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The high cost of limited access to early childhood education in Detroit

July 11, 2017
Lauren Tanabe
Model D

Detroit resident Kelly Cousins was working for a women’s empowerment organization when she became pregnant. Out of all potential employers, she thought, surely they would have some of the more family friendly policies. “I found out that they had no paid maternity leave and no short-term disability,” she says. “How is that empowering?”

Her preferred daycare closed two hours before she would get off of work. And with her husband often out of town for his job, she had no choice but to leave her position after the birth of her daughter. “They wouldn’t find a way for me to be a mom and work there.”

So Cousins found another job. But when her daughter got sick, they weren’t understanding, either. “She was out for three days and so was I. [They] said that the punishment was to reduce my hours.”