Utah Voices: In your experience, is Utah a ‘family-friendly’ state?

Share your perspective with The Salt Lake Tribune.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A kindergarten class practices reading on Sept. 11, 2023.

Working parents and child care providers recently told ProPublica that Utah, a state “billing itself as the most ‘family-friendly’ in the nation, does too little to ensure that care for children of working parents is accessible and affordable.” So we asked our Top Stories newsletter subscribers to tell us: In your experience, is Utah a “family-friendly” state?

The answers below came from those subscribers. Let us know what you think here, and subscribe to Top Stories to share your insight.

  • “Yes and no. There are a lot of great things that are specifically made for families in Utah. Beautiful parks, national parks, hikes, etc. … but indoor spaces tend to only be okay if your children can be seen, not heard. I think this says more about American culture as a whole over Utah specifically, but you’d think that a state that seems overrun with children that we’d move past this.” — Kol, Cedar City

  • “Mostly no. No required maternity or paternity leave. Not enough childcare options, and they are either overly expensive or places you don’t feel comfortable leaving your kids. Not enough affordable places to take families (restaurants, coffee shops, play places, etc.) Horrible air quality.” — Heidi, Taylorsville

  • “Utah is not a family friendly state. It has lots of families with children but does very little to help raise children. Education, nutrition, child care, pediatric care, child safety — all of these are a given for wealthy parents, and the rest must fend for themselves.” — Mary, Salt Lake City

  • “No, Utah is not a family friendly state. Schools are poorly funded, daycare is difficult and women are second rate citizens because of wage inequality and healthcare.” — Dayna, Park City

  • “No. We do not trust teachers to teach our kids without inexperienced legislators looking over their shoulders. We do not protect women’s right to reproductive healthcare. We do not fund education appropriately.” — Kari, Millcreek

  • “Mixed. Public spaces are more family friendly than other states. Restaurants and businesses seem more prepared to handle families with small children. And it is more common to see children in these spaces. However, Utah’s daycare system, preschools and school system seem designed for families with a stay-at-home parent or help. The number of shortened school days are very difficult for parents to accommodate. I see this with my coworkers even with kids at middle school age, who they are not comfortable leaving home alone yet.” — Lissa, Salt Lake City

The Salt Lake Tribune is committed to creating a space where Utahns can share ideas, perspectives and solutions that move our state forward. We rely on your insight to do this. Find out how to share your opinion here, and email us at voices@sltrib.com.