Commissioners Court establishes fund to help families afford childcare

The $4.7M COVID-19 Childcare Assistance Program will provide scholarships to low-income families for childcare, preschool and after-school programs.

All families need safe and affordable places for children while parents or caretakers are at work. In Harris County, there are an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of 18, and most are not yet attending school in-person. Low-income families and people of color, who are less likely to be able to work from home and have been hit hardest by this pandemic, are currently facing barriers to going back to work because they cannot afford childcare for their young children.

On Tuesday, Commissioners Court stepped up to help working families struggling to find childcare by establishing the $4.7M COVID-19 Childcare Assistance Program for eligible families to access safe and affordable childcare this fall. The fund will provide support to programs run by the YMCA of Greater Houston, Collaborative for Children and the United Way of Greater Houston, all of which are designed for pre-school and elementary-aged children.

“Childcare and early childhood education are fundamental to a thriving society, and this is especially important for children from low-income backgrounds who are in danger of falling behind without the usual in-school support systems,” said Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

“This move helps support those families so they do not have to make the impossible choice of providing for their families by going to work or by staying home to ensure their children are safe. Scholarships for childcare will help working families have a safe place for their children during the day.”

Precinct One is committed to doing what we can to ensure that we provide a safe learning environment for vulnerable children in the midst of this public health crisis.

For additional details or information on enrolling in the program, contact the YMCA of Greater Houston, Collaborative for Children or the United Way directly.