For Parents

Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions for a parent to make.


For Parents

How Do I Apply for Subsidized Child Care?

Workforce Solutions Capital Area Child Care Services provide subsidized childcare assistance to eligible low- to moderate-income families in Travis County.

Enrollment in the childcare program is subject to the availability of funds. Because the need for childcare services is great in our community, we currently maintain a list of families interested in enrolling in the childcare program. When enrollment into the program is not immediately available, we ask eligible parents to complete a pre-assessment form to be added to the interested list. At any time, parents may call our office to check on the status of enrollment.

Learn more about the waitlist process by reading A Guide to Our Waitlist Process (in Spanish).

Am I Eligible?
  • 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?

  • 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

Family Size Maximum Monthly Maximum Yearly
2 $ 4,113 $ 49,356
3 $ 5,081 $ 60,969
4 $ 6,049 $ 72,582
5 $ 7,016 $ 84,196
6 $ 7,984 $ 95,809
7 $ 8,166 $ 97,986
8 $ 8,347 $ 100,164
9 $ 8,528 $ 102,341
10 $ 8,710 $ 104,519
New! Initial Job Search Child Care
Beginning January 21, 2022, new families who apply for child care financial assistance may qualify for Initial Job Search Child Care. If parent(s) do not meet the minimum participation requirements for At-Risk child care but meet all other eligibility requirements, families will qualify for three-months 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, eligibility 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 100% 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 not be counted towards the participation hours.

If families do not meet minimum employment requirements after the three-months of eligibility, 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 do not qualify for Initial Job Search Child Care, unless services are terminated and a new application is submitted. New child care applications are subject to Workforce Solutions Capital Area’s wait list and priority of service.

Interested parents can also request additional information by contacting:
Workforce Solutions Child Care Services
9001 N IH 35, Suite 110C
Austin, TX 78753
Phone: 512.597.7191

Application Process
If you answered yes to the eligibility questions, or are interested in Initial Job Search Child Care, you can request to be added to the child care services waitlist in one of the five following ways:

Interested parents can also request additional information by contacting:
Workforce Solutions Child Care Services
9001 N IH 35, Suite 110C
Austin, TX 78753
Phone: 512.597.7191

How Do I Choose a Childcare Provider?

How Do I Choose a Childcare Provider?
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 voluntary program for providers committed to offering high quality child care. In order to help families find child care, there is an interactive system called the Texas Child Care Availability Portal. On this site care givers 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.

Please click here for the Texas Child Care Availability Portal.

Parents can search for additional child care providers at:

  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (Phone: 1.800.862.5252)
  • Please note that licensed or registered facilities that do not have a provider agreement must meet the State’s minimum licensing standards and submit documentation to our office.

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 child care, the relative care provider must meet certain eligibility requirements:

  • Relatives providing care 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 information, 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.

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) list on our website under “Tips on Choosing a Childcare Provider” or you may speak to a representative within our quality initiatives department by calling 512.597.7185 or via email at

Do You Offer Classes for Parents?

Workforce Solutions Capital Area is hosting a virtual Parent Training Series to support families in August and September. We will offer sessions virtually via Zoom during lunchtime or at night, based on feedback from families.

Parents can attend all of the sessions or just one, depending on what sessions interest you!

Hosted in partnership with Austin Child Guidance Center.


Responding to Challenging Behaviors


Managing Meltdowns and Tantrums

Contact Us

If you need an immediate response, please call or visit one of our three Career Centers directly.

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