Comparing Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's Child Care Policies

The presidential nominees go back and forth on family leave.

ByABC News
September 14, 2016, 3:16 PM

— -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unveiled his vision for child care overhaul Tuesday night at a rally in Pennsylvania.

"Child care is such a big problem. We're going to solve that problem," Trump told the crowd.

But Hillary Clinton’s campaign slammed Trump’s proposal Tuesday as a “regressive and insufficient” policy that is “out-of-touch, half-baked and ignores the way Americans live and work today.”

The Trump campaign hit back, arguing that their plan is more complete than Clinton’s.

Here is what each candidate is offering U.S. voters in their child care policies:

Child Care Costs

To keep child care costs low, the Democratic presidential nominee, who has made paid leave and child care center central planks in her campaign, is proposing families don’t pay more than 10 percent of their income for child care.

Clinton intends to do this by “increasing the federal government’s investment in child care subsidies and providing tax relief for the cost of childcare to working families,” her proposal states.

By rewriting the tax code, Trump will allow employed taxpaying parents to deduct child care expenses from their income taxes for up to four children. Individuals earning more than $250,000, however, wouldn’t be eligible for this tax deduction.

The deduction would be capped depending on which state the family resides and the state's average cost of care. Low-income families would be eligible for child care spending rebates.

Trump is planning to offset his child care plan costs with additional growth from his tax overhaul plan.

Paid Family/Maternity Leave

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave is allowed for U.S. workers, though not for all, to care for their newborn child. California, New Jersey and Rhode Island provide paid family leave. The two candidates plan to shake that up.

Clinton promises 12 weeks of paid family leave under her proposal, both to new fathers and mothers. She is also promising any working American receive at least two-thirds of his or her current wages while on paid leave.

The Trump plan offers six weeks of paid maternity leave to companies and employers that don’t offer maternity leave.

Trump's paid family leave plan is only for women, which Clinton's senior policy adviser Maya Harris criticized Tuesday on a conference call. "We're not living in a 'Mad Men'-era anymore, where only women are taking care of infants," Harris said, referencing the hit TV show set in 1960s New York.

The Trump campaign stressed in the policy proposal that Clinton's plan is incomplete, with Ivanka Trump this morning on "GMA" arguing that Clinton has had decades in her political career to take action on paid family leave.

Funding of Paid Family Leave

Clinton and Trump are proposing different ways to fund paid family leave.

Trump says he would use the federal unemployment insurance program, which provides benefits to those who end up unemployed through no fault of their own, to fund maternity leave.

"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," Trump said Tuesday night at his campaign rally in Aston, Pennsylvania.

Trump promises that doing so will triple the average paid leave received by mothers and not raise taxes.

Clinton intends to pay for the costs by taxing the rich, “[ensuring] the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.”

Other Initiatives and Programs

Trump wants to create a Dependent Care Savings Accounts (DCSAs) that allows all families to set aside up to $2,000 a year for “traditional child care, after-school enrichment programs and school tuition-contributing to school choice.”

Any unused funds would roll over at the end of the year.

Clinton’s plan includes the Respect and Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators (RAISE) initiative, which “will fund and support states and local communities that work to increase the compensation of child care providers and early educators.”

The Democratic presidential nominee also wants to launch a program that helps college students with children. The Student Parents in America Raising Kids (SPARK) program would award scholarships of up to $1,500 per year to college students to go toward child care.

ABC News' Candace Smith and Liz Kreutz contributed to this report.

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