What Parents Are Saying

What are your and your family's biggest challenges and concerns right now?

  • Illness and even though we have sick days at work it's hard to take them and manage
  • Hoping my husband finds a job so we can have stable health insurance
  • Maternal Health following high-risk birth; adjusting to a new baby
  • Budgeting and reliable transportation
  • Our family income has been reduced and we now have a lot of household expenses that I can hardly afford We don't have enough income to buy enough food, and I have to eat less for the nutrition of my children
  • Summer care when school is over. The extra food we will need and free activities to keep them busy. Especially with twins
  • Finances. Always coming up short every month with money and constantly having to borrow money to make up the difference
  • Employment decisions - I shifted to working part-time so we could stop utilizing a center-based child care due to my son's increased illness/healthcare needs and missed work
  • Maintaining health while caring for my children
  • Seeking mental wellness for all members of our family

What is helping you and your family the most right now?

  • I'd say parenting and play groups -- connection is so valuable to us
  • Therapy
  • Great start readiness program
  • Being able to work from home a few days per week and being fortunate enough that my salary is enough for my wife to be a stay-at-home parent without losing too much of our savings until our girls are in school
  • Working from home, our child's preschool, and ASQs
  • WIC and Medicaid
  • Support from my extended family and church
  • I am staying with my parents

What would you like your elected officials or other policymakers (for example, U.S. Congress, state, and local leaders) to know about how your family is doing or what you need during this time?

  • We need high-quality, affordable childcare. This should not take the form of increasing ratios - it's a joke that a caregiver could take care of 4 newborns as it is. It could take the form of subsidies when people have to use high-cost options like nannies since there are no available centers
  • Support and protections for LGBTQ families
  • Two people working full time with degrees and working in their field should not be struggling to put a meal on the table
  • Subsidize child care for those under 5. We pay our teachers, why can’t we pay our early childhood educators? The new program split between employer, staff, and govt isn’t good. You have to get your employer on board and they have to budget it for it
  • We need safety for our children in schools, between gun reform and illnesses and poverty. The safety and stability of children is the most important thing possible
  • As a middle-income family, there are no resources available for help. We over-qualify for everything but with the rising cost of everything we barely make it by
  • The programs for early childhood in Kent County have been extremely helpful to first-time parents
  • We should have paid maternity leave! And 20 weeks at minimum. I have a 4-month-old who is not sleeping through the night, and I still have to work. Some days I can barely keep my head above water
  • We are struggling to afford basic things because of rising costs, while our income remains the same
  • Resources to supplement extracurricular activities for kids would be really helpful as most of our money is going to essential expenses (even with WIC assistance). We aren't able to keep kids in any extracurricular programming or activities consistently due to the cost
  • In the wake of the shooting at MSU, we parents are again scared to send our children out into the world. Common sense gun control is long overdue
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