On June 23rd, NAEYC’s Executive Director Rhian Evans Allvin participated in the Summit on Working Families, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Center for American Progress (CAP) to address the need for more flexible workplace policies that allow families to have success and security both at work and at home.
The Summit participants included President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, in addition to business leaders, policymakers, and working families. President Obama highlighted the need for:
Paid family leave: 47 percent of the workforce are women, and more men are assuming the role of caregivers, yet the U.S. does not mandate paid family leave as other developed countries do.
Child Care: married working women bring home 44 percent of their family’s income; ensuring high-quality, accessible child care would allow both parents to remain in the workforce while having their children a safe and nurturing environment.
A powerful, new Verizon and Makers ad, narrated by Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani, subtly suggests that the feedback that young girls hear from their parents, teachers or other authority figures, may influence their pursuit of a STEM-based education or career. The persistence of these stereotypical statements may result in significantly more boys interested in STEM careers than girls by the eighth grade.
In order to close the gap, the National Science Foundation indicates that parental support can increase a girl’s interest in STEM subjects. Increased images of women in STEM professions provide girls with a greater sense of the opportunities that exist in college and beyond.
A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics states that parents who read to their children build critical language skills, literacy development and parent-child relationships. Children are also more likely to be interested in reading once they reach school age.
Despite the report’s findings, the National Survey of Children’s Health found that only 34 percent of children younger than 5 years old, in families below the poverty threshold, were read to on a daily basis, compared with 60 percent of children from affluent families. Recent research from Stanford University found that by the age of eighteen months, children from low-income families heard approximately 30 million fewer words than children from affluent families.