Special to The Dallas Examiner
AUSTIN ⎯ In an effort to support Texas communities and families, Gov. Greg Abbott approved the Texas Workforce Commission’s request to temporarily suspend compliance with several state laws that impair the ability to maintain childcare services, especially childcare services for essential frontline workers in relation to efforts to cope with the declared disaster.
Effective immediately, TWC has suspended TAC 809.78, TAC 809.19, TAC 809.2(18), TAC 809.51(b), and Texas Government Code 2308.317(c). This suspension is in effect until determinate by the office of the governor or until the March 13 disaster declaration is lifted or expires.
Many families and childcare programs that participate in the TWC’s subsidized childcare program have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective March 1, children may accrue absences without impacting ongoing eligibility for services or provider reimbursements. In addition, Workforce development boards are authorized to make supplemental payments to childcare programs to cover lost parent share of cost payments.
Also, effective March 1, interruptions in parents’ ongoing participation in work, education, or training will not impact a child’s eligibility. Childcare eligibility redeterminations have also been suspended, ensuring more children are able to stay in childcare programs. Providers that have active referrals for childcare subsidy children will continue to receive subsidy reimbursement from the local Board or childcare contractor if those subsidy children are absent, or if the provider temporarily shuts down.
On March 25, TWC announced the distribution of $40,000,000 in childcare funds to local workforce boards to cover lost parent share of cost and for childcare subsidies for essential workers during COVID-19. Texans deemed essential workers in need of childcare support are urged to contact their local Workforce Development Board for more information.
To find information on local workforce board and updates on their response to COVID-19 please visit the TWC Workforce Development Board page at https://www.twc.texas.gov. Virtual openings and contact information is updated daily so please check back before visiting an office.
For more information on changes to childcare resources during COVID-19, including the suspension request letter, visit the TWC COVID-19 childcare resource page at https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-child-care.