The Texas Workforce Commission recently approved $2.45 billion in direct support for the Texas child care industry. Providers may use these funds in a variety of ways to support their program’s operating costs. These are one-time funds available through federal child care stimulus dollars. The funds intend to help child care providers address the impacts of COVID. Awarding of funds will go to regulated child care centers and homes beginning in Jan. 2022.
“Many working parents must have access to quality child care to effectively join the Texas workforce,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “These one-time, federal ARPA funds create an opportunity to provide some financial stability for all Texas child care providers, not just those participating in the state’s subsidized child care program.”
The new funds combine with $775 million that was previously approved in direct support for child care programs. Together, they help strengthen a vital industry to the state’s workforce. TWC has also invested federal stimulus funds to provide child care to the children of parents in service industries. A goal has been set to assist 56,940 children of service industry workers. This is in addition to the more than 116,600 children TWC’s existing Child Care Services program serves per day.
Child Care Advances The Workforce
“Recovery for the child care system in Texas means not only helping facility operators, but also the hard-working parents who rely on these programs,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Child care ‘scholarships’ are important to help bridge the gap and empower hard working families to take advantage of these resources to advance their careers. Helping those workers get their children into child care and themselves back in the workforce benefits all.”
One of the allowable uses of the $2.45 billion one-time funds for child care operators is personnel costs. This could include signing bonuses, retention bonuses, wage stipends or hazard pay. Child care providers are reporting that they face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. These funds are a resource that may assist them in addressing these issues.
“Businesses across Texas need workers, and workers need child care to rejoin the workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Ensuring a robust child care system in Texas is good for families, and it’s good for the economy of the Lone Star State.”