Trump Wants Many More Employers to 'Get Involved' in Child Care

Susan Jones | September 14, 2016 | 5:57am EDT
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Donald Trump announces his plan for an expanded federal role in child care in Aston, Pa., on September 13, 2016. (AP Photo)

( - Republican Donald Trump says both the federal government and private industry should be helping working parents and even stay-at-home parents care for their children.

"Child care is such a big problem. And we're going to solve that problem," Trump told a rally in Aston, Pa., Tuesday night.

In a plan pushed by his daughter Ivanka, a mother of three herself, Trump announced what he called a "pro-family, pro-child, pro-worker plan" that relies on new tax deductions (for up to four children per family); an expanded earned income tax credit, and dependent care savings accounts that can add up over time.

The federal government -- taxpayers -- will provide matching funds for low-income people who don't pay any taxes at all.

Trump also sounded a call to the nation's businesses:

"Our plan includes incentives for more employers to offer on-site child care as well. We want the employers to get involved. Now they'll start getting involved, bigly, right? And you'll start liking your employer a lot more. That's one of the benefits," Trump said.

Trump said on-site child care is a "good solution" for working parents who could save up to 30 minutes in commute time. "That's a lot," he said.

"Currently, only 7 percent of employers provide these services, not very much." He said his plan will expand tax deductions for employers; allow companies to pool resources to provide shared child-care services; and remove "needless requirements" that have prevented employers from using the credit.

Trump also announced a paid maternity leave benefit: "By recapturing fraud and improper payments in the unemployment insurance program, we can provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit," he said.

In a pitch to people without children, Trump's plan also includes elder care.
Speaking before her father came to the stage, Ivanka Trump said the reforms are long-overdue. "Raising children full time is one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, and it's essential that our policies recognize and honor that reality.

"As an employer, a mother and a woman who works both inside and outside the home, these are topics I consider of critical importance.

"The policy my father is about to outline is one that I am proud to have helped conceptualize, and ensuring its enactment will be one of my top priorities when he's elected come November."

Looking at the specifics, Trump's plan will:

-- Create a childcare tax deduction covering up to four children per family, from birth to age 13, for individuals earning $250,000 or less, or $500,000 or less if filing jointly.  The deduction would be limited to the average cost of childcare in the state of residence for the age of the child. The benefit would also apply to stay-at-home parents or grandparents as well as those who use paid caregivers.

-- Create a tax deduction for eldercare costs, limited to $5,000 a year.

-- Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working parents who pay no taxes and have incomes below $31,200. The EITC could be automatically deposited into a new childcare savings account, to encourage saving and to make it easier for low-income parents to receive federal matching funds.

-- Create dependent care, tax-exempt savings accounts to cover future expenses relating to child or elder care. Total annual contributions could not exceed $2,000 per year from all sources, but balances in a DCSA will roll over from year-to-year so that substantial amounts could be accumulated over a period of years, to help pay for education or "other enrichment activities."

-- To encourage low-income families to establish dependent care savings accounts for their children, the government will provide a 50 percent match on parental contributions of up to $1,000 a year. That’s an extra $500 per child for families that qualify. This will encourage savings, and position families to be better able to withstand the unexpected costs of childrearing.

-- When established for an elderly dependent, the dependent care funds can be used for adult day care, in-home or long-term care services.

-- Reduce regulations that disproportionately favor center-based care to create a new, dynamic market for family-based and community-based solutions.

Trump says his child and elder care policies "will foster economic anf family growth."

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