Friday, August 12, 2016

Trump touts childcare programs, but they're for guests, not employees

When Donald Trump vowed this week to make child care more accessible and affordable, it was just the second time during his White House campaign that he's talked about an issue that affects millions of working Americans with young children.

The first came months ago in Iowa, when the eventual Republican nominee touted his own record as a business owner during a candidate Q&A, telling voters he provided on-site child-care service for his employees.

There is no evidence, however, that any such programs exist.

The billionaire real estate mogul, who previously voiced his opposition to government-funded universal pre-K programs, said in Newton, Iowa, in November 2015 that he had visited many companies that offered workers on-site child-care centers - and added that he offered such programs himself.

"You know, it's not expensive for a company to do it. You need one person or two people, and you need some blocks, and you need some swings and some toys," Trump said. "It's not an expensive thing, and I do it all over. And I get great people because of it. Because it's a problem with a lot of other companies."

Trump pointed specifically to two programs: "They call 'em Trump Kids. Another one calls it Trumpeteers, if you can believe it. I have 'em. I actually have 'em, because I have a lot of different businesses."

Trump went on to describe "a room that's a quarter of the size of this. And they have all sorts of - you know, it's beautiful - they have a lot of children there, and we take care of them. And the parent when they leave the job - usually in my case it's clubs or hotels - when they leave the job, they pick up their child and their child is totally safe."

"They even come in during the day during lunch to see their child. It really works out well," he said.

But the two programs Trump cited - "Trump Kids" and "Trumpeteers" - are programs catering to patrons of Trump's hotels and golf club. They are not for Trump's employees, according to staff at Trump's hotels and clubs across the country.

"Trump Kids" is described on the Trump Hotel Collection website as "a special travel program designed to help make your next family vacation a big hit." Its offerings include "kid-friendly amenities like kiddie cocktails, coloring books and no-tear bath amenities."

"The Trumpeteer Program" is described on the website of Trump National Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, as "a program created specifically for our youngest members, ages three to twelve, which offers daily and evening child care, monthly newsletters and weekly events!"

When asked about on-site child care, employees at Trump's hotels and clubs across the country expressed confusion and explained the two programs are for guests and members only.

"No, there's no child care," said Maria Jaramillo, 36, a housekeeper at Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, where workers have been pushing Trump to sign a union contract.[...]

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