Federal Employee Parental Leave Bill impacts families in the East

EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, (WITN) - Congress is progressing toward an agreement that could bring civilian government workers in the East paid parental leave for the first time in history.​

The bill passed the House of Representatives after two months of negotiation. It now will go to the Senate before it can be put before the President to become a law.

The bill is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual spending bill.

With Eastern North Carolina being home to several military installations, thousands of civilian government workers in the area would be affected.

One local Pediatric Nurse Whitney Jezek explained what this means to families if parents can stay home with their newborns.

"We want them to have the best positive birth outcome. To do that law, and to allow parents to be at peace about it. To be able to have those moments from that very beginning to start that child on the path to success,” said Jezek.

Child healthcare professionals say the first few months of life is the best time for parents to build strong, healthy connections with their children.

Healthcare professionals also said, a parents' stress level can impact their relationship with their newborn, and having paid parental leave could lessen the financial strain on a family, therefore making for a less stressful home environment.