Why This Matters

Family Friendly.

For children and families, the benefits of family-friendly workplaces are numerous and long-lasting. They include positive impacts on health, development and well-being, financial stability, and future career success.

Children whose parents have access to family-friendly benefits receive much-needed support and time with their parents during the most critical years of human development. This leads to positive health outcomes, higher education attainment, and future career success Parents who have access to family-friendly benefits also have
improved health outcomes and are happier and more productive at work.

Family-friendly benefits increase positive outcomes and decrease negative outcomes for children and families.

Babies born to mothers with paid parental leave are:

  • less likely to be born prematurely
  • more likely to be born at a healthy birth weight

Parental leave of at least 6 months for mothers and two weeks for fathers:

  • significantly lowers a mother’s risk of postpartum depression and anxiety
  • increases paternal engagement in caregiving throughout a child’s life1

For each additional month of paid parental leave, there is a 13 percent decline in infant mortality for families from low- and middle-income countries.2

Children whose parents have paid parental leave, paid sick leave and other family-friendly benefits are more likely to have:

  • well care visits and immunizations, especially for measles and polio3
  • better test scores in school
  • fewer behavioral or mental health problems
  • regular school attendance

Mothers who are able to breastfeed for at least 13 months in their lifetime have a 63 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer.4

Breastfeeding also lowers a woman’s risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • type 2 diabetes

Given average child care costs in North Carolina, a minimum-wage worker needs to work full time for 32 weeks just to pay for high-quality care for one infant.5

When their employer offers child care reimbursements or child care on site — either full-time, part-time, or on a back-up basis — low-wage workers are more likely to be able to afford child care and are less likely to drop out of the labor force after giving birth. Predictable scheduling allows hourly workers to better plan for child care needs.

Show 5 footnotes
  1. Goodson Kingo, Aubrey. “20 Indisputable Reasons Why Paid Family Leave is Good For Babies, Parents, Companies and Everyone Else.” Working Mother. December 4, 2017. https://www.workingmother.com/indisputable-reasons-why-paid-family-leave-is-good-for-babies-parents-companies-and-everyone-else
  2. WBUR. “Study: Paid Maternity Leave Reduces Infant Mortality Rates.” April 6, 2016. https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/04/06/paid-maternity-leave
  3. Goodson Kingo, Aubrey. “20 Indisputable Reasons Why Paid Family Leave is Good For Babies, Parents, Companies and Everyone Else.” Working Mother. December 4, 2017. https://www.workingmother.com/indisputable-reasons-why-paid-family-leave-is-good-for-babies-parents-companies-and-everyone-else
  4. Cordeiro, Brittany. “Breastfeeding lowers your breast cancer risk.” The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. October 2014. https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/breastfeeding-breast-cancer-prevention.h19-1589046.html
  5. Economic Policy Institute. “The cost of child care in North Carolina.” https://www.epi.org/child-care-costs-in-the-united-states/#/NC