For working mothers who depend on childcare so they can provide for their children, living in a so-called “right-to-work (for less)” state is yet another horror story: 65 percent of the WORST 25 states for childcare have this anti-worker law — 16 of 25.
Missouri ranks right up there at 21 of the worst 25 states and 30th worst of all 50 states. Having a phony RTW law will only make things worse for our state’s pre-schoolers and their working moms.
Given that almost half of our workforces are women, and that 70 percent of them have children, having affordable, quality childcare is a critical issue for working moms.
Here’s how the states stack up when it comes to the availability of affordable, quality childcare:
• RTW – Tragically, 16 of the 25 worst states (64 percent) for working moms’ having the availability of quality childcare are RTW states.
• WITHOUT RTW – Only nine of the 25 worst states (36 percent) are without a RTW law that negatively impacts a mom’s ability to get quality childcare.
• WITHOUT RTW – 14 of the 25 best states (56 percent) that have NO RTW law are considered to be the “best” states where working moms can find, and afford, quality childcare.
• RTW – Only 11 of the 25 best states (44 percent) are RTW states.
LESSER OF TWO EVILS
According to the Center for America Progress (CAP), “Parents are often left to choose between the lesser of two evils: low-quality care or forgoing needed pay to stay at home and care for a child themselves.”
• For the children: Quality childcare results in “...better, more equitable long-term outcomes for children of divergent economic backgrounds.”
• For the state and nation: Quality childcare “help(s) cultivate a future workforce, secure long-term economic competitiveness, and develop our nation’s future leaders.”
• For working Moms: The availability of quality affordable childcare “throws a much-needed raft to families across America that are struggling to stay afloat while footing costly childcare bills, missing work to provide care, or sending their children — our nation’s future innovators and workforce — to low-quality care centers.”
THE IMPACT OF POOR CHILDCARE
Childcare Aware of America says there are 11 million children under the age of five in daycare centers.
A study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shows that children in poor quality daycare have:
• Weaker social skills.
• Weaker parental attachments.
• Greater risk of anxiety and depression.
• More aggressive behavior.
• Less vocabulary competence.
According to CAP, a study in New York City “found that more than a third of families on the childcare assistance wait list either lost jobs or were unable to work, and one in five had either missed or been late for work because of their childcare problems. Perhaps even more alarmingly, a quarter of families on a childcare wait list in Minnesota had to rely on public assistance in order to make ends meet while waiting to access childcare subsidies.”
The financial website WalletHub analyzed data from all 50 states to determine the Best and Worst states for working moms to access childcare
The components that make up the childcare rating include: Daycare Quality, Childcare Costs; Pediatricians Per-capita; School System Quality; Share of Nationally Accredited Childcare Centers; and Number of Childcare Workers per total number of children.
The Best/Worst States listing is part of a series of WalletHub research efforts. Sources include: WalletHub, the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Childcare Aware® of America, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Council for Community and Economic Research, National Partnership for Women & Families.