March 26, 2013: Advocating "boosting state support for child care and preschool" as a "strategic public investment," Kristin Schumacher writes in "California Budget Bites," a blog of the nonpartisan California Budget Project:
...Prioritizing support for child care and preschool programs is especially critical in light of the changing nature of the US workforce — in particular, the large number of mothers of young children entering the labor force in recent decades. As discussed in our testimony at last week’s joint hearing, the share of women working or looking for work that have children age 5 or under has risen substantially since 1975, from 39.0 percent to 64.2 percent — an increase of nearly two-thirds. Additionally, in 2010, more than 30 percent of women in the workforce with young children were single mothers, meaning that the stakes of creating economic opportunity for women are as large as ever.
Subsidized child care and preschool programs are especially important for low-income women, given that child care is one of the most expensive items in a household budget. In 2011, in Los Angeles County, full-time care for an infant in a child care center was, on average, $11,499 annually. When women struggle to afford child care, it presents one additional barrier to securing employment...
The California Budget Project has writte (and the Women's Foundation of California has funded) a report jointly prepared, "A Fair Chance: Why California Should Invest in Economic Opportunity for Women and Their Families."
At left, a CBP analysis of CA Dept. of Finance and Dept. of Social Services data, showing how cuts have resulted in a 54.4% loss of purchasing power by CalWORKs families in the last 23 years.The maximum monthly grant for a family of 3 ($638) covers less than half the average California fair-market rental for a two-bedroom unit in 2012.