Trump takes ECM question national

Donald Trump told a TV studio audience in Iowa last Friday that more US businesses can and should offer child care at work.

“A lot of companies that I’ve seen throughout the country… have child-care centers,” the Republican presidential front-runner said. “It’s something that can be done, I think, very easily by a company.”

Trump’s remarks came in response to a question from Every Child Matters staffer Jill Applegate at a candidate forum on economic issues in Newton, Iowa. They prompted an immediate flurry of stories in national media outlets.

Trump offered one reason some of his own businesses offer child care on-site: “I get great people because of it.”

But he at first seemed puzzled by the child-care question, pointing out that on the campaign trail, “it’s not something you hear about as much as you would think.”

Maybe that can change. Maybe all the candidates in both major parties will make clear how they aim to help ensure working parents can get access to quality, affordable child care.

Applegate got the conversation going by observing that 76 percent of Iowa kids under the age of six have all available parents in the work force. A full-time worker making the minimum wage in the state would need to spend 53 percent of their income on child care for just one 4-year old, she noted.

“That’s incredible,” Trump exclaimed.

Kids are our most precious resource, Applegate explained, and if we don’t take care of them while they’re young, there will be consequences later on.

“I agree with you,” Trump said.

We need to keep this conversation going. Working and having a family shouldn’t be so hard. Being a parent shouldn’t be pitted against being a provider. That’s why Every Child Matters will keep asking all the candidates about issues affecting kids and working families.

We hope you will, too!