Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Puts Childcare and Paid Parental Leave Front-and-Center

As you’re gearing up to start your semester-long Current Events Journal, consider watching President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, delivered Jan. 20th.

Childcare SOTU 2015


Unlike previous presidents, Obama placed both childcare costs and the issue of paid maternity/parental leave front-and-center, framing it not as a “women’s issue,” but as an economic one. The president pledged to bring the U.S. into the 21st century and follow the example of every other country in the developing world, who already guarantees paid leave and free or subsidized childcare to its citizens. In many developed countries, paid parental leave can be taken by anyone, not just expectant mothers.


Source: International Labor Organization (2013)

Source: International Labor Organization (2013)


This comes at a time when many American employers, like Wal-Mart and UPS, have come under fire for firing pregnant women or failing to provide safe and appropriate working conditions for them. Of course, this reality tends to impact poor and working class women most.

Will the president follow through in the next two years? Keep your eyes and ears open for these issues in the news.

Watch the President’s full 2015 State of the Union address below: