AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, child care providers, parents, and families across the country hosted a Day Without Child Care.

More than 700 child care providers across the country closed their doors, many of them right here in Texas.

The goal is to raise awareness about wages and the challenges providers and parents face as the cost of living and inflation continues to impact the industry.

Providers and families are calling on Texas legislators to invest 1% of the state budget in child care facilities.

Dozens of providers and parents held a rally outside the Texas State Capitol on Monday, chanting and sharing stories about the challenges they face.

“Child care providers like me, everywhere, make poverty wages,” said a speaker at Monday’s rally.

Tim Kaminski is the owner of Gingerbread Kids Academy in Richmond, Texas. He says Emergency Care Funding has helped his industry greatly, but if it goes away, there could be issues.

“The primary reason we are here (state capitol) today is to get the state to put funding to replace the emergency funding that most of the child care providers in the state have been using over the last two years,” said Kaminski.

Jemie Vaughn has been a child care provider for more than 30 years, she fears without more funding many providers will close their doors for good.

“The cost of living, the mortgage, rent and all of that is higher,” said Vaughn.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage for Texas child care providers is about $12 an hour.

Vaughn says when prices go up, families who rely on child care are impacted as well.

“I have had parents that have had to make tough decisions, if they go to work, the cost of living is so high, or If they stay home and take care of their kids,” said Vaughn.

“We can’t charge more, we can’t pay more, so the state needs to step in and help these child care programs,” said Kaminski.

Both Vaughn and Kaminski say they are hoping lawmakers make child care a priority before the session ends.

“If we go into this next two-year period without that funding who knows what is going to happen,” said Kaminski.