How Will the 2016 Election Impact Child Care?

children's daycare
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With the 2016 presidential election upon us, it is important to focus on the issues that impact you most. For many parents, this issue is childcare. The president elect will have a huge impact on your childcare budget, since both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have created game-changing plans to help make childcare more affordable.

Currently, the average cost of full-time daycare in in the United States is $9,589 a year which is 18 percent of median household income, and two-thirds of income for an individual earning minimum wage.

In-home care comes at a greater cost. The typical cost for a full-time in-home caregiver or nanny is $28,353 a year.

With the price of childcare costing as much as some colleges, parents are left with little choices. Studies have shown that high quality childcare is correlated with brain development and without this, children can suffer. Further, parents who make the decision to stop working because they cannot afford childcare impact the workforce and their lifetime earning potential.

Using existing data from the Census Bureau, AARP, and Bureau of Labor Statistics, looked at both of the candidates' respective paid leave and childcare proposals to figure out what kind of impact they might have on the millions of American families struggling to afford quality childcare.

Cost of Childcare

Under Clinton's plan, child care spending would be limited to 10 percent of household income by increasing government investment in childcare subsidies and tax relief.

For example, a median-income family (which makes about $54,000 per year) would save $4,241 for daycare, and $23,006 for in-home care, while families in the top 1 percent would not save any money for either type of childcare.

Under Trump's plan, both working parents and parents who stay home to care for children can deduct the costs on their taxes through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Under Trumps's plan parents would be able to exclude up to the state’s average cost of child care from income tax from birth through age 13. This exclusion would cover up to four children per family and would cover institutional, private, nursery school, after-school and enrichment activities.The exclusions would be available to all parents, regardless of whether they use paid caregivers or informal family care arrangements. For example, a median-income family would save $1,435 per child for both in-center and in-home care, while families at the top 1 percent would save the most: $3,164 per child.

Paid Parental Leave

Clinton's plan would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a mom or dad after the birth or adoption of a child, and to anyone to care for sick family members, paid at two-thirds of the employee's regular salary.

Trump's plan provides six weeks of maternity leave for women after the birth or adoption of a child, paid at the same amount they would collect in unemployment benefits had they been laid off.

What Are the Main Takeaways?

  • A median-income family would save $4,241 per child on in-center care and $23,006 on in-home care under Clinton’s plan, and $1,435 under Trump’s plan for both in-center and in-home care.
  • A family at the top 1 percent would not save any money under Clinton’s plan for in-center or in-home care. That same family would save $3,164 per child under Trump’s plan.
  • Trump’s plan applies to a wider array of care arrangements, including stay-at-home parents, and enrichment activities for older children, and Clinton’s plan includes providing assistance for student parents.
  • Trump's paid-leave plan is for only new moms, while Clinton's paid-leave is for both moms and dads.
  • Both candidates are supporting paid family leave for the first time in United States history!
  • it is estimated that under either plan about 2 million additional American mothers would be able to take paid maternity leave in a given year.

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