Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate the state’s existing income-tax deduction for child care could result in a significant drop in child-care costs for Texas families, according to a new study.
In Texas, the estimated cost of providing child care to a child under the age of 5 could increase by $500 annually, or more than $300 a month, according a report from the nonprofit Child Care Aware of America (CCAA).
The analysis was based on estimates from the state Department of Child and Family Services (DCSFS), which has a $1.8 billion budget, or nearly 2 percent of total state spending.
The study, conducted by CCAA, a nonprofit that supports child care, found that the deduction would cost $500 per child in the state in 2018.
The CCAAA analysis also found that a child would pay more than two times the cost of child care for a family of four in Texas, which currently pays $1,700 per child.
“There is no doubt that child care can help low-income families, particularly single parents, to have a secure and stable living environment,” the study said.
“However, if the deduction is eliminated, the cost for this additional cost would be passed on to the child’s family and the cost would remain prohibitive.”
The elimination of the child care deduction, which is not included in the Republican presidential campaign platform, would also mean that child-labor advocates would likely have a tougher time lobbying lawmakers to pass legislation that would protect the deduction.
“The fact that the tax deduction for childcare is so important to child care is important, but there are no legislative proposals that would provide that,” said CCAa president and CEO Kim Drysdale.
“This is a good example of the importance of providing support for families.”
In a recent interview, CCAaa CEO Kim, who is married to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), expressed skepticism that the child-wage tax break would be removed from the Republican platform.
“We have a lot of work to do to build support for the child labor-related provisions in the GOP platform,” she said.
While child-custody advocates and Republicans in Congress have been working to expand child-labors protections, the Trump campaign has been critical of efforts to increase child-welfare funding, and CCAaaa has previously voiced concerns about the GOP’s plans to increase funding for Medicaid expansion.
CCAAAA has been vocal in advocating for increased child-policing resources, including in the form of a crackdown on “unwanted pregnancies,” which it says disproportionately affect poor children.
The group is also calling on Congress to pass an anti-trafficking bill, which it argues would be a win for traffickers.
“If the anti-child trafficking legislation passes, this will put an end to the exploitation of vulnerable children by traffickers,” Drysda said.
The report from CCAea also found an increase in child abuse cases in Texas from 2020 to 2022, compared to 2021 and 2020, as the state experienced a severe increase in reported child abuse incidents.
The authors noted that a report released in 2017 by the Texas Department of State Health Services found that nearly 2,000 children were abused in 2017, the most recent year for which data was available.
In 2017, there were 1,054 reported cases of child abuse in Texas.
A separate study from the Texas State University Center for Family Policy found that more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants living in the Lone Star State are living in poverty.