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Episode 2: Healthy Children & Families

Building healthy, equitable communities through supports for working families

Good Governance
Child Care & Schools

How can workplace policies support low-income families? How can government programs and policies for low-income children and families be improved?

Episode 2 explores policies and systems that support working families. You can read our blog post about federal policies that fall short of their promise to support working families, watch a webinar that looks at paid family leave as a driver of health equity, or listen to our panel of family support experts discuss paid family leave and sick time, breastfeeding supports, and early childhood care and education.

“Really think about how you implement the services that families need. It’s easy to make a referral if a family has an employment, health, or housing need, but what’s the intentional collaboration with community partners to make sure that families are able to support the development of their kids?” – Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, deputy director, ChildCare Aware

Blog post

Because raising a family is difficult, many federal policies are intended to provide a foundation of economic security to help families create a stable environment. This stability helps children reach their full potential and then contribute to a new generation of prosperity and civic participation. Yet federal policies intended to support working families are often outdated and inadequate. Episode 2 outlines 6 policies that fall short of fulfilling their promise to support the health and well-being of working families. The blog post also provides resources so that readers can learn more or take action.

Read our blog post: 6 Federal Policies That Fall Short of Supporting Working Families


How exactly can workplace policies advance health equity? In this webinar, we examined how paid family leave and sick time is an issue of equity and public health. Specifically, we discussed the unique benefits of paid family leave for working families, how paid family leave advances health equity, and the characteristics of inclusive paid family leave policies. You will also hear insights from Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policies and strategies at the National Partnership for Women & Families, on the critical role of workplace policies in supporting families, as well as disparities in access to paid leave and the associated equity implications.

Watch our webinar or download the slides: Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Through Supports for Working Families

Expert Panel

We convened a virtual panel of health equity innovators to engage each other in conversation and answer questions from participants. This panel brought a diverse range of expertise in paid family leave and sick time, breastfeeding supports, and early childhood care and education. The conversation included

  • Aysha Pamukcu (moderator), senior staff attorney, ChangeLab Solutions
  • Kimarie Bugg, CEO, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE)
  • Sharon Terman, senior staff attorney, Legal Aid at Work
  • Sherry Leiwant, co-president and co-founder, A Better Balance
  • Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, deputy director of public policy, ChildCare Aware of America

Listen to our expert panel: Continued Conversation About Healthy Children & Families

Episode 2 is only part of the conversation. To learn more about other elements of a healthy, equitable community, check out the rest of the episodes in the Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Series.