NWLC’s comments to the Human Resources Subcommittee, Ways and Means, focus on the need for any TANF reauthorization bill to provide policies and adequate resources to ensure that families trying to leave or avoid TANF have access to affordable, reliable child care, in addition to the other supports and services needed to meet basic needs and get ahead.
On July 8, 2015, 46 national organizations sent a sign-on letter to members of the House and Senate, thanking the House and Senate Appropriations Committee members for their recognition of the importance of early learning in the recent mark-up of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education. and Related Agencies appropriations bill, while also urging that significant increased investments, and that these investments are only possible if the caps on non-discretionary defense spending are rasied.
High-quality child care and early education is essential to enable parents to get and keep a job and to give children a strong start toward success in school and life. Yet many families—particularly low-income families—lack access to the high-quality child care and early education that parents need to work and children need to grow and thrive.
An updated issue brief from the National Women’s Law Center, “Collateral Damage: Scheduling Challenges for Workers in Low-wage Jobs and Their Consequences” describes the range of difficult work schedules facing workers in low-wage jobs—lack of control over the timing of work hours, schedules that are assigned at the last minute, hours that fluctuate radically from week to week or month to month, involuntary part-time work, and nonstandard schedules. The issue brief explains the extent of these problems and their particular impact on women, who make up the majority of low-wage workers and also shoulder a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities. The issue brief also documents the fallout from challenging work schedules for workers and their families.
Karen Schulman is a Senior Policy Analyst in NWLC's Family Economic Security division. She researches and writes about child care and early education policies. She received her bachelor's degree from Williams College and her master's degree in Public Policy from Duke University. Prior to joining NWLC, she worked at the Children's Defense Fund.