Texas Workforce Commission

Unemployed Parents, Service Industry Works Among Families Eligible for Childcare Subsidies

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The Texas Workforce Commission is offering a special childcare subsidy for parents in the service industry. TWC has an existing childcare subsidy for low-wage workers, but the new program for parents who work in retail, accommodation, food service, arts, entertainment and recreation doesn’t currently have a waitlist – according to a TWC spokesperson.

Addressing a labor shortage with daycare help

It’s an effort to help fill the labor shortage in service industries.

“A lot of times it's the choice between working or not working,” said James Bernsen with TWC. “A lot of people, they do the math, and they would lose so much paying for childcare.”

TWC plans to spend up to $500 million in COVID-19 federal relief money to cover the costs of childcare for up to one year if parents meet guidelines.

To qualify, TWC said families can’t make more than the 75th percentile of the state’s median income. For a family of four that’s $64,043 a year.

Where to apply

To read an overview of the childcare programs, click here.

Parents of children with disabilities can find more information here.

Individual Workforce Solutions offices across Texas handle applications. To find your office, click here.

Up to three months of help for unemployed parents

In June, the commission also extended childcare subsidies to parents who are unemployed, offering up to three months of help paying for daycare while parents look for a job.

“We know that parents are struggling to get back into jobs and into the workforce,” said Tori Mannes, president and CEO at the nonprofit ChildCareGroup. “We’re grateful to the Texas Workforce Commission is allowing for parents to receive free childcare for their children so that they can go out and look for work and get back into the workforce.”

ChildCareGroup said it manages the Texas Workforce Commission Child Care Services contract in three regions, including Workforce Solutions for Greater Dallas, and serves approximately 18,000 Texas children daily.

Previously, parents who were already employed, or participating in education or training could be enrolled into the childcare subsidy program. TWC said lack of childcare is frequently cited as an impediment to parents looking for work.

The childcare program subsidy will be open to unemployed parents who are looking for work through September 30, 2022.

Individual workforce development boards handle those applications locally. TWC says most set the income limit to 85% of the state’s median income level. For a family of four, that’s a max income of $72,582 a year.

To learn more, contact your local Workforce Solutions office. Find yours here.

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