With the presidential election coming up in November, voters are likely looking at many issues when deciding which candidate to back. For parents of young children, the cost and availability of quality childcare are likely key considerations when deciding how to cast their ballots. It is becoming increasingly difficult for working parents to balance their careers with raising children. The current COVID-19 pandemic added to those struggles.
So where to the candidates – President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden – stand on issues related to childcare?
Donald Trump’s childcare plans
While President Trump has not provided a specific childcare plan as part of his 2020 campaign, his proposed federal budget for the 2021 fiscal year provides paid leave to new parents – including adoptive parents. The proposal also allows states to establish paid parental leave programs “in a way that is most appropriate for their workforce and economy.”
Trump’s budget includes a one-time investment of $1 billion – allocated to states – “to build the supply of care and stimulate employer investment in child care, and [fund] child care and early learning to help families access and afford the care they need.” An additional $13 billion would also be made available to states for special education resources and related services.
The budget proposal maintains funding for Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The fiscal 2020 budget that Trump signed into law included major funding increases for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start, Early Head Start and the Preschool Development Grant program.
While the 2021 fiscal year started on October 1, 2020, there is currently no federal budget in place. The Trump administration’s budget proposal was released in February. However, the drafting of appropriation bills was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A continuing resolution is in place until December 11, 2020.
In his first term, Trump doubled the Child Tax Credit as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act providing an additional $1,000 per child in tax relief for working parents.
Trump’s 2020 budget included $1 billion to increase affordable childcare options. He also increased funding to the Child Care and Development Fund by $2.4 billion. Under this program, states have access to $8.1 billion to help fund childcare options for low-income families.
Joe Biden’s childcare plans
In July, former Vice President Joe Biden announced a 10-year, $775 billion fund that he says will:
- Ensure access to high-quality, affordable childcare and offer universal preschool to three- and four-year olds through greater investment, expanded tax credits, and sliding-scale subsidies.
- Build safe, energy-efficient, developmentally appropriate childcare facilities, including in workplaces, so that parents will have more suitable childcare options. Construction companies could receive credit for 50 percent on the first $1 million spent on building on-site care facilities
- Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity, and give them the pay and benefits they deserve, training and career ladders to higher-paying jobs, the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections.
Biden says his plan will be paid for by rolling some tax breaks for real estate investors with incomes over $400,000 and increasing tax compliance for high-income earners.
If elected president, Biden says he would offer a tax credit to families for half of their spending on childcare up to $8,000 for one child and $16,000 for two or more children. The full tax credit will be available to families making less than $125,000 a year. All families making between $125,000 and $400,000 will receive a partial credit.
Parents who are not interested in the tax credit could opt for a subsidy. Biden says he would partner with states to provide sliding scale subsidies so that the cost of childcare for low-income and middle-class families will be based on what they can afford. For children under the age of five, no family earning below one-and-half times the median income in their state will pay more than seven percent of their income on childcare.
Biden also proposes to provide families with up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Read more about Biden’s childcare plans.
National Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights
Although plans for national domestic worker protections do not appear in either of the candidate’s platforms, Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), introduced companion bills with U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07) in July 2019 that would give household employees basic labor rights. The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act is the first-ever, national legislation that would ensure the rights and protections of millions of household employees throughout the country. The bill would address the exclusions of household employees from past labor laws and establish innovative solutions to long-held problems within the domestic employment industry. If Biden wins the presidential election, it will be worth watching to see if the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights gets added attention with Senator Harris as part of the executive branch.
GTM will be there
No matter who is inaugurated as president in January 2021, GTM Payroll Services will continue to provide exceptional service and support for families with household help. We’ve been managing household payroll and taxes for tens of thousands of families across the U.S. for nearly 30 years. No risks. No hassles. No worries. To find out more about how GTM can save you time, reduce your stress, and provide peace of mind, call (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert. We’ll answer your questions about hiring and employing someone to work in your home as well as explain your obligations as a household employer.
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