This winner of this week’s #TCFBest is from The Atlantic, How to Make the U.S. a Better Place for Caregivers, by Anne-Marie Slaughter (@SlaughterAM.) Last year, Slaughter wrote another Atlantic piece Why Women Still Can’t Have It All that sparked a national debate about women, work and families. In this follow-up piece she offers a summary of what the country needs for employment to work for women and families. When parents go back to work after a baby is born, Slaughter writes:
The best option, both for individual children and for society as a whole, is high-quality, affordable day-care, either at the workplace or close by. High-quality means care provided by trained professionals who are specialists in child development, who can provide a stable, loving, learning environment that can take care not only of children's physical needs but also provide stimulation and socialization. Yet as economists Nancy Folbre and Erik Olin Wright report in For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States, only 33 percent of the children of working mothers are in such care, whether privately or government funded.
She goes on to list many public policy options that could help shape a better working environment for children’s caregivers. These include:
Equalizing Social Security for spouses, offering work-related Social Insurance programs to all workers, including unpaid caregivers, thereby making them eligible for temporary unemployment compensation, job training, and worker's compensation if they became divorced or injured; providing universal pre-school for all three and four-year olds; taxing members of a married couple separately in line with their individual rather than joint rate; paying a child allowance to all primary caregivers of young children, with the check made out directly to the caregiver; providing free health coverage for all children and their primary caregivers; and adding unpaid household labor to the national GDP.
We highly reccommend giving her piece a read. Thank you for your continued nominations and keep the thought-provoking policy articles coming! TCF is now taking nominations for next week’s #TCFBest. As always, you can submit your nominations in the comments below, via the Twitter hashtag #TCFBest, on our Facebook page, or by e-mail to [email protected].