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Donald Trump Reveals Plan To Make Child Care More Affordable


For most of his campaign, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a point of not giving details of his plans and promises as president. Now, he has offered enough detail in his child care proposals that it is possible to compare them with Hillary Clinton's. Trump offered plans to make child care more affordable, as he tries to make up his biggest political weakness - a lack of support among women. NPR's Scott Detrow reports.


DONALD TRUMP: Child care - child care is such a big problem.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Trump was in full presidential-policy mode Tuesday. He went to the Philadelphia suburbs to address an invite-only crowd in front of a bank of American flags.


D. TRUMP: For many families in our country, child care is now the single largest expense - who would think that - even more so than housing.

DETROW: Trump has a new plan. He wants parents to be able to deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes.


D. TRUMP: Because of the way the benefit is capped and structured, our plan will bring relief to working and middle-class families.

DETROW: Two-parent families making up to $500,000 a year would be eligible for the deductions. Single parents would have a $250,000 cap. That's a much higher salary range than most people think of for working and middle class. And when he floated a version of this plan earlier this year, critics said focusing on deductions would only benefit wealthier people, since many don't earn enough money to file federal taxes.

Now, Trump says he'd give child care rebates to lower income people. Trump also wants to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave. His daughter, Ivanka, played a big role in drafting the proposal. She introduced Trump in Pennsylvania.


IVANKA TRUMP: Safe, affordable, high-quality child care should not be the luxury of a fortunate few.

LISA MAATZ: Well, I tell you what. Any time we have both presidential nominees from both major parties talking about child care, that's a good day.

DETROW: Lisa Maatz is with the American Association of University Women, which advocates for better paid leave and childcare policies, among other things. Still, she has a lot of questions about Trump's plan, like whether its funding is realistic. He says the paid leave would be funded by simply targeting and eliminating fraudulent spending in the federal unemployment insurance program.

MAATZ: That's a concern for me. That's not guaranteed funding. The unemployment insurance program is already underfunded, quite frankly.

DETROW: Maatz also points out that Trump's plan would only cover mothers. Hillary Clinton's plan on this issue would apply to fathers, too. Clinton also wants to offer double the amount of paid leave - 12 weeks. As for curbing child care costs, she wants to cap them at 10 percent of a family's earnings.

She'd do that with more federal subsidies and tax breaks. Clinton has long focused on child care and family leave.


HILLARY CLINTON: If fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the woman card, then deal me in.

DETROW: That's where politics comes in. Trump is struggling with women voters, particularly in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he rolled his new plan out. Those suburbs are key - maybe the key to winning Pennsylvania, a state that's critical to Trump's path to the White House. So Trump's hoping to win some of those voters back by embracing an issue that's been a central Democratic priority for years. Scott Detrow, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.