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Let’s Support Delaware Families

Governor John Carney | Office of the Governor | Date Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018



Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney

On Mother’s Day, we acknowledge the immeasurable contributions and meaning of moms in their families and communities, and we thank all mothers for nurturing and caring for us and for future generations.

This Mother’s Day, we also want to recognize that the lives of Delaware mothers have been changing. Even though mothers continue to be seen as the primary caregivers, 42 percent are also the primary or sole breadwinner for their families. In many instances, two incomes are needed to sustain families, and an additional 22.4 percent of mothers are co-breadwinners.

In order to continue to support mothers, we need to adapt our policies around paid family leave accordingly.

As we recognize the changing roles of mothers, we must acknowledge that fathers’ roles are changing, too. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, fathers who take more than a week off after the birth of a child are likely to become more involved in that child’s care. However, men continue to face resistance to — and often are even stigmatized for — taking significant periods of leave to bond with their children. Providing fathers with equal access to paid leave means that men across Delaware will become more involved in caregiving, which is linked to improvement in children’s educational potential and emotional health.

But for many Delawareans — mothers and fathers alike — paid parental leave is not an option. The United States is one of only nine countries in the world, and the only industrialized nation, that does not require paid maternity leave, and one of only a handful of high-wealth nations that does not require paid paternity or parental leave.

When we were expecting our first child, like all new parents, we had a lot of things to worry about: choosing a pediatrician, planning for child care, adjusting our budget, and getting our home ready for a baby.

We were fortunate that Tracey’s employer at the time, then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden, had a generous paid maternal leave policy, with optional extended leave at reduced pay that guaranteed return to employment and continuation of benefits. John’s employer didn’t have a formal policy for paternal leave at the time, but was very supportive of paternal leave right after birth and also flexible so that both us could participate in pediatrician appointments in those early months. Many other Delaware families aren’t so lucky.

We opened the Legislative Session calling for legislators to support House Bill 3, which would provide 12 paid weeks of parental leave for Delaware state employees — a bill that already has bipartisan support.

 

As Delaware’s biggest employer, the State should lead on this issue both for the well-being of our current employees and their families and for the stability of our state workforce now and in the future.

paid parental leave

Health experts say that when mothers separate from their babies too soon, both become more susceptible to health risks. Moms are more likely to experience postpartum depression, and babies are less likely to receive all recommended vaccinations. Leave also facilitates breast-feeding, with its known health benefits to both mothers and children, for many families. Paid leave also can actually reduce infant mortality, long a priority concern in Delaware, and set our youngest children on the path to good health for the future.

The good news is that Delaware businesses are seeing the benefits of paid parental leave. JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Capital One, and Bank of America, among others, all provide paid parental leave, with Bank of America providing equal amounts of paid leave for men and women. More and more businesses recognize that the investment in paid parental leave is both the right thing to do for families and a good business decision to recruit and retain high quality employees.

As of last June, 41 percent of state pension-eligible employees were eligible to retire within five years, and by 2025, millennials will make up three quarters of the U.S. workforce. At the same time, studies have shown that millennials put a high value on paid parental leave as an employee benefit. Nationwide, 70.4 percent of mothers who are breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families fall between the ages of 18–29. In order to maintain a strong and stable state workforce, Delaware must adapt to serve the population of young, working mothers.

We are proud of our state employees in Delaware, people who serve our community every day. They serve as our teachers, nurses, police officers, social workers, and in many other critical roles. They are our neighbors and our community leaders. To support the people around us, and to build a strong workforce for tomorrow, it’s time that the State takes the lead on paid parental leave.

Let’s pass House Bill 3 — for the mothers we celebrate this weekend and every day, for the fathers across our state, and to give future generations a better start in life.

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Let’s Support Delaware Families

Governor John Carney | Office of the Governor | Date Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018



Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney

On Mother’s Day, we acknowledge the immeasurable contributions and meaning of moms in their families and communities, and we thank all mothers for nurturing and caring for us and for future generations.

This Mother’s Day, we also want to recognize that the lives of Delaware mothers have been changing. Even though mothers continue to be seen as the primary caregivers, 42 percent are also the primary or sole breadwinner for their families. In many instances, two incomes are needed to sustain families, and an additional 22.4 percent of mothers are co-breadwinners.

In order to continue to support mothers, we need to adapt our policies around paid family leave accordingly.

As we recognize the changing roles of mothers, we must acknowledge that fathers’ roles are changing, too. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, fathers who take more than a week off after the birth of a child are likely to become more involved in that child’s care. However, men continue to face resistance to — and often are even stigmatized for — taking significant periods of leave to bond with their children. Providing fathers with equal access to paid leave means that men across Delaware will become more involved in caregiving, which is linked to improvement in children’s educational potential and emotional health.

But for many Delawareans — mothers and fathers alike — paid parental leave is not an option. The United States is one of only nine countries in the world, and the only industrialized nation, that does not require paid maternity leave, and one of only a handful of high-wealth nations that does not require paid paternity or parental leave.

When we were expecting our first child, like all new parents, we had a lot of things to worry about: choosing a pediatrician, planning for child care, adjusting our budget, and getting our home ready for a baby.

We were fortunate that Tracey’s employer at the time, then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden, had a generous paid maternal leave policy, with optional extended leave at reduced pay that guaranteed return to employment and continuation of benefits. John’s employer didn’t have a formal policy for paternal leave at the time, but was very supportive of paternal leave right after birth and also flexible so that both us could participate in pediatrician appointments in those early months. Many other Delaware families aren’t so lucky.

We opened the Legislative Session calling for legislators to support House Bill 3, which would provide 12 paid weeks of parental leave for Delaware state employees — a bill that already has bipartisan support.

 

As Delaware’s biggest employer, the State should lead on this issue both for the well-being of our current employees and their families and for the stability of our state workforce now and in the future.

paid parental leave

Health experts say that when mothers separate from their babies too soon, both become more susceptible to health risks. Moms are more likely to experience postpartum depression, and babies are less likely to receive all recommended vaccinations. Leave also facilitates breast-feeding, with its known health benefits to both mothers and children, for many families. Paid leave also can actually reduce infant mortality, long a priority concern in Delaware, and set our youngest children on the path to good health for the future.

The good news is that Delaware businesses are seeing the benefits of paid parental leave. JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Capital One, and Bank of America, among others, all provide paid parental leave, with Bank of America providing equal amounts of paid leave for men and women. More and more businesses recognize that the investment in paid parental leave is both the right thing to do for families and a good business decision to recruit and retain high quality employees.

As of last June, 41 percent of state pension-eligible employees were eligible to retire within five years, and by 2025, millennials will make up three quarters of the U.S. workforce. At the same time, studies have shown that millennials put a high value on paid parental leave as an employee benefit. Nationwide, 70.4 percent of mothers who are breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families fall between the ages of 18–29. In order to maintain a strong and stable state workforce, Delaware must adapt to serve the population of young, working mothers.

We are proud of our state employees in Delaware, people who serve our community every day. They serve as our teachers, nurses, police officers, social workers, and in many other critical roles. They are our neighbors and our community leaders. To support the people around us, and to build a strong workforce for tomorrow, it’s time that the State takes the lead on paid parental leave.

Let’s pass House Bill 3 — for the mothers we celebrate this weekend and every day, for the fathers across our state, and to give future generations a better start in life.

print

Recent Stories


Related Topics:  , , , ,