By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new WalletHub study ranks Maryland 30th on the list of states that are best and worst for working mothers.

On the list, Vermont was the best state for working moms and Alabama was the worst.

The study took into account three categories:

  • Child care (day-care quality and cost, pediatricians per capita, school quality)
  • Professional opportunities (gender pay gap, female to male executive ratio, median women’s salary, share of families in poverty, female unemployment rate, gender representation in economic sectors)
  • Work-life balance (parental leave policy, average length of a woman’s work week, women’s average commute time)

Child care had a higher weight in the overall ranking, a 40, and the other two categories each had a weight of 30. Each state was also ranked in those three categories individually.

Maryland had a relatively good “professional opportunities” ranking, a 6, a so-so child care ranking, 17, and was next-to-last on the work-life balance ranking, at 50. (Washington, D.C. was also ranked in the list, so there were 51 rankings possible.)

“Progress appears to be taking shape at different rates across the nation,” the study’s abstract says. “Not only do parental leave policies and other legal support systems vary by state, but the quality of infrastructure — from cost-effective day care to public schools — is also far from uniform as well.”

The Lisa Vogel Agency in Baltimore County has 130 employees/caregivers who are all women, many who have families of their own.

“There’s always challenges,” says Chelsea Smith, who benefits from the agency’s flexible hours and healthcare and is expecting her second child.

“I need to balance my family life and my work life and having the ability to do that has been incredible for me,” she says.

She’s part of the 70 percent of woman who work and have a child under 18 in the U.S.

“Maryland needs to do better,” says owner Lisa Vogel. “It’s a priority that my caregivers are happy when they come to work. They have to know that their children are taken care of or else they’re not gonna provide the care I expect for my patients.”

Maryland’s neighboring states ranked as follows:

4. Delaware
15. District of Columbia
21. Virginia
40. Pennsylvania
43. West Virginia.

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