Honorable Mention


Exclusive data analysis powers Education Reporting Network collaboration with dozens of newsrooms

Adriane Burnett reads to her son Karter Robinson on Saturday, April 14, 2024 in Birmingham, Ala. Women's participation in the American workforce has reached a high point, but challenges around child care are holding back many working class parents. When women without college degrees face an interruption in child care arrangements – whether it's at a relative's home, a preschool or a daycare center – they are more likely to have to take unpaid time or to be forced to leave their jobs altogether, according to an Associated Press analysis. AP PHOTO / BUTCH DILL

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New Orleans-based data reporter Sharon Luyre analyzed hard-to-use Census microdata to show the crisis is uniquely devastating to moms without college degrees. For those women, a day without work is often a day without pay, so every child care disruption is debilitating — and routine, in the country’s hobbled care economy.

The education team partnered with six other local and nonprofit newsrooms to report the story. Washington, D.C.-based early education reporter Moriah Balingit expertly wove together powerful feeds of mothers whose careers have been upended by the broken child care system.

A week before the story published, AP shared its exclusive data analysis with 30 more newsrooms in states that stood out in the analysis. About a dozen of those newsrooms ran AP’s story and some later produced their own using AP’s guidance and data. More are in the works.

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