For Parents

Our Child Care Services team supports families with affordable, high-quality child care options. We award child care scholarships to eligible families in Travis County. We connect you with over 400 early learning programs and you get to choose the one that best fits your family’s needs.

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Waitlist Status

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WATCH AN OVERVIEW
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In this section we will review the eligibility requirements for a child care scholarship and provide you instructions on how to apply. You’ll be able to answer some pre-screen questions to give you a good idea of whether your family qualifies for a child care scholarship.

1. Eligibility

Am I Eligible?

Answer the following pre-screen questions to help you gauge if you are eligible for our child care scholarship program. If you answer “yes” to all the questions below, you may be eligible for a child care scholarship and encourage you to complete our waitlist application.

  • Are you a resident of Travis County?
  • Are you: a) a single parent working or in training/school at least 25 hours per week, OR b) a two parent household with both parents working or in training/school a combination of at least 50 hours per week?
    • NOTE: If you are currently not meeting our participation requirements (a or b above), you may qualify for our Initial Job Search (the section below) that allows you to receive a child care scholarship for 90 days to allow you time to find work.
  • Is your gross monthly/yearly income at or below the amounts listed on the chart by family size?
    • TIP: Family size includes parents and all children in the household.
    • NOTE: If your household income exceeds our income guidelines, you may be eligible for a child care scholarship for Essential Workers. Review our Essential Worker scholarship eligibility guidelines in the tab below.
Family Size / Tamaño de la Familia Maximum Monthly / Límite de Ingresos Mensuales Maximum Yearly / Límite de Ingresos Anuales
2 $ 4,276 $ 51,317
3 $ 5,283 $ 63,391
4 $ 6,289 $ 75,466
5 $ 7,295 $ 87,540
6 $ 8,301 $ 99,615
7 $ 8,490 $ 101,878
8 $ 8,679 $ 104,142
9 $ 8,867 $ 106,406
10 $ 9,056 $ 108,670
Initial Job Search Child Care
Families who apply for a child care scholarship may qualify for Initial Job Search Child Care. If parent(s) do not meet the minimum participation requirements (as outlined in our “Am I Eligible” section above) but meet all other eligibility requirements, families will qualify for three-months (90 days) of child care services, with no co-pay, while searching for work that will meet the minimum employment activity requirements (25 hours per week for a single parent household or a combined 50 hours for a two-parent household). If parents meet employment participation requirements within three-months, your child care will continue for a total of 12-months — this includes the three-months of the initial job search period. Once work requirements are met, co-pays are instated.

Initial Job Search Child Care is available for parents to actively seek full employment and a minimum of 12 hours (for single-parent family) and 25 hours (for two-parent family) of participation hours must come from employment for child care services to continue beyond the three-month time frame. Attending school or a training program will be counted towards the participation hours if 12 or 25 employment hours are met.

If families do not meet the minimum participation requirements by the third month of child care child care services will be discontinued.

Families being re-determined for a new 12-months of child care services and do not meet eligibility requirements may qualify for Initial Job Search Child Care

Essential Worker Child Care
Good news! Workforce Solutions Capital Area currently has funding available for Essential Workers to provide scholarships for child care services. This funding is available for families that live in Travis County.

We are excited to serve Essential Workers in the following categories:

  • Childcare Industry (teachers, caregivers, etc.)
  • Education (teachers, support staff, bus drivers, etc.)
  • Pharmacy and Healthcare Workers First Responders
  • Critical Infrastructure (Grocery, Utilities, Trucking, etc.)
  • Other Infrastructure Workers (State and Local Government, Mail/Deliver Services, Banking, Gas Stations, Military, Restaurant and other Food Delivery, etc.)

Maximum Gross (Pre-Tax) Income to participate:

Family Size / Tamaño de la Familia Maximum Yearly / Límite de Ingresos Anuales
2 $63,300
3 $71,200
4 $79,100
5 $85,450
6 $91,800
7 $98,100
8 $104,450

Click here to complete the Interest Form for Essential Worker Child Care! Once you complete the interest form, our team will be reaching out when we are able to proceed with collecting the enrollment form and other necessary documentation (pay check stubs, proof of residency, etc.).

2. Apply Today!

If you answered yes to the eligibility pre-screen questions, or if you think you qualify for Initial Job Search Child Care, you can request to be added to the child care services waitlist.

Click here to submit an Online Waitlist Application (fastest and preferred method). To request an application by email, fax, or mail, please contact us.

See our Waitlist Status for an approximate wait time after your confirmation date.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once we receive and review your waitlist application, we will send you a confirmation email within two weeks of submission to confirm your waitlist status.

  • If your application is approved, the email will confirm that you have been added to our waitlist.
  • If your application is denied, we will state the reason why and you are encouraged to re-apply as soon as you think your family is eligible.

IMPORTANT: Let us know if any of your contact information changes while you are on our waitlist. We will use the contact information you provided us to notify you that your name has been selected from our waitlist. Please contact us directly at austinccs@wfscapitalarea.com if you need to update your contact information.

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What happens when your name comes up on our waitlist for enrollment? We’re glad you asked! In this section we will share how you will get notified that you are eligible for enrollment and review the enrollment application.

Outreach
When your name is pulled from our waitlist, we will send you an enrollment packet via email and mail. We will also send a reminder text message! You have 10 days to respond to our enrollment outreach. If we do not hear from you within 10 days, we will follow up a denial email. We welcome you to re-apply at any time should things change, and you become interested in enrolling in our child care scholarship program.

