AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s become harder over the years for parents to find child care providers, but the city is hoping to change that.
According to the Texas Tribune, 8% of child care providers closed permanently since the start of the pandemic and 57% of Texas counties still qualify as child care deserts — that means there aren’t child care options nearby.
In August, the city council approved a resolution that would require on-site child care services in any future city facilities, but there are exceptions.
If there are “other high-quality child care facilities” nearby to new projects, they won’t need to include them. It’s the City Manager’s job to determine that and tell the city council in writing, according to the resolution.
Councilmember Kathie Tovo says there are a number of areas in Austin that lack child care.
“Looking at child care deserts and identifying those areas of town where there are not a high or adequate number of child care facilities is one way to help direct our city planning,” Tovo said. “If we are opening up a new building in one of those areas or there is an opportunity to use one of our existing buildings for that use, we should.”
The city says it is working on implementing this resolution and will need about three months to adequately evaluate various factors.