AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) this week approved an additional $665 million for a series of investments in child care in the state of Texas – in addition to over $3.5 billion previously invested.
With the additional monies, TWC will fund several initiatives, including expansion of child care tuition assistance to working families to cover more families, education grants to support the child care workforce, the expansion of Prekindergarten (PreK) Partnerships between high quality child care programs, and schools to provide PreK within child care settings, in addition to a program to support the development of Shared Services Alliances that provide economies of scale for child care providers.
“I continue to highlight the importance of quality child care as a key component for the success of the Texas workforce,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “These additional investments into the child care system will improve access to quality care for families, strengthen business services for child care providers, and advance our early education efforts.”
Child care availability is a challenge for many working families. TWC supports child care financial aid for working parents, administers the Texas Rising Star program – a quality rating and improvement system for participating providers – and has recently rolled out additional services in support of the industry.
The $665 million in the latest round comes from increases to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funded through several COVID-19 related pieces of federal legislation, including the CARES, CRRSA, and ARPA legislation.
“Texans rely on the availability of quality, affordable child care to make it possible to work knowing that their most precious assets – their children – are safe and learning,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Whether it is ensuring higher quality or providing child care ‘scholarships’ to Texas families, TWC is committed to maintaining the strong child care system that the Lone Star State needs and deserves.”
The programs included in the TWC package approved this week include:
- FY22-24 Low Income Child Care – $293,200,000
- FY22 Subsidy Provider Enrollment/Growth Support – $287,000,000
- Matching Grants to Improve Quality – $25,000,000
- TWC PreK Partnership Expansion – $26,000,000
- Professional Development Scholarship Expansion – $7,000,000
- Shared Service Alliances – $25,000,000
- Studies/Evaluations – $1,602,000
“Child care businesses faced many challenges during the pandemic, and these efforts will help strengthen their operations in the future,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Whether it’s the provider serving Texas families directly, or Texas employers whose workers rely on child care, employers in Texas understand the importance of child care to our workforce and are committed to keeping the system strong.”
For more information about TWC’s COVID-related child care investments, visit https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-child-care. To learn more about child care services available through TWC, including how and when to apply for these programs, visit https://www.twc.texas.gov/programs/childcare.