First Focus on Children sent the following letter to Senators Gillibrand and Cassidy as well as Representatives Houlahan and Bice to thank them for their commitment to addressing the challenges that children and families face in accessing paid leave and identifying policy solutions for this problem. They were also urged to keep children front and center as they consider the impact paid leave policies will have on the nation.

Excerpt from the letter:

The United States needs a federal paid leave policy to ensure equitable access to paid leave and all the benefits it creates for families. The current patchwork of local, state, and private actions has proven to be inadequate. The U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world that does not offer paid parental leave at the national level. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family and medical leave laws, and eight others have voluntary systems. Though these states have acted and are seeing benefits for their residents, the need for a federal policy is clear: the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only about 1‑in‑4 private sector employees has access to paid family leave, and Hispanic and Black workers are much less likely to have access than their white counterparts. Of the lowest-income workers, only 6 percent have access to paid family leave. These inequities harm children and demand a federal paid leave policy that includes all workers, including independent contractors, part-time and full-time workers, and both public and private sector employees, regardless of industry or employer size.

Read the full letter.