Policy Resource

ZERO TO THREE Celebrates Reintroduction of the Healthy Families Act to Create National Paid Sick Days Standard for Working Families

Mar 14, 2019

The bill introduced today by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) would establish a national paid sick days standard. In response to the bill’s reintroduction, Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer, ZERO TO THREE, released the following statement:

“Physically and emotionally healthy babies are more likely to become healthy, stable, and successful adults. Nurturing relationships with caregivers and high-quality healthcare support sound bodies and minds, and influence all areas of a child’s development.

“Parents of infants and toddlers need time to meet their children’s needs as well as tend to their own health and well-being. Babies need seven well-child visits in the first year alone, plus the inevitable trips to the doctor for colds and other illnesses. Paid sick leave, like that proposed in the Healthy Families Act, would allow workers to take the time they need without worrying about their job security or a loss of income.

“Recently released data in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2019, show that approximately 9 percent of babies are not getting the well-child visits they need. That amounts to over a million children not getting the low-cost, high-impact care that gives them a healthy start. Young children whose parents have paid sick leave have greater ability to access preventive health care services and are less likely to delay necessary medical care.

“Local progress is encouraging, but action at the federal level is necessary to ensure that paid leave is accessible to all workers, not just those who are lucky enough to live or work where family-friendly policies are available. Passing the Healthy Families Act is a strong step to ensure parents do not have to choose between their families’ health and their economic security.

“ZERO TO THREE applauds Sen. Murray and Rep. DeLauro for standing strong for America’s working families and reintroducing the Healthy Families Act, setting a standard for national paid sick days. We urge their Congressional colleagues to cosponsor this critical legislation to meet the health and financial needs of working families.”


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.