For child care providers in Central Texas, providing quality care during a pandemic and a labor shortage makes for a twofold challenge as limited resources and rising costs impact care.
To support our providers, Workforce Solutions Capital Area and Austin Public Health hosted curbside pickup events for providers to receive at-home testing kits for COVID19 and gloves at no cost on March 4 and 5 at the Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center.
Over the two days, we distributed 6,840 boxes of gloves to 127 providers. Austin Public Health provided 5,130 testing kits for centers located in zip codes with the highest transmission rates. The 127 providers care for 7,981 children across Travis County.
One of the providers was Annie Sabetti, development director at Trinity Child Development Center. Her 11 staff provide care for 48 children.
“The cost of gloves and other supplies is a lot for us right now so we are always on the lookout for anything the community can give back to us,” Annie said.
“Our center provides affordable child care to families in East Austin. We have a lot of families receiving scholarships. We were about to order more gloves, so I was excited when I heard about this event,” said Annie.
For Sharon Knight, director of Tarrytown Children’s Center, rising costs related to staff turnover has become a challenge for her 12 staff to care for the 54 children at their center.
“I am thrilled that Workforce Solutions helped us out. Child care has been so difficult—last year, we went through 24 staff members,” Sharon said.
“Our extra expenses to hire and onboard staff have been phenomenal. The fact that Workforce Solutions helps us out with all of these supplies makes a huge difference in how we can serve our families,” said Sharon.
Tarrytown Children’s Center is a 4-star rated provider in the Texas Rising Star program, the highest rating available.
The Texas Rising Star program is for child care providers who meet quality requirements that exceed the state’s minimum licensing standards and that are designed to enhance the intellectual, physical, and social development of children in care. In return for their commitment to quality, providers receive numerous benefits including enhanced reimbursement rates, learning materials and equipment, child development college course scholarships, and more.
“I love having these guys as mentors and working with them,” Sharon said. “The work that TRS does to support the interactions between teachers and children, how they support us in providing a foundation for the children is absolutely critical.”
Workforce Solutions Capital Area is committed to supporting providers in Austin who care for the children of our region’s workforce. By providing care in a safe and nurturing environment, Austin’s child care providers are helping to develop a future workforce that is skilled and productive. Learn more about how we support child care providers.