Family-friendly Work Policies

Cohesion between employers and families with infants and toddlers can improve the physical and economic health of those families and their communities.

The months directly after birth or adoption are critical for parents to develop close, nurturing relationships that set the foundation for a child’s healthy development, and to rest and heal. Caring for a new child is both physically and emotionally demanding, and very much a full-time job.

High demand & provider shortages leave many families without options.

The United States is one of only a few countries that does not mandate paid family leave for new parents. And, here in Illinois, 60% of working people do not even have access to unpaid family leave. 

Accessing affordable child care is another challenge for new parents. Now more than ever, child care provider shortages compounded with an increased demand for services have left far too many families without quality care options for their infants and toddlers.  


of working people in IL

have no access

to unpaid

family leave.

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Prioritizing the health & development of our children

To best support new families with infants and toddlers, Illinois leaders and employers must take collaborative action that prioritizes the health and development of a child during those first few years of life.  

How to Get There

  • Support legislation that provides paid family and sick leave  
  • Establish “job search” as an eligible activity for parents of children under age 3 who receive support through the Child Care Assistance Program
  • Enact policies to increase predictability of work hours, especially in low-wage jobs 
  • Increase access to jobs for parents through workforce development programs that are tailored to the needs of families with young children 
  • Establish collaborations across child care and workforce development programs and the business community to support parents with young children in accessing jobs and job supports and addressing challenges related to variable work hours 

Birthing parents

need necessary

time to rest

& heal. 

Projected Outcome

  • Increased number of employers that offer paid family and medical leave options
  • Birthing parents have the necessary time to rest and heal from the process of giving birth, which may involve recovering from a major surgery 
  • Increased access to workforce development programs that support new parents 

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