Idaho america

Idaho’s support for dads gets mixed reviews

Yes, Father’s Day is over. But in our family, today is also Father’s Day – it’s our second son’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Aaron!). Like his brothers, he’s a great dad.

What a joy to see your children raising their children with love.

Today, young fathers are as likely as mothers to be equally responsible for the care and upbringing of children. But society hasn’t caught up to that fact, so dads don’t necessarily enjoy the same amenities – note the prevalence of changing tables in women’s-only bathrooms, for example, leaving dads with no option. In broader areas such as labor and child care, the United States has room for improvement.

As financial research site Wallethub notes in its latest study, “Best and Worst States for Working Dads,” states are uneven when it comes to supporting dads (and moms) trying to balance work and parenthood.

Overall, Idaho came in at 45 out of 51, with 1 being the best (for working moms, Idaho ranked 47 in a separate report). On a high note, Idaho ranked #1 for its low unemployment rate.

• Median family income: $80,973 (rank 42 out of 51)

• Proportion of men enjoying economic security: 67% (rank 40)

• Unemployment rate, rank: 1

• Proportion of children living in poverty with their father, rank: 28

• Timely high school graduation rate: 79.8% (rank 25)

• Wallethub “Best States to work from home” ranking: 15

• Parental leave policy, rank: 43

• Duration of the working day: 8.3 hours (rank 38)

• Journey time: 22 minutes (row 9)

• Quality of day care, ranking: 51

• Child care expenses, rank: 40

• Paediatricians per capita, rank: 42

• Quality of public schools, rank: 36

• Rate of uninsured people (health): 11% (rank 39)

• Health care costs, rank: 38

Culture plays an important role in how societies value and families approach child-rearing, and culture is constantly changing. The world is slowly but surely finding a new balance in parental and workplace support, to help raise well-adjusted and productive future adults for the benefit of all. Awareness is the first step.

To see the full report and related links, see

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Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network. Email