As described in Set Up to Fail: When Low-Wage Jobs Jeopardize Parents’ and Children’s Success, millions of parents across the country work in jobs whose low wages, unfair scheduling practices, and minimal benefits make it difficult to meet both work and caregiving responsibilities. Unpredictable work hours, rigid attendance policies with limited access to paid leave, and inadequate paychecks leave many parents in low-wage jobs struggling to provide their children with the high-quality early care and education they need to succeed in school and beyond. And the parents most likely to find themselves in low-wage jobs are women – disproportionately women of color and immigrant women.
Set Up for Success: Supporting Parents in Low-Wage Jobs and their Children recommends two-generational policies, practices, and strategies to improve the lives of low-wage working parents and their children – and provides examples that have been advanced by different stakeholders. The recommendations are intended to further five critical goals:
- Increase parents’ incomes.
- Ensure parents are treated fairly in the workplace and have stable, predictable work schedules.
- Expand children’s access to high-quality, affordable child care and early education.
- Increase parents’ access to paid sick days and paid family and medical leave.
- Improve parents’ opportunities to obtain education and training that can help them advance into better jobs.