Trump's child care plan, absent of regulations or common sense
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We'll admit it. We were fascinated, initially, to learn that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE said he wanted to develop a policy to help working mothers. Especially since he based it on research sponsored by those *ahem* well known child development experts, the Koch brothers. Afterall, what could the most notorious deregulation, slash-and-burn corporate titans and chief backers of a movement grounded in fear notknow about taking care of babies?

It should be of no surprise, therefore, that the core of the Trump’s proposal on child care is to “reduce costs by relaxing staff size regulations so that day-care centers can reallocate funds to other priorities, such as attracting and retaining more highly skilled workers, and reducing prices for parents.”

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We’re pretty sure that whomever wrote this proposal has never been inside a child care center. They’ve probably never even taken care of a child. Maybe not even for an afternoon. Highly accredited centers require one trained staff person for every three infants. How are you going to trainstaff to handle more than three babies each, short of having them grow more arms? (It’s possible that the Koch brothers’ Research and Development department is looking into this -- but even so.)

When our sons first started to crawl they liked to cruise around the room at top speed. Babies sometimes bite each other, head butt each other, or instigate other small, playful attacks. When that becomes a bore, they search for the most dangerous or disgusting thing to place in their mouths, stick their fingers into or try to crawl on top of. Can you imagine what it will be like for caregivers suddenly thrust with an extra couple of babies to juggle? There’s diaper changing, there’s mealtime, and of course, there is putting them down for a nap. How does one person console all the other babies while holding our small children -- Rafael, Cole and Langston -- plus more additional children too – who could be doing any number of the attention-demanding things that babies tend to do? They are learning language skills, and social skills. How does one protect, nurture, and help develop children at a most critical stage when swamped with more children than limbs?

Trump’s proposal is based on a report released by the Independent Women’s Forum, titled Working for Women: A Modern Agenda for Improving Women’s Lives. It sounds lovely on paper, butthis group is actually not so independent. True fact: it was started years ago as “Women for Judge (Clarence) Thomas.” The group claims to be a mainstream voice for women voters but routinely attack policies popular with most women like paid sick and paid family leave, and protections for battered women. They do not speak for us or the millions of women and their families who would give an extra arm and a leg in order to secure these measures for all workers.

Dig a little and you'll find that The Independent Women’s Forum recommendations were taken from work published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, which was founded and funded by the Koch Family Foundations. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Charles Koch Foundation provided more than $16 million to George Mason University in 2014, much of which went to the Mercatus Center. According to award-winning investigative journalist Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money,” they are substantial direct funders of the IWF, and its related organization, the Independent Women’s Voice as well. The bottom line, there’s a lot of old conservative billionaire white guys funding these groups --- but seemingly, not a lot of women of any stripe at the helm.

The origins of Donald Trump’s proposal have nothing to do with quality child care. That much is obvious from the beginning. But when you dig into the question of the real goal, you find that it’s just another attempt to decapitate government at all cost, filtered through a warm and fuzzy-looking report by a “women’s group” that is essentially yet another front for big corporate interests.

We’ve got a great idea: Let’s get Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers in a child care center and ask them to take care of four infants each – for an hour. Two ground rules: First, if a baby starts crying, you can’t say “get the baby out of here.” Second, when you are expected to hold a baby, you can’t say “I won’t do anything to take care of them.”

Let’s see how long they last.

Dimitrijevic, Lindsay Farrell and Analilia Mejia are the state directors for the Working Families Party in Wisconsin, Connecticut and New Jersey and working mothers to Rafael, Cole, Langston and his little sibling due in December. Follow Dimitrijevic on Twitter @supervisormd

Follow Farrell on Twitter @FarrellSears. Follow Mejia on Twitter @Analilia_Mejia


 

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