Texas free child care assistance programs and daycare vouchers.
Child care can be partially paid for in Texas from assistance programs offered by your local Workforce Solutions office. Financial assistance or even, in some cases, free day care vouchers may be available for parents who are participating in job training, currently working, or that may be attending school or some type of approved class. Contact the Texas Workforce Solutions office in your town or county to get more details on who is approved and how the process works.
There are many day and child care centers in Texas that participate in the government program. Free daycare services are available in Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and other major cities. The Workforce Solutions Office (phone number below) can help low income parents (or single moms or dads) apply.
Find child care vouchers and approved daycare providers in Texas
If after applying and if you are found to be eligible for free or affordable daycare, then parents will be provided the right to select their own child care provider. They can choose an individual or business that best suits their needs. They will also have access to information on all options that are available to them. For example, get lists of licensed child care centers, beneficiaries can learn about registered family homes in Texas, and other possible alternatives. The state will even allow a parent to choose relative-provided care, such as that from a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.
Assistance is only offered for children under the age of 13. In addition, the family will need to meet established low income guidelines. Parents will also need to be currently receiving or in the process of transitioning off of government and public assistance, or they may be receiving protective services from the state.
Other conditions may be put into place by your local county or Workforce Development Board as well. This will be set based on where you live in Texas. Some examples of this are below.
Your county may decide to provide free child care assistance programs to children up to age 19 if they are disabled. There may be a sliding fee arrangement put into place in which the parent needs to pay a portion of the cost so the state will only subsidize a portion of your bills. Additional income limits may be put into place that are based on Texas median income levels. Attendance policies may be incorporated as well, and your county may set priorities on who can receive help. All of this can be determined at the local level.
Parents who are enrolled will have the option of selecting either state regulated or relative providers. Some of these available resources have received additional state or federal government accreditation as well. This will help ensure your child is as safe as possible. While not recommended, parents also may select from providers who are listed, but not regulated by the state.
The regulations in place are for providers who are registered with DFPS, Licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), or who work with Texas Department of State Health services. If you choose the path of using relatives, they can be someone at least 18 years old and who is related, such as grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or even a great grandparent.
Another option is using so called listed child care providers. This will be a family homes (not including your own residence) that is noted in the state databases but the facility would not be registered or licensed with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. All of these Texas providers will accept the vouchers or subsidies as a form of payment.
Assistance and free day care subsidies are offered for teen parents too. They will be able to receive priority placement from their Workforce Solutions office if they are attending high school, college or the equivalent. In this case, eligibility for the program will be based on the applicant’s entire household's income. So it will factor in the teenagers parents or other relatives who live there too.
Texas will even provide support to qualified Grandparents who are caring for a child. They will need to have proof of legal custody or guardianship and also meet income limits. In addition they will also need to be working, attending school, and meeting other program and government guidelines. So there are no exceptions made for them.
Applying for free or low cost daycare in Texas
There is one main intake number to dial, and applications are offered in Spanish as well. As noted, the assistance, whether free daycare or subsidized child care, is for low income families who need child care help for work or job training reasons. Call 800-252-3642 or 800-628-5115.