Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

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The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Child-Care Crisis Hindering North Carolina's Economy

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Monday, January 23, 2023   

The state's unemployment rate for women with children younger than age 6 has reached nearly 4%, and according to a new report, around 400,000 parents across North Carolina say they've had to miss work because of a lack of child-care options.

Founder and CEO of Creative Economic Development Consulting Crystal Morphis said nationwide, 16,000 child-care centers shut their doors during the pandemic - and persistent low wages make it difficult to attract workers as those centers reopen.

She said moms of young children especially are feeling the effects.

"In North Carolina, women have about a 10% lower labor-force participation rate than men anyway," said Morphis. "Since the pandemic, there's probably still about a million women sitting on the sidelines throughout the country."

According to federal data, more than 50,000 parents nationwide missed work in December 2022 because of child-care issues.

Data show more than 26,000 North Carolina kids dropped out of preschool and child-care programs during the pandemic.

Cassandra Brooks is the director of Little Believers Academy, a preschool in Clayton. She explained that society's most essential jobs depend on parents having affordable and reliable child care.

"Then those people can't go on to work in their industries," said Brooks. "They can't go on to work at the gas stations, the grocery stores, all of these things that we utilize daily. They can't because they don't have child-care assistance."

Alexandra Porter said she's one of the lucky ones. The single mother of two from Clayton has affordable child care.

Porter said knowing her preschooler is safe and learning during the day has made it easier to continue working at her state government job.

"Being able to come to work is a blessing," said Porter, "and it feels good knowing that I have somewhere to take my child every day so that I can come into work to make my money to take care of my children. "

According to the report, more than half of North Carolina families with young children live in areas designated as "child-care deserts."


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