By comparison, new mothers get 108 weeks of paid family leave in Estonia, almost 70 weeks in Sweden, 52 weeks in Denmark, 12 weeks in Burundi.
The United States ranks last among developed nations in providing government support for working parents, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Only 4 states provide paid, publicly funded maternity leave: New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. The amount of money received depends on one’s earnings. California offers up to 6 weeks of leave at 55% of salary.
The only family-friendly policy in the United States is the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, which offers only unpaid leave and only up to 12 weeks to care for you, a child, or a family member. It is restricted to workers in companies with more than 50 employees, who work full-time and have been with the firm for more than one year.
As a result, only about half of U.S. workers – and less than 20 percent of new mothers – are covered under the FMLA.
Paid family leave leads to higher overall employment rates. New mothers are more likely to return to work if they have paid leave.
When Google extended paid maternity leave to 18 weeks, the rate at which new moms left the company fell by 50 percent.
The United States has no nationally funded system of child care, unlike most developed nations.
Child care and educational expenses are second only to mortgage payment or rent in the family budget.
In a typical 2-earner American family, more than 30 percent of a family’s net income is spent
on child care.
The United States almost established a network of nationally funded, locally administered, comprehensive child care centers – back in 1971. The centers were to be open to all on a sliding scale basis. Congress passed the bill on a bipartisan basis, but President Richard M. used his veto power.