In an interview on National Public Radio (NPR), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her new agenda for women will give mothers access to day care so they can “earn without carrying the burden of child care.”
During the interview, aired on Weekend Edition Sunday, Pelosi spoke about her newly announced agenda, which is on her website, and is titled, “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families,” a plan that includes universal pre-school and access to day care for working women, and an increase in the minimum wage.
“The child care issue probably has to be done in steps,” Pelosi told NPR host Susan Stamberg. “But when children are learning, parents can be learning. And when the children are in preschool, that frees parents to earn without carrying the burden of the child care.”
“We are hopeful we can make it too hot for people to handle ignoring these women’s issues and get something done even before we get into the electoral season next year,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s agenda makes the claim that “families are generally left on their own for providing child care,” which she sees as a problem in the United States.
The agenda website lists solutions to women’s problems such as President Barack Obama’s Preschool and Early Head Start/Child Care Initiativ, and “adequate” federal funding for child care programs.
In February the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a study that found that students who participate in the Head Start program actually fare worse, in some ways, than students who do not.
The large-scale study found that children who participated in the Head Start program actually did worse in math and had more problems with social interaction by the third grade than children who were not in the federally funded program.
Furthermore, teacher reports provided as part of the study demonstrated strong evidence of the Head Start program having an unfavorable impact on the incidence of children’s emotional symptoms, and possible effects on both ability to have close relationships and positive relationships with teachers. The study concluded that, even when some positive effects of participation in Head Start are found in preschool age children, those effects disappear once children enter early elementary school:
In terms of children’s well-being, there is also clear evidence that access to Head Start had an impact on children’s language and literacy development while children were in Head Start. These effects, albeit modest in magnitude, were found for both age cohorts during their first year of admission to the Head Start program. However, these early effects rapidly dissipated in elementary school, with only a single impact remaining at the end of 3rd grade for children in each age cohort.
Pelosi’s agenda also addresses equal pay for women, and lists as a problem that, “For African American women and Latinas the pay gap is even larger.”
Perhaps worse, however, as Breitbart News reported in January, is that, during the Obama presidency, more women have been receiving no pay at all because they are unemployed. Last December, the unemployment rate for women rose from 7.0% to 7.3%, and, for African-Americans, from 13.2% to 14.0%.
Pelosi’s proposed “Solutions” for what is called “Work and Family Balance” problems include paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, expanded family and medical leave, and federal employees paid parental leave.