IMPORTANT: We rely on the contact information you provided us in your waitlist application. This is why it is important to keep your contact information up to date! To update your contact information at any time, email us directly at austinccs@wfscapitalarea.com.

Enrollment
Our enrollment packet is 14 pages, but don’t worry! We include a handy checklist to help simplify what documents we need from you. We can only determine your eligibility once ALL the items are received so please make sure to use the checklist to avoid any delays.

Once we determine that you are eligible, your co-pay is assessed and your child care scholarship is awarded for 12 months. You will be asked to renew your child care scholarship 45 days prior to your 12 months ending. You’ll need to complete another enrollment packet to renew your child care scholarship.

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Parents participating in our childcare services program have the freedom to choose a provider that meets the needs of their family.

Contracted Provider Lists

Parents are able to choose from more than 400 childcare providers that are currently contracted with our program. More than 150 child care providers are participating in the Texas Rising Star program, a program that recognizes providers committed to offering high quality child care.

To help families find child care, there is an interactive system called the Texas Child Care Availability Portal. On this site, caregivers can search for child care providers near your home, work, even along your commute. The information is regularly updated by child care providers so parents are able to see which centers are actively enrolling.

Parents can search for additional child care providers at Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Search this official state of Texas child care database to make an informed decision when choosing a child care provider. The reports of every inspection are available online.

NOTE: If your child care provider does not have a provider agreement with us, we welcome the opportunity to add a new provider to our list! Child care providers must be licensed or registered facilities with the state of Texas. Please have your provider contact us for more information at ccsproviderservices@wfscapitalarea.com or by phone at 512-597-7191.

Relative Care

If you are unable to find a suitable provider from our contracted provider lists, parents can self-arrange child care with a relative as well.

To qualify for funded relative child care, the relative care provider must be 18 years of age or older and must be a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling of the child (sibling cannot live at the same residence as the child); or be an aunt or uncle of the child.

For additional info, please review the Relative Care brochure.

Tips on Choosing a Childcare Provider
Before visiting a childcare facility, it is helpful to identify basic family needs that you look for in a childcare program. These needs may include: location, hours of operation, and transportation services. But most importantly, does the program accept child care scholarships from Workforce Solutions Capital Area and do they have any immediate openings for your child’s age group?

After selecting a childcare provider that meets your family’s needs, parents are urged to visit the program to learn first-hand if this is the right program for the child and family. Take the time to talk to the caregiver and ask questions about the children’s activities.

Things to Consider About Your Childcare Arrangement:

  • The children seem happy and relaxed
  • My child felt comfortable during the visit
  • The child care program accepts my child’s age group
  • The hours of operation fit my schedule
  • Transportation is available (if I need it)
  • Nutritional meals and snacks are provided
  • Activities are available for children of different age groups
  • There are enough staff members to care for the children
  • There are enough toys, books, paint, and games, and they are in good condition
  • The classrooms are nicely arranged to allow for active and quiet play
  • The staff is trained to care for children
  • Staff members are respectful to children, coworkers and parents
  • Fee arrangements are clear and precise
  • The facility is clean and safe
  • The program’s mission is appropriately focused on children
  • Parents are welcome and can visit without notice

View our Choosing a Childcare Provider Checklist.

What is High Quality Preschool?
The link below is from a series on Early Care and Education from National Public Radio (NPR). It shows what attributes a quality early childhood program needs in order to meet the needs of very young children. One of the primary concerns for parents is, “How do I make sure my child is ready for kindergarten?” There are many perspectives on how to accomplish this goal. One of the single best indicators for school readiness is the social and emotional readiness of your child. Is he/she able to get along with peers, follow simple instructions and talk openly about his/her feelings and what is needed in order to feel safe and calm?

The video below is an example of what early childhood programs should look like for all children. As a parent, a teacher and a community, we should expect nothing less than quality from ALL of the programs within our County. After all, this is the foundation that will shape your child for the rest of his/her life. Shouldn’t it be the best?

If you have additional questions and would like more information on how you can locate quality rated programs within Travis County, please see the Texas Rising Star (TRS) checklist or you may speak to a representative within our quality initiatives department by calling 512.597.7185 or via email at logan.decleene@wfscapitalarea.com.

Have any questions?

Please contact us directly by email at austinccs@wfscapitalarea.com or by phone at 512.597.7191, or use the contact form below.

CONTACT US

Waitlist Status

Enrollment in the child care scholarship program is subject to the availability of funds. Because the need for child care services is great in our community, we currently maintain a waitlist. Below is our estimated waitlist time to assist you in planning (updated monthly). When enrollment into the child care scholarship program is not immediately available, we ask eligible parents to complete a pre-assessment form — also known as a waitlist application — to be added to the waitlist. One thing is certain: we continuously monitor our funding and outreach families as soon as it is determined that funds are available by priority groups and waitlist date. Read more

Enrollment status

OPEN

We are actively outreaching parents from our waitlist for enrollment

Current estimated waitlist time

3–6 months

The estimated amount of time before we outreach you for enrollment

Our last enrollment outreach

12/12/22

Customers placed on our waitlist through 11/07/22 were contacted

Contact Us

Child Care Services Team
Contact: austinccs@wfscapitalarea.com | 512.597.7191
Visit Us: 9001 N IH 35, Ste 110, Austin, TX 78753
Office Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Please complete this form and a Workforce Solutions representative will contact you.

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