Texas Workforce Commission offering 12 months free child care, here’s how

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AUSTIN (KFDX/KJTL) — The Texas Workforce Commission recently announced they will be providing aid to an industry hit perhaps harder than any other by COVID-19.

TWC is providing extra help to the service industry by providing 12 months of free child care to low-income parents who are employed in the service industry. 

The new Service Industry Recovery program will use federal COVID-relief funds to provide an extra focus on workers in the service industry.

“TWC’s child care assistance program provides an important subsidy many Texas families use to enter the workforce,” Bryan Daniel, TWC Chairman said. “This Service Industry Recovery program provides additional funding to ensure service industry employers maintain access to quality child care as they play an important role in the state’s economic success.”

The industries targeted include low-wage workers in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, as well as accommodations, food services, and retail trade. These industries were some of the greatest impacted by the pandemic. 

“For many Texans, lack of access to affordable, quality child care is sometimes the biggest roadblock to getting a job,” Julian Alvarez, Commissioner Representing Labor said. “Workers should not have to choose between their families and their jobs. They need and want to do both, and this program helps them do that.”

While TWC is targeting aspects of the service sector with SIR child care, all income-eligible families continue to have access to TWC’s regular low-income child care subsidy program.

This new program targeting service industries will provide for an initial 12 months of eligibility.

Continued eligibility following this time period will be conditioned on families applying for and meeting the regular child care eligibility requirements.  

“Service industries are crucial to our state’s economy,” Aaron Demerson, Commissioner Representing Employers said. “Assisting with getting our Texans back to work helps our Texas employers bounce back, which means a stronger recovery for all of Texas.”

The $500 million program is funded by a Child Care Development Block Grant through the federal CARES, ARPA, and CRRSAA recovery legislation passed by Congress.

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