The American Families Plan must pass

I just returned from paternity leave after becoming a father to a beautiful baby boy — Noah Hardin Zachrich. As a newly minted dad, this Father’s Day felt different to me.

While I’m always happy to receive ties and power tools, what fathers really need are fundamental changes that allow all of us to take care of our families.

The American Families Plan must pass

Families are struggling in Ohio.

About 450,000 children consistently went to bed hungry last year.

Despite working hard to provide for their children, many parents still have to skip meals, scraping food from their own plate to their child’s. When parents go to work, they’ve got to shell out huge sums for much-needed child care. The average cost of child care is $12,860 a year in Franklin County.

With the costs of parenting rising and wages stagnant, many fathers are struggling. Because Ohio doesn’t ensure parental leave with private employers, parents are forced to choose between their job and their family. Every parent deserves the time I had to bond with my son. But, in Ohio, most fathers don’t get that gift.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We can — and we should — build a community that takes care of each other; one that allows fathers to focus on the joys and challenges of parenting.