TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners voted to continue a partnership with United Way for Greater Austin to expand childcare access in the county for two years.
The $1.37 million contract extension will help childcare centers and home-based providers for families with low to moderate income in Travis County.
Previously, county commissioners approved an October 2022 contract for about $979,000. The Tuesday vote is a continuation of the program.
This money comes at a time when over 300,000 kids in Texas are at risk of losing their childcare, according to The Century Foundation. On Saturday, funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act will expire, which will end financial help for childcare providers.
Across the country, about 70,000 childcare programs could close without added funding.
Recent data shows Travis County childcare is the most expensive in the state, according to the National Database of Childcare Prices from the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.
County Commissioner Jeff Travillion noted how this helps two generations: the parents and the children.
“It is particularly important in the eastern crescent that we provide services as close to free as we possibly can for families from pre-K all the way through 12,” Travillion said, who represents east and northeast Travis County. “I think that’s the only way that we’re gonna get the workforce that we want and need.”