Figure 1. Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Eligibility and Receipt in Texas
Sources: Urban Institute simulations and state administrative data reported to the Child Care Bureau.
- 2,310,000 children under age 13 (or under age 19 if disabled) live in families where the family head (and spouse if present) is working or is in an education or training program, as shown in Figure 1. Children across all family income levels are included in this estimate. Most of these children (2,187,000) are under age 13 and living with working parents.1
- 1,013,000 of these children, and 613,000 families, are estimated to meet the Texas income guidelines for child care assistance under the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) October 1997 state plan. The eligibility estimate would be even higher — 1,162,000 children — if Texas raised income eligibility limits to 85 percent of State Median Income, the maximum level allowed under Federal law.2
- To be eligible under Texas’ October 1997 state plan, a family of 3 had to have income below $27,480, or 75 percent of State Median Income.
- Nearly all eligible children (89 percent) live in families with annual income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold and more than one-third (37 percent) are living in poverty. About 8 percent live in families that report receiving cash welfare.
- Most (920,000) eligible children are under age 13 with working parents; the remaining children have parents in education/training programs or are disabled youth under 19.
- 79,000 children in Texas received child care subsidies funded by CCDF in an average month in 1998. This estimate suggests that 8 percent of the eligible population under state limits (and 7 percent of children who would be eligible under the Federal maximum limits) were served with CCDF funds.3
- In Texas, most (79 percent) of the child care settings receiving funds from CCDF in 1998 were center-based settings, as shown in Figure 2. The remaining settings include relative care (14 percent), care in group homes (3 percent), and family child care homes (3 percent).4
Figure 2. Child Care Settings Subsidized by CCDF in Texas
Source: State administrative data for April-September 1998 reported to the Child Care Bureau.
- The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the major source of Federal funding allocated to states to subsidize the child care expenses of low- and moderate-income families so they can work, or attend education or training programs. Using CCDF dollars along with state funds, Texas has designed its own child care program within broad parameters specified under federal law. CCDF-funded subsidies, and the number of children that the state reported were served with these subsidies, are highlighted in this report because CCDF is a primary source of funding in most states. Also, CCDF administrative data is the most comparable source of child care data across states. It should be noted, however, that Texas may, like many other states, also use other funding sources to provide child care subsidies.
- Currently the state of Texas has waiting lists for government subsidies. The waiting lists are regional and maintained by contractors who administer the child care program. Generally, children in low-income families not receiving welfare are the children most likely to be on the waiting list.5 In addition, staff from both the Texas Workforce Commission, the state child care agency, and the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies believe that there are eligible families that do not apply for subsidies.
- As of September 1999, for example, the number of children on the waiting lists was 2,411 in Bexar County (San Antonio); 7,409 in Harris County (Houston); and 2,793 children in Dallas County (Dallas).