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When childcare providers can’t afford childcare

Thanksgiving is around the corner. Today my two-and-half-year-old came home from his day care with a thankful turkey. Thankful turkey, you know, the classic construction paper turkey lists what children are thankful for. We had this conversation. 

“Mama, look at my turkey!”

“Wow! And what’s this?”

“Things I xiexie for.”

“And what do you xiexie for?”

“Udon noodle soup.”

“…Anything else?”

“Mommy and Daddy.”

​So my little one is especially thankful for udon noodle soup. As for myself, I am especially thankful for my child’s day care teachers. (I’m thankful for udon noodle soup, too! It’s what served on our dinner table on those days I run late at work and don’t have time to cook.)  Last year around this time, our previous day care center went bankruptcy. I received the notice while on business trip. It was really a disaster. I rushed back home, and we experienced a chaos before finding this new center and my child actually falls in love with it.   

We Say We Care About Kids. Do We Really Mean It?

This commentary was originally published on the TalkPoverty blog (, a project of the Center for American Progress.

Americans are fond of saying our children are our nation’s most valuable resource. But if our actions are the measure, do we really mean it?

Mounting research evidence from neuroscience, public health, economics and social science supports a simple conclusion: Investing in early childhood, through affordable early childcare and enrichment opportunities, pays dividends for the individual and for society. Yet we know not all children have an opportunity to experience high-quality early childcare—and it’s because we have chosen not to support universal access. Scientific research supports the long-term value of creating the conditions children need for a strong start. We also know how to scale and support effective social and educational programs and make them accessible.

Why, then, aren’t we committed to ensuring these opportunities?

Support Moms on Small Business Saturday

Once the turkey has been carved and we are all recovering from pumpkin pie comas, hectic travel, and quality time with the family, the so-called season of giving begins. If you are anything like me though, you are trying to avoid the non-stop holiday shopping commercials on tv and instead are trying to get your gift buying done in a way that is both supportive of your local businesses and economy AND has a personal touch.

That’s why I love Small Business Saturday! Created as a response to the craziness that is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to support local, small businesses and still get our holiday shopping done (or just grab a cupcake and new pair of shoes for yourself…you’ve worked hard all year! You deserve it!).

The Motherhood Penalty

Earlier this year, the Women's Funding Alliance released an interesting little report called The Status of Women in Washington. Now before you bounce off because a) you've already used up your quota of "you go girl" fist bumps today, or b) you believe the gender gap is a bunch of hooey, hang with me for a moment. 

Did you know that ...

  • In 2013, women in Washington earned $.77 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts?
  • Women who work full-time, year-round earn less than men at every education level, even when their degree is more advanced?
  • If women received equal pay, the earnings increase added up across all women in the state would amount to almost 3% of Washington's gross domestic product in 2013?

Holy cow, right? The gender gap has been quantified and guess what? It's an $11.2 BILLION dollar gap. That's not hooey. That's crazy.

But wait. Perhaps the craziest statistic of all is this one:

Join Us For a Special Tweetchat to #GetCovered!

If you missed our Wellness Wednesday chat last week on open enrollment and still have questions about your healthcare coverage, we invite you to join us, What to Expect author Heidi Murkoff and senior advisor to the President and chair of the White House Council on Women and GirlsValerie Jarrett for a special tweetchat, 11/13 at 12 p.m. ET. We will be discussing healthcare and the ACA.

Use hashtag #GetCovered to ask your question and follow the conversation.

ACTION NEEDED: A heartless decision

Take Action!I have bad news. Amidst growing anti-immigrant rhetoric that's harming our children and our economy, earlier this week a divided 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a cruel blow. 
What happened?
Well, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided, in a ruling against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), to continue to stall implementation of the Obama Administration's Executive Action on Immigration that would have protected millions of immigrant families from separation and allowed them to be more visible in their ongoing contributions to our country’s economy. 
However, the fight isn't over. We still have a chance to stand up for fair treatment of immigrant families and for our economy.
*Can you take a quick moment to have a lasting impact? Join us to urge the DOJ to quickly appeal this unjust ruling.

Working Mom and #MilSpouse Speaks Out for Tax Credits For Families

Working moms are never off the clock. Our working days are bookended by packing kids’ lunches in the morning and reading bedtime stories at night. We put in a lot more than a full day’s work and every dollar we work for is hard earned. This is even more true for military families like mine. We know that every moment and penny counts and we gladly accept all the help we can get.

Conversation Cafe with Marco Rubio

Talking with Marco Rubio in New Hampshire’s “Conversation Café”  

Hello again! It feels like I’ve hit almost every corner of New Hampshire in the last few months in my work to give voice to the Granite State’s families in the Presidential campaign and beyond. 

Last week, this work gave me a great opportunity – talking directly to Senator Marco Rubio - as part of the candidate “Conversation Cafés” organized by WMUR (our local TV station). WMUR are hosting candidate cafés with each of the candidates and a few members of the public. This was an informal gathering to get to know the candidate on a more personal level.  Click here to see a clip of the show.

Equal Pay For Latinas

Take Action!

Put something soft on your desk right now, because what I’m about to tell you will have you so mad you’re going to have a "head-desk" moment (you know, a moment when you drop your head to your desk in frustration?) and I don’t want you to get hurt.

Ready? According to the latest U.S. Census, Latinas who work full-time, year-round, earn only .55 to the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men. [1] To put it another way, Latinas have to work for all of 2014 and all the way until October 30th (!!!) of 2015 to earn what white men earned in 2014 alone. Over time that gap really adds up. In fact, according to the National Women’s Law Center, “Over a 40-year career, women would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to the wage gap—Latinas would lose over $1 million—and that doesn’t even account for inflation.” [2]

Because It’s 2015, I Demand More

Because it’s 2015, I can’t see these pictures and not act.
Because it’s 2015, you can’t sit by anymore either.
Because it’s 2015, we can’t let ourselves say “but I like being the #2.”

The powerful images put out by Elle UK were all too familiar. They featured some of the most recognizable global female leaders, from Angelina Jolie to Angela Merkel, as the sole women in the room. Men removed, it showed how desperately we need more women, and, not just at the top levels of leadership. I travel the country encouraging and training women to consider local office or get appointed to a board or commission — and I am still seeing the one and only, even in 2015.

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