!

Grandparents: The Unsung Heroes of the Child Care Crisis

When I was pregnant with my first child, I realized that my entire paycheck would go to paying for infant care. Thank goodness, I was one of the lucky parents who had the support of the grandparents: My mother stepped in and provided child care every day, full time, from the time I went back to work from my unpaid maternity leave, until she suffered a fainting spell and we knew the long days were too much for my mother, who was in her 60s. When that happened, we called my mother-in-law and she came to stay with us for a month, until we figured out our child care situation. 

One of my colleagues, Nina, also has had to rely on her parents for child care. Nina’s parents moved over 1000 miles from Miami to Maryland to help provide care for her little one. 

Meghann, another one of my colleagues, shares how the pandemic made her realize how much she relied on her mother-in-law for child care. Not knowing anyone in DC where they moved to work, they were lucky to have family who relocated to Northern Virginia and whom they relied on for child care. 

Our experiences are not uncommon.  Many parents rely on their own parents to help with child care. And, you know what? There are many things to celebrate in grandparent care. Grandparents, grandmothers in particular, are those who pass down traditions, who are recipe keepers and storytellers. There is also a unique bond with grandparents that can be so supportive to social and emotional development. I’m very grateful for the help I’ve received -- and I’m happy my children got to bond with their grandparents in the way that they have, however, I also know that my parents are older adults, and it’s a challenge for them to provide full-time child care.

But, the truth is, many grandparents are providing care because they see their children have no other option. Patricia, in Connecticut, shared with us “I drive 2.5 hours each way to watch my grandkids because care is mega expensive and my daughter couldn’t work if she had to pay childcare. This is nuts. I’m 70 and need my rest but I can’t handle her having to scrape by for child care.” 

Our child care system is in crisis, and grandparents have been one of the unsung heroes of the child care crisis, but solving the child care puzzle shouldn’t be left up to them. As one 66 year old grandma from North Carolina shared with us, “Don’t take this wrong, I love my grandchildren but I’m not physically able to take care of a rambunctious toddler 8 hours a day.” Not to mention that many grandparents who are primary guardians for their grandchildren also need access to child care. 

These stories are proof: grandparents cannot be expected to solve the child care crisis alone. FFN (family, friends and neighbors) care is a critical  part of the child care system that needs to be better valued, but it cannot be the only type of care parents rely on. 

Having grandparent care should be a meaningful choice - one that is done because it works for the whole family. NOT a forced last resort because of our broken child care system. 

This week we celebrate Grandparents Day (September 12th) and we want to honor our grandparents as caregivers-- and that means making ChildCare4all a reality to ensure families (including grandparents who are legal guardians and primary caregivers) can make meaningful choices in affordable, high-quality child care no matter where they live. Sign our petition here. 

If you are a parent or grownup who depends on grandparent care to provide child care for your kids, share your story with us