Before COVID-19, 1 in 5 children in Texas lived below the poverty line and the state ranked 43rd in child well-being. After COVID-19, with quarantines pushing parents out of work, keeping students out of school, and taxing our social safety-net,  those numbers will grow.

Under new financial strain, Texas policymakers will face pressure to cut budgets, reduce services, and limit new investments in children’s programs, even when Texas families need help the most. Now more than ever, public officials need quality research and data analysis to make informed policy decisions and prioritize children. As a research-informed policy advocacy organization with strong connections across the state, CHILDREN AT RISK is continuing to drive systems-level change. To continue to improve the lives of the 7.3 million children that call Texas home, we are enacting a 3-point strategy in this time of crisis.


parents, partners, and policymakers of resources and best practices


with nonprofit & community leaders across sectors


for policies that protect our most vulnerable families


Investment & Innovation: Increasing Access to Quality, Affordable Child Care Before & During a Crisis

Exposure to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) is the foundation for future academic success, especially for children from low-income families. Increasing access to subsidized child care is one of the many pathways that Texas is utilizing to provide affordable early educational supports for children from low-income families. Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Workforce Commission...

read more

TX Prenatal to Three Collaborative Speaks out on Proposed Budget Cuts

Now more than ever, Texas children and families need essential health services and programs. The recent budget cuts proposed by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), if enacted, would put more families at risk and could undermine the development and well-being of infants and toddlers. Children at Risk and the other leaders of the Texas Prenatal to Three Collaborative, Texas Cares for...

read more

100+ Child Advocates Urge Congress to #SaveChildcare

As Congress negotiates critical COVID-19 response bills, and we ask the Texas delegation to make infants, toddlers, and their families a priority. Relief Funding for child care is urgent! As many as 30% of Texas child care providers are currently closed. That number is expected to grow, with many centers potentially shutting down for good without federal support. For providers keeping their...

read more

Learning from Experience: Advice for PK-12 Schools from Summer 2020

COVID-19 has placed unprecedented strain on our education system with early closures and emergency shifts online leading to learning losses and inequities. We know how important it is for children to return to school in-person this fall, but will it be safe? Drawing on their experiences operating summer programs, child care centers, and other family services throughout the Coronavirus pandemic,...

read more

TXFLC Statement on COVID-19 & Systemic Racism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Media Contact - Rashena Flagg, 713.301.4577  STATEMENT FROM THE TEXAS FAMILY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL ON COVID-19 AND SYSTEMIC RACISM The senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, have garnered immense public out-cry, and brought new attention to the historic injustices and systemic racism that permeate our public systems and...

read more

When Schools Close & Parents Lose Jobs, Kids Go Hungry

Food is one of the most basic needs, yet many families routinely struggle to access it. As of 2017, around 1 in 7 Texans reported experiencing food insecurity. With unemployment rising and many families losing income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number has surely increased in recent months. Even if this spike in food insecurity is temporary, the impacts of lacking consistent access to...

read more

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: Keeping Children Safe During COVID-19

Child safety experts from Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley highlight how COVID-19 is impacting their regions, what they are doing to adapt, and what Texas Legislators need to know. While children have largely been spared the worst of the disease, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic nevertheless impact children and families. COVID-19 has affected our most vulnerable...

read more

Educational Equity in the Digital Classroom: It is all about access

Forced adaptation is a concept in biology that describes the modification of an organism’s properties by imposing drastic changes to its environment. This may be done purposefully, to bring out characteristics deemed beneficial, such as improving the drought-resistance of a plant, but it can also result from extreme, sudden and lasting environmental changes. Only the most adaptable survive. Our...

read more


Child care experts from Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and Lubbock highlight how COVID-19 is impacting their regions, what they are doing to adapt, and what Texas Legislators need to know. Before COVID-19, 1 in 12 Texas children lived in a child care desert, child care providers struggled to meet financial obligations, and most child care employees made poverty-level wages. After...

read more

What COVID-19 Means for Texas Children & Families

Amidst the closures and stop gaps in business as usual, our thoughts turn to the state, local, and community institutions grappling with how to keep Texas families safe and healthy. According to the most recently available census data, more than 1.5 million in Texas live in poverty. Another 1.3 million families teeter on the edge of poverty, where an unexpected expense, disruption in child care,...

read more


Now more than ever, we rely on Champions for Children like you to sustain our efforts for Texas children. Consider signing up to be a monthly donor or making a tax-deductible gift to keep us in the fight for children.

Stay Informed

Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts and other newsletters for updates during the interim, our latest policy analysis, and ways you can take action!

Talk to an Expert

CHILDREN AT RISK is pleased to offer expert speakers on pressing children’s issues for any venue.