Working parents all over the state of California are doing happy dances right now over Governor Gavin Newsom’s newest proposed policy: paid parental leave that would allow parents to stay home with their babies for six months.
Yep, you read that right . . . SIX MONTHS!
Under Newsom’s plan, caretakers would split six months of leave, meaning the mother would receive three months of paid leave, and then switch off with the father (or other family member) who would then receive three months of paid leave as well. The plan would apply to parents of newborns as well as recently adopted babies.
While this policy, if passed, still isn’t as comprehensive as those found in many other developed countries, it would be the longest paid parental leave plan in the United States, and might encourage other states to take similar action.
Even though I’m not a California resident myself, this news even has me excited! When my first baby was born, I had six weeks of unpaid maternity leave before I had to go back to work because our family’s budget depended on it. So many families find themselves in similar situations when welcoming a new baby, and I know what a game changer this could be for them!
So what gives? Why is a policy like this one of the very first things Newsom is tackling after being elected? It could very well have to do with the fact that he has four young kids himself (one of whom toddled up to join Newsom on stage on Monday during his inaugural speech), so he just gets it.
In his address, the family man emphasized, “My wife Jennifer and I have four children and there’s nothing more important—I hope you can tell—than giving them a good and happy life. But all kids, not just the children of a governor and a filmmaker, should have a good life in California.”
Newsom is putting his money where his mouth is with this proposed plan, which might just prove itself to be one small step for man, one giant leap for parent-kind!