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Donald Trump unveils child care plan, including 6 weeks maternity leave

On Tuesday night in Alton, a suburb of Philadelphia, Donald Trump rolled out his promised plan to help families pay for child care and dependent care for elderly adults. Introduced by daughter Ivanka, whom he credited with pushing him to draw up the plan, Trump laid out proposals to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave for women whose employers don't offer it, expand tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts, and allow both working mothers and stay-at-home mothers to deduct child care costs from their federal income tax.

The deductions for the full cost of caring for a child or dependent adult would be only for individuals earning $250,000 a year or less ($500,000 for couples filing jointly), and for the 40 percent or so of workers who don't earn enough to pay income tax, they would receive rebates through the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Trump campaign said. Unlike existing dependent savings accounts, provided through employers, Trump's version would not make people use the money within a year and could be spent on private-school tuition and after-school activities. The maternity leave, Trump said, would be financed through cutting unspecified waste and fraud in the unemployment insurance program, and said his other proposals would be paid for through economic growth and unspecified cuts.

Despite Trump's assertion on Fox Business, Hillary Clinton has a rival child care plan she unveiled in May. It would guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave for new mothers and fathers, paid for by new taxes on the wealthy, and seek to cap a family's child care costs at 10 percent of income. Clinton senior policy adviser Maya Harris called Trump's plan "half baked" and questioned its taking money from existing programs, adding that "there's no evidence he ever provided paid family leave or child care to his own employees." But as NBC News notes, "experts say that Trump's plan is a good start and a recognition that the issue is important to women and families," and The Associated Press says "some of his proposals to prod businesses and communities into providing childcare and other services are anathema to conservative orthodoxy." You can read more about how the two plans line up at NBC News.