By Patrick Gill and Shay Everitt, CHILDREN AT RISK
In the recently released report, Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, CHILDREN AT RISK examines how quality child care can be leveraged to drive Texas’s economy forward today and for years to come. This blog series summarizes key findings from this report. This post, one of six, explores how lack of child care access impacts working families.
Child care is
In Texas, high costs put
For many middle- and low-income families in Texas, choosing between child care costs and not working is no choice at all. Child care is simply too expensive.
Texas’s subsidized child care program offers a potential solution to this problem by providing financial assistance for
This gap especially impacts women, who make up half of the potential labor force. In Texas, though, there is a 34% gap in labor force participation between men and women living with children under 5. While some of these women may be choosing to stay home, women who are not working tend to have lower incomes and less education than their working peers, indicating that many may be forced to stay home due to high child care costs.
Child care access also contributes to the gender wage gap. For married, heterosexual couples between 25 and 35, the pay gap between the husband and wife doubles immediately after the birth of their first child and never fully recovers, even for couples who had similar salaries prior to having children.
In countries with more robust family policy systems, studies have shown that greater investment in early childhood education—such as quality
Increasing access to quality, affordable
To learn more about how Texas can help families and children, check out CHILDREN AT RISK’s full report: Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas.
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To learn more about CHILDREN AT RISK’s research & policy advocacy around Early Childhood Education