Most parents can relate to the stress of tracking down a babysitter for an evening out. However, it seems that more and more parents are desperately struggling with the daily balance of work and childcare, especially after the birth or adoption of a new child. For many families, expanded paid family leave options could offer solutions that are not currently available.
Erin Macey, policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families (IIWF), defined paid family leave as paid time off from a job for a family member who must provide care for a newborn, newly adopted child, foster child or a child with a serious illness. Paid family leave could also apply to adults who care for elderly parents or spouses who suffer from serious illnesses.
“I’ve spoken to pregnant moms and expectant dads who are cobbling together their sick days to spend time with their babies when they are born,” said Macey, adding that, in her opinion, “a fair society recognizes the value of caregiving and supports it – systematically, not just through campaigns.”
Ambre Marr, the state legislative director for AARP Indiana, considers paid family leave to be a critical tool for all kinds of caregivers. According to Marr, approximately 840,000 Hoosiers provide care for a loved one.
“Family caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system here in Indiana, providing care valued at $9.5 billion annually,” said Marr.
Paid family leave has been known to provide a number of benefits for the children and adults involved, from good health practices to a more productive workforce.