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Monday, December 4, 2023

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NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

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Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Report: More West Virginia Parents Not Working due to Childcare Issues

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Monday, June 19, 2023   

Thirteen percent of young children in West Virginia lived in families in which someone quit their job or refused a job because of responsibilities with child care, and the number is likely higher among Black and Latino parents, according to the latest Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book.

Women are five to eight times more likely than men to experience negative employment consequences due to lack of child care.

Bobbie Spry, community engagement specialist, West Virginia Kids Count, said advocates in the state continue to push for enrollment-based subsidies for child care centers. She explained basing reimbursements on enrollment instead of attendance would increase financial stability for providers and help shrink yearlong waitlists.

"West Virginia's average cost of center-based child care for a toddler was $7,955," Spry reported. "That's 9% of the median income of a married couple and 35% of a single mother's income."

Last year, West Virginia Kids Count reported 21% of West Virginia's children are living in households with a high housing cost burden. Spry noted ongoing unaffordable child care costs will likely mean more housing uncertainty for families living paycheck to paycheck.

More than 60% of child care workers nationwide recently reported having difficulty paying their own food and utility bills. Spry pointed out the child care issue is pushing more Mountain State families into poverty.

"Our overall ranking remains at 42 which is what it was last year," Spry emphasized. "I don't feel like we're doing enough to push that needle."

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the failings of the child care system cost the U.S. economy around $122 billion a year in lost worker earnings, productivity, and tax revenue.

Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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