What did I have for breakfast today? I think I finished the kids’ Honey Nut Cheerios and must have downed some coffee.
I can’t recall though, because I am losing my mind. My wife has been out of town on a work trip for two weeks and I am trying to hold down the fort as a single dad. I am running a zone defense and I am privileged enough to have the support of a part-time nanny… and still, I am getting crushed. This experience reminds me, once again, how much I appreciate all the Single Moms.
I realize that I have a long way to go in my pursuit of being a great feminist. The past two weeks reminded me of all the things that moms (and wives) do that go unnoticed and/or are under-appreciated. I need to remember to say thank you more often. With working parents, getting kids to piano lessons, soccer, chess, art class, etc. is nearly impossible. I can’t leave work at 3 pm to become a personal chauffeur. And, sticking my 10- and 12-year-old kids in an Uber seems like bad parenting. What is one to do?
This is where our work in the world of after school steps in. The US Census Bureau reports that 16.1% of single-parent households are led by men. That means 83.9% are single moms!!! After School Programs, meaning you, are the partner to the working single moms…and all working families. You get the kids from music lessons to sports. You are the tutor, the coach, the mentor, the nanny, the shoulder to cry on, and ear to listen.
In the 2014 America After 3PM report, we see that 84% of parents support public funding for after school. That number jumps to 87% for working mothers. After school works to increase school day attendance, improve academics, build self-confidence in students, and close the opportunity gap for our underserved communities. That is all well worth the public investment we make which ends up being less than $2/hour in most cases. Aside from all the good we do for students, we also are keeping the country’s economy strong. Our country ranks 28th out of 36 in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) when it comes to employment among women between the ages of 25 and 54. One major reason is the high cost of childcare.
A “Strategy” (formerly Booz Alan) analysis from 2012, suggested that the United States could increase the size of its economy by 5 percent if women’s labor force participation rose to match men’s.
The cost to the public to keep a child highly engaged and learning until 6 pm is $8.88/day in CA, or $1,600/year. The World Bank reports that each individual worker in the U.S. increases the Gross Domestic Product by $55,681.05 US (last recorded in 2018). Let me be clearer, a $1,600 investment in after school has the potential to generate $56,000 of GDP if it allows single moms, or any other legal guardian, the ability to work.
We teach students. We coach students. We mentor, enrich, tutor, listen to, support, uplift, and guide students. We also help grow the economy by being the partner to working parents.
My hat is tipped to all the single moms out there. You are amazing. I am going to bed. It is 8:30 pm and I am exhausted!