For Immediