CINCINNATI -- During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his eldest daughter, Ivanka, made sweeping promises about the future of childcare -- according to Trump’s campaign website, his vision for parents in the United States includes allowing them to deduct childcare expenses from their income taxes, incentivizing their employers to provide workplace childcare and allowing biological mothers six weeks of paid leave after the arrival of a new child.
Are those promises tenable? Vanessa Freytag, president of 4-C for Children, said that, if the new president is able to bring his proposals to fruition, many struggling families could still be left behind.
"That (tax deduction) alone will absolutely not be enough to help most families, especially single-parent households, afford quality childcare, so it really does need to be a comprehensive approach," she said.
And although six weeks of paid maternity leave would be a definitive step forward for mothers, Terri England of New Horizons Childcare Center said it might not be enough.
"You need more time to bond with your baby, you know," she said. “Six weeks may not be enough time."
New Horizons does not accept children until they are three months old, England said, because they feel that infants need bonding time with their mothers and early immunizations before they are prepared to enter a wider world.
Even apart from the question of whether these policies would ultimately provide large-scale benefits for those Trump has promised to help -- the country’s working- and middle-class families -- the question of how to pay for them could become a separate ordeal. Like many aspects of Trump’s presidency as he prepares to take office, much of it remains up in the air.