Paid Leave

Time for parents to bond with and care for their babies.

The time right after a baby is born or adopted is a time of extraordinary growth, development, and connection for a family. Parents and their babies need dedicated time together to develop close, nurturing relationships that set the foundation for a child’s healthy development. They also need time to care for their child or other family members during serious illness. In the absence of a national paid leave policy, many families were left without means of financial support throughout the COVID-19 crisis, forced to choose between the income that sustains their families and caring for themselves or their loved ones. While emergency paid family and medical leave was created through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, it provided only a temporary solution. We now need a permanent national paid family and medical leave program that ensures all families can provide their babies with the care and stability necessary for a strong future. 

Take Action

Tell Congress to #ThinkBabiesAndAct and support paid leave!


8 in 10 voters support a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave policy that covers all people who work.


Just 15 percent of all working people in the US have access to paid family leave through their employers.


When parents can take care of their child's early medical needs and preventative care, infant mortality and childhood illnesses are reduced, lowering private and public health costs.


Families of color are less likely to have access to paid family leave, and, on average, have fewer financial assets to weather gaps in income to take leave even when paid a percentage of their wages.

Legislation At-A-Glance

The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act

This bill would create a comprehensive national program that makes paid family and medical leave affordable for employers of all sizes, and available to all workers and their families. Across the country, working families would get the time they need to bond with their babies and care for family members with serious illness, without risking their economic security.

What it could mean for babies:

All families would have the time they need to develop strong, nurturing relationships with their babies, and care for them when they are ill, without jeopardizing their financial stability. Paid leave would set babies on a path for healthy development and a successful future.

Advocacy Tools & Resources

Think Babies Storybook: Read and share this storybook which features stories from Strolling Thunder™  families and makes the developmental case for the policies babies and families have long waited for: high-quality, affordable child care, the expanded Child Tax Credit, and a national paid family and medical leave program.

Paid Leave Advocacy Toolkit: Use these tools to urge your policymakers to create a national paid family and medical leave program that ensures all babies have the opportunity to thrive.

“Time with my Youngest Daughter” Video: Watch and share this video from the National Partnership for Women & Families, where La Guardia Cross, creator of the viral YouTube series New Father Chronicles, talks about the importance of paid leave for working parents and their babies.

State of Babies Yearbook: 2022: Use national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers to call on federal, state, and local policymakers to improve outcomes for babies and families.