Press Release Health and Social Programs Inequality United States

LGBT Families Would Benefit from Universal Childcare, Family-Friendly Policies

June 29, 2022

Contact: KL Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington — Many families will benefit from universal childcare legislation that is pending in Congress, but LGBT families could find such benefits especially helpful. Today, an analysis by three researchers from CEPR finds that, compared to non-LGBT parents and caregivers, LGBT parents and caregivers respond to glitches in childcare in ways that cut into earnings, like using unpaid leave, leaving a job, losing a job, or not looking for a job. The analysis also finds that LGBT households experiencing childcare problems are more likely to live in moderate or severe financial hardship and experience hunger.

Co-authors of the analysis, researchers, Julia Godfrey, Julie Cai, and Shawn Fremstad, find: 

-About one-in-four LGBT adults lived with children under 18.

-About four-in-10 LGBT adults lived with a child under 5-years-old who was not to attend childcare in the last four weeks before being surveyed. About 28 percent lived with a child between 5 and 11-years-old who was not to attend childcare in the last four weeks before being surveyed.

-When compared to non-LGBT adultes, LGBT adults with childcare challenges more often opted to cut paid work hours and were more likely to take unpaid leave, lose their job, leave their job, and not look for a job. 

In the analysis, the researchers say it will take continued public pressure from other researchers, policy makers, and activists to get questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual characteristics added to federal surveys which make up the bulk of the critical data about employment, income, health insurance, and other economic security indicators. In addition, research and testing into the survey question will be needed to ensure they are properly constructed. 

“All communities and identities deserve representation and visibility in research and public policy,” said co-author Fremstad. “Anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination, coupled with economic struggles facing all US families, demands the attention of policy makers and activists alike.”

This analysis shows that LGBT parents and caregivers would greatly benefit from pending legislation that would establish a universal childcare system. Such a system would more than pay for itself by increasing parental employment and earnings, improving the quality of childcare jobs, reducing care-related business disruptions, and creating new jobs outside of the childcare sector.

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