Women, Work & Families
Connecticut is one of the best states in the nation for women to live, work, and raise families. However, we still lag in certain areas, such as occupational opportunities, the wage gap between men and women, and affordability of quality childcare.1 While recent efforts to improve the economic status of Connecticut have helped women— like the increase in the minimum wage and passage of mandatory paid sick leave—Ted knows we must do more to ensure the economic well-being of women and families. Ted will continue to fight for:
1. Promote women in the workplace
As we develop long-term objectives for Connecticut’s economic success, we must find innovative ways to connect more women with vocational and workforce training opportunities, and we must address the issue of equal pay for women and men.
Some of the best-paying jobs in the United States are in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Unfortunately, women are consistently underrepresented in these fields. Ted will support efforts to expand woman in STEM fields. Locally, he’ll continue to support programs like East Shore Region Adult and Continuing Education (ERACE), which offers a number of education and training programs including GED, English as a Second Language, work soft skills, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula. Many of ERACE’s programs offer childcare, making it a great alternative for women and families with young children.
2. Support affordable, quality childcare
Childcare is one of the largest items in the family budget, and the one that working families struggle with the most. According to the Connecticut Child Care Affordability and Availability Report “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that parents spend no more than 10% of their income on childcare. In Connecticut, the average cost of full‐time care for one infant is equal to 15% of median family income, while the average cost for one infant and one preschool age child in full‐time care is equal to 27%.”2 In the 12th District, the average cost of childcare per child is more than $12,000 a year, with Guilford having the highest cost at more than $13,000 per child, per year.3
Ted knows that working families depend on affordable childcare so they can retain jobs, maintain career mobility, and earn sustainable incomes. He will promote creative approaches to childcare affordability such as the model presented by the Branford Early Learning Center. Additionally, he will continue to work with statewide programs such as Care4Kids, which helps low- and moderate- income families in Connecticut pay for childcare costs.
3. Develop support services for family caregivers
There are more than 450,000 family caregivers in Connecticut, the majority of whom are women. They provide care to seniors and to those experiencing illness or disability, with help ranging from emotional support to medical care, household management, and transportation. Statewide, it is estimated that the economic value of their unpaid time approaches $6,000,000,000 a year.4 According to AARP and the Shriver Report, if family caregivers were no longer available, the economic cost to the U.S. healthcare and long-term services and supports system would increase astronomically.5 This cost is a major issue that needs to be addressed, as individuals continue to live longer and have fewer children the service family caregivers provide will have to be come from elsewhere.
As an advocate for children with disabilities, Ted has seen first-hand the importance of the work that family caregivers provide. He believes that providing both community and economic support for family caregivers strengthens our economy and our families. Locally, we are lucky to have a number of support services, including the VNA Community Healthcare’s Family Caregiver Support program in Guilford. Ted believes we must provide additional support for family caregivers, such as paid family leave and affordable childcare. Additionally, he will continue to fight for home care initiatives and caregiver stipend programs that allow families to stay together.
Ted was proud to support the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act (CARE ACT) to ensure that Connecticut’s caregivers are given follow-up care instructions when a patient is discharged from the hospital and to reduce costly hospital readmission.
4. Support programs that prevent violence against women
Worldwide, one in three women is a victim of violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence.6 In the fiscal year 2015, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence served more than 41,000 victims of domestic violence,7 and one in four women are sexual assault survivors.8 In 2013, the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services, provided by BHcare of Branford, offered support to more than 6,700 individuals and families struggling with domestic violence in and around the 12th District.9
While the State has made some progress, continued transgressions at university and colleges and the staggering statistics of violence against women highlight the need for ongoing education and advocacy. Ted will fight for the continued support of organizations such as BHcare, the Women & Family Life Center in Guilford, and the Killingworth Women’s Organization, which recently launched a Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention campaign.
Ted helped plan a critical new law to protect victims of domestic violence from their abusers immediately allowing the service of a temporary restraining order and within 24 hours have any firearm and ammunition removed from the house. This new law allows for the removal of firearms from the home during the most dangerous time in a victim’s life.
See Also CHILDREN & EDUCATION: Promote Access To Early Childhood Education
HEALTHCARE: Support Independent Living Initiatives for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
JOBS & ECONOMY: Develop Long-term Objectives for the State’s Economic Success
1. “Connecticut Ranks Third Best in Nation for Women to Live and Work, Report Says,” New Haven Register, July 2014.
2. Connecticut Child Care Affordability and Availability Report, 2-1-1 Childcare, July 2013, www.211childcare.org
3. Connecticut Child Care Affordability and Availability Report, 2-1-1 Childcare, July 2013, www.211childcare.org
8. Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. website, www.connsacs.org
9. BHcare website, http://www.bhcare.org/page/22595-The-Umbrella-Center-for-Domestic-Violence-Services