The Texas Workforce Commission has announced an enhanced free child-care subsidy for low-wage workers.
The target industries include low-wage workers in the arts, entertainment and recreation industries, as well as accommodations, food services and retail trade. These industries have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, TWC officials said.
Once accepted into the program, benefits are available for 12 months. While TWC already has an existing child-care subsidy, 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,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “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.”
While the SIR program is targeting aspects of the service sector with child care, all income-eligible families continue to have access to TWC’s regular low-income child care subsidy program.
“For many Texans, lack of access to affordable, quality child care is sometimes the biggest roadblock to getting a job,” said Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “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.”
The $500 million program is funded by a Child Care Development Block via pandemic recovery legislation passed by Congress. The SIR program is being implemented through grants to the 28 Workforce Development Boards across Texas, including Workforce Solutions Cameron.