WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — The importance of winning over suburban female voters cannot be overstated this election cycle, especially in battleground states like Pennsylvania.
Despite progress toward equality in and out of the home, it’s an unavoidable fact that much of the child rearing responsibilities still fall to women in most homes.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both know that and are leveraging these voters’ concerns, proposing innovative plans for paid family leave and affordable child care options needed desperately by millions of American families.
When you stack up the Trump and Clinton plans side by side, you see important areas where they converge and sharply diverge.
Clinton: New mothers would be guaranteed 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Trump: New mothers, who have given birth, would be guaranteed six weeks of paid maternity leave.
Clinton: New fathers would be guaranteed 12 weeks of paternity leave (family leave).
Trump: New fathers would not be guaranteed paid paternity leave.
Clinton: Adoptive parents would be guaranteed 12 weeks of paid family leave, including straight and same-sex couples.
Trump: Maternity and paternity would not be covered for adoptive parents.
Child Care Expenses
Clinton: Monthly child care expenses would be capped at 10 percent of family income.
Trump: Family could deduct child care costs, based on state averages, from their income taxes until their child turns 13. Families that don’t pay income taxes would be eligible for a $1,200 tax credit.
Early Childhood Education
Clinton: Guarantee universal pre-K education for all 4-year-olds. Double investments in Early Head Start.
Trump: No plans for early childhood education have been announced.
Clinton: At least $400 billion, funded through tax increases on the wealthy. More specifics have yet to be announced.
Trump: Maternity leave would be paid through the unemployment fund. The significant cost would be covered, Trump promises, through massive growth in the economy and clamping down on unemployment fraud.
Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales