The child care sector has historically operated at narrow margins, and the COVID-19 crisis has brought to light the fragile nature of a critical resource for families and a functioning economy. Since March, Texas’ state and local leaders have needed rapid and reliable information on where and how to invest in emergency child care.
- Policy question: How many children of essential workers need child care in each Texas county? How does this compare to the number of available child care slots and the COVID-19 situation in each county?
- Methodology: TPL’s data scientists developed an interactive website that reported COVID-19 metrics and estimated child care needs by County. The Texas Policy Lab also supported TWC in conducting ongoing analyses of enrollment rates in child care programs to understand the impact of COVID-19 on child care businesses.
- Results and impact: We have identified areas of the state needing a more robust child care supply, which can be viewed here. This data informed the Governor’s Frontline Child care Task Force and Strike Force to Open Texas at each phase of reopening. These analyses directed emergency child care investments to geographic regions with the largest gaps and led TWC to continue a 25% increase in reimbursement rate through the end of 2020 and dedicate federal funding to continue this enhanced rate. Ongoing enrollment rate analyses continue to inform child care business recovery efforts.
- Sample deliverables: