With the general election looming in November, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, the presumed nominees, are turning their attention to independent voters who may determine the outcome of the hotly contested presidential race.
Although not a hot button issue like immigration or trade policy, Clinton’s plan to alleviate the financial stress of caregiving—whether for a child or other family member—may be an important wedge issue to attract independent voters, especially women.
The subject gained attention last week when a research center in Berkeley, California, released a negative assessment of employment conditions and practices among early childhood workers, a predominantly female workforce.
Clinton is proposing a 3-pronged plan to alleviate the financial stress of caregiving: tax credits to help offset up to $6,000 in annual caregiving costs for elderly family members; providing credits towards monthly Social Security retirement benefits for caregivers who leave the paid labor force to care for elderly relatives; and expanding state-level grants to improve respite care access for family caregivers of children or adults of any age.
So far, Trump has not said much above caregiving, beyond backing on-site child care by employers. “It’s not expensive for a company to do it,” he has said.
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