Child Care State Reports . III. Gaps in Child Care Supply [8]


  • Not all providers in Texas accept children who receive subsidies. Among child care providers in the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies' database only 52 percent of centers and 7 percent of group homes accept subsidies.
    • According to the state plan for 1997-1999, maximum reimbursement rates in Texas are set at the 75th percentile of the local market rate. Providers may be unwilling to accept subsidized children, or may limit their enrollment, when the state reimbursement rates are lower than their prices. If there were a differential between a provider's price and the state maximum reimbursement rate, Texas would not allow the provider to charge subsidized parents for that differential.
  • Staff from the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies report shortages in the supply of infant/toddler care, care during odd hours, and care for children who are ill or have special needs. Specifically:
    • There is a shortage of care for infants and toddlers in most of the major metropolitan areas in Texas. Waiting lists for infant care exceed 2 years in some areas.
    • Throughout Texas there are shortages in odd hour care, even as more employers shift to using non-traditional work hours. In Bexar County (San Antonio), for example, only 4 centers (less than 1 percent) provide extended-hour care.
    • Most areas in Texas have little or no available care for sick children. For example, none of the centers in Bexar County (San Antonio) provide care to sick children and only a few family child care homes provide care for children with minor illnesses.
    • Parents of children with special needs in Texas have difficulty locating child care. In Bexar County (San Antonio), for example, only 1 percent of centers accept children with special needs.