Open Discussion Forum

Frustration Over Texas' Childcare Subsidy Program

  • 1.  Frustration Over Texas' Childcare Subsidy Program

    Posted 09-15-2020 04:53 PM
    I am at my wits end, with the childcare subsidy program in Texas.  For years, my staff have tried to get onto the program so that their children could attend our programs and we in turn get paid for those children being in our program.  Because the reimbursement levels are so low in Texas, we limit the number of subsidized students we take in at any given time as we have to write off anywhere between $60.00 to $80.00 in tuition per week per subsidized student.  All of that changed back in April due too covid 19.  Our state implemented a new "subsidy program" for "essential worker" to help cover the cost of child care.  Families who did not qualify before due to income restrictions all of a sudden were getting approved within a week of submitting their paperwork.  Typically it takes low income families in Texas anywhere from 6 months to a year to get approved for the program.  During this time, childcare workers, who are low income wage earners,  were deemed "essential workers" so all of my staff with children were able to apply and got approved for a 2 month period within a week of their application.  This was great news because now we would get paid for their children being with us, which was desperately needed because of the severe reduction in our enrollments.

    However all of that started coming to an end in July and August.  As the two month period closed for the "essential worker" subsidy program, my staff once again found themselves without the subsidy benefit.  They had gone from being considered "essential" and receiving help in affording childcare, back to being low income wage earners that had to reapply for the regular subsidy program only to be told by the Texas Workforce Commission that they were being put on a "wait list" for at least 12 months or longer due to a lack of funds.  At this point Texas Workforce Commission still had something like 1.7 million dollars left of the emergency CARE ACT funds for childcare.  What a slap in the face to the childcare providers and their staff, who stayed in the trenches during the beginning of this pandemic.  It's this level of disrespect and incompetent management of the Federal Funds and complete lack of understanding of how the childcare industry works, that leaves me frustrated and angry to the point that I am considering leaving the industry after 12 years.  You can't keep fighting a battle on an unequal playing field.

    Tim Kaminski
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX