The following statement regarding the reintroduction of the FAMILY Act should be attributed to Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE:
WASHINGTON — “Right from the start, babies’ relationships with the adults they trust most nurture the brain connections that form the foundation for life-long success. Parents and caregivers are on the front line of preparing our next generation of workers who will build a strong economy, scientists who will make breakthroughs to cure disease, and leaders who will set the vision for the next century.
“Americans on both sides of the aisle agree now is the time for policymakers to secure the best beginnings for children and the best future for our country by supporting a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. Today, the majority of working parents do not have access to paid leave, forcing millions of families to make an impossible choice between taking the time they need to bond with their babies and their economic security.
“While some states and communities have taken the lead in adopting paid leave policies, the time parents and babies have to bond should not be dependent on income, workplace, zip code, or gender.
“The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), would create a comprehensive national program that makes paid leave affordable for employers of all sizes and available to all workers and their families.
“Early childhood development experts have outlined what families need, embodied by the FAMILY Act through the following core principles:
- Inclusive of all working people, no matter where they live or the nature of their job;
- Comprehensive coverage of personal medical and family caregiving needs as reflected in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA);
- Inclusive definition of “family;”
- Meaningful duration of leave – at least 12 weeks – and a benefit level that makes taking leave financially possible for everyone;
- Sustainable funding that is affordable for workers, employers, and the government without harming other essential programs; and
- Secure from adverse employment consequences for workers who need to take leave.
“ZERO TO THREE is grateful to Senator Gillibrand and Representative DeLauro for their leadership on the FAMILY Act. We urge their Congressional colleagues to cosponsor this critical legislation and urgently pass a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.”
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE or follow @ZEROTOTHREE on Twitter.