AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) authorized $790 million to support the stability of the child care sector and assist providers in responding to impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds, which will be provided to all regulated child care providers, will assist them in addressing the increased operating expenses they have faced as a result of the pandemic. The funding comes from $1.1 billion that TWC received through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
“A strong child care network is vital to Texas’ economy but increased operating expenses resulting from the pandemic have created a number of challenges,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “These funds will help us strengthen that network by providing direct relief to providers and expanding TWC’s support to Texas families.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has endangered Texas child care facilities’ finances due to declining or stagnant enrollment, staffing difficulties, unexpected closures, and additional expenses due to sanitization requirements and smaller class sizes.
“Access to quality child care can often make the difference between returning to work or having to stay home for many Texans,” said Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Barriers to return to work can seriously endanger Texas’ economic recovery. Getting those child care centers back up and running means more parents can go to work knowing their children are in safe, nurturing environments.”
TWC approved the use of $775 million for relief funding which will be provided to approximately 14,000 child care providers. Child care providers do not have to request an application; TWC will email information to all regulated child care providers explaining how to access these funds through a new online application system that is scheduled to go live on June 1, 2021.
TWC also approved $15 million for child care business technical assistance to assist facilities with adapting and updating their business models, as well as assist in identifying and accessing grant opportunities.
“Texas employers are working hard to get Texas’ economy back on track,” said Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Whether they’re child care operators or employers who need workers who rely on those child care services, all Texas businesses and communities benefit when we have a strong child care network in place.”