Clayton Early Learning

Child Care and the Candidates: What You Need to Know for Election Day

Lauren Heintz


After three presidential debates, endless internet memes, and over $1 billion spent by the candidates, you’ve likely received your ballot for the 2016 election. With all the information about the presidential candidates that’s available, it can be difficult to decipher where they stand on the issues that matter to you and your family the most.

Reliable, high quality child care is a priority for many working families and is important to supporting our workforce and economy. Both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have released child care plans on the campaign trail, which is an exciting example of how early childhood care and learning is becoming a priority for our nation as well.

The plans the candidates have presented differ in the types of investments, programs, and strategies they would support. Below are summaries of the candidate’s child care plans, but to learn more visit their websites at and



Clinton Campaign

  • Make preschool universal for every 4-year-old in America
  • Significantly increase child care investments so that no family in America has to pay more than 10 percent of its income to afford high-quality child care
  • Improve the quality of child care and early learning by giving a RAISE to America’s child care workforce
  • Double our investment in Early Head Start and the Early Head Start–Child Care Partnership program
  • Expand access to evidence-based home visiting programs
  • Award scholarships of up to $1,500 per year to help as many as 1 million student parents afford high-quality child care
  • Increase access to high-quality child care on college campuses by serving an additional 250,000 children


Trump Campaign

  • Rewriting the tax code to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents
  • Allow parents to enroll in tax-free dependent care savings accounts for their children or elderly relatives
  • Provide low-income households an Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit – in the form a Childcare rebate – and a matching $500 contribution for their savings accounts
  • Creating a new, dynamic market for family-based and community-based solutions
  • Incentivizing employers to provide childcare at the workplace
  • Provide 6 weeks of paid leave to new mothers before returning to work

For other analysis of the two child care plans, check out some of these articles from around the country:

How the Trump and Clinton Child Care Plans Stack Up, New York Times:

What Clinton’s and Trump’s Child-Care Plans Mean for Parents, Washington Post:

Comparing Trump and Clinton's Child Care Plans, NBC News:

Where do the presidential candidates stand on child care and pay equity?, PBS:

Presidential Candidates Release Child Care Proposals—What This Means for Parents, Child Care Aware of America:


Lauren Heintz

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