Expecting NJ Parents Are Well-Supported, Study Shows [AUDIO]
If you are about to have a baby, you may be wondering who the Garden state compares to other states when it comes to helping new and expecting parents.
A just-released study finds moms and dads-to-be in Jersey have a lot more support than in other parts of the country.
Vicki Shabo, the Director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families, says a new report entitled "Expecting Better : A State-by-State Analysis of Laws that Help New Parents" looks at the way states have, or don't have policies that help new and expecting parents.
" New Jersey actually got a grade of B+, so it was in the second highest group of grades that we gave…and that's because it provides numerous policies beyond federal law that help new parents," Shabo said.
She says "New Jersey has the 2nd in the nation paid family leave insurance law that provides some wage replacement to new parents to help take care of their child when a child is born, and New Jersey also has temporary disability insurance - which is funded through small payroll taxes - through employers and employees - and that allows women who take PDI leave for a pregnancy related disability to be able to get partial wage replacement - New Jersey's Family and Medical Leave Act law is slightly more generous than the federal law."
Shabo points out "when parents are able to stay home with their children in the weeks or a month or two after birth they're better able to ensure that their children are getting the health care they need - mothers are more likely to breast feed and to breast feed for longer and that has huge health benefits -but there are also significant economic benefits for families - that translates into benefits for governments and benefits for businesses as well -when parents have access to some paid leave after birth they're less likely to rely on public assistance for food stamps in the year after their child's birth."
She adds only California and Connecticut scored higher than Jersey - and 32 states got grades of either D or F, "which means that they are doing next to nothing or nothing beyond what federal law provides- so yes, many states are behind the curve."