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What does the election mean for Tribal child care?

As a Presidential candidate, President-Elect Donald Trump pledged to make it easier for families to get child care. From his campaign proposal, he will be focusing on tax deductions and credits, but the details of his plan are still largely unknown. You can learn more about his child care plan from Yahoo, CNBC, or NPR.

Main points of his plan include:

  • Deductions for child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents on individual income taxes;

  • Deduction capped at average cost of care for the state of residence;

  • People earning $250,000 individual / $500,000 married filing jointly are not eligible;

  • Rebates for low-income through Earned Income Tax Credits (Trump estimates at $1,200 per year);

  • Creation of a dependent care savings account, tax deductible and tax free, to be used or traditional child care, after school programs, and/or school tuition; the Federal government will match half of the first $1,000 deposited; and

  • If a couple is married and one person stays at home, the family still qualifies for the deduction if they spend money on childcare

How does this plan affect families?

Only higher incomes will benefit from the deductions as nearly 45% of Americans do not pay taxes because they do not have a high enough income (Yahoo/Tax Policy Center). Additionally, the stay at home benefit is likely to benefit higher level income families because low-income families can’t afford that luxury. The rebates for low-income families will not be a huge benefit as their needs are immediate and are not adequately addressed by a single yearly (after the year) rebate.

According to the CNBC article, it is thought that single parents with dependent children and married households with at least three dependents will pay more taxes than they are currently, even with the child care tax breaks.

Who are the Cabinet members that could affect Tribes and Tribal child care?

President-Elect Trump has nominated his Cabinet members. To learn about all nominations, visit here. Of particular importance for Tribes and child care are:

  • Department of Health and Human Services: Representative Tom Price (R-GA). Representative Price has limited history on education or social service issues and is expected to focus heavily on our health care system, specifically the Affordable Care Act. You can learn more about Rep. Price from

  • Department of Education: Betsy DeVos, an advocate for vouchers and school choice and a Michigan philanthropist. It’s expected that she’ll be a very heavy advocate for implementing a voucher system. Here are five important things to know about her from the Atlantic.

  • Department of Interior: Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Representative Rodgers is an advocate for expanded oil and gas development, which could mean easier access to industry on public lands, including Tribal lands. You can learn more here.

How can you support Tribal children and families at the national, state, and local level?

CCDF programs, and even individual citizens, can help make sure that Tribal child care needs are met by calling your local elected officials. Share with your elected leaders how child care helps you and your community and ask them to make sure to include this in their priorities for the coming year. To find out who your national, state, and local elected leaders are, visit here.

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