Ivanka Trump discusses childcare at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to President Donald Trump, made an appearance today at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport as her last stop on a nationwide listening session tour.

This event was part of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau ‘Best Practices Campaign’ which focuses on high quality affordable childcare.

Twelve hundred hours: that is the amount of time Ivanka Trump says children spend in childcare before pre-K. She has been working on combating the competing demands of work and family in the United States. At this listening session she focused on just that.

Trump believes it is not just about making childcare affordable to all American families, but also that this childcare is an environment with experienced staff and that it is educational. “This notion that learning starts at the age of five is completely flawed and really early childhood education is childcare and childcare is early childhood education. So it is critically important to think about it in that context.”

Private sectors, head start, and others associated with childcare voiced their ideas to Trump on how to improve childcare and what they are doing so far to stay on a progressive path. There were also several state officials at the discussion to see what needs to be improved and what is working. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves said, “We are focused on early childhood learning. We are focused on workforce development. We know if we want to grow our economy we have to grow the education obtainment level of our citizens.”

Trump made it clear she believes in the importance of on-site childcare which is already in place at all community colleges in Mississippi. This was just one of the many initiatives Trump mentioned she is going to take from Mississippi, along with her own ideas and try to get to work for all Americans. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said, “I have met with Ivanka, the very first week I was there, and she has so many great ideas. There’s nothing more important we could be doing than this right here.”

Trump mentioned that she has noticed the progressive moves Mississippi has been making in childcare, but she knows there could be more done here. “While there are still issues with access and affordability in childcare, Mississippi has one of the best records of any state in the country in terms of cost of early childhood day care on an annualized basis. So you’re doing some great work, but I know that nobody feels that this work is close to being done.”

Trump says seeing the smiles and joy in children’s faces is what makes her so passionate on this issue.

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