The Best And Worst States To Raise Kids

As a country, the United States is the only developed nation that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave or paid sick days, and it ranks toward the bottom for how much it spends on early childhood education. But things are even spottier at the state level.

In a new report, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has for the first time graded each state on how well it supports working parents and, in particular, working women when it comes to paid leave, elder and child care, and the share of parents of young children who are in the labor force. Not a single state got a top grade; the highest ranked were California, New York, and Washington, D.C., which all got B grades. Three states, Indiana, Utah, and Montana, got failing grades. “It’s the outcome of very minimal federal standards on these issues,” said Ariane Hegewisch, study director at IWPR and the lead author on the report.

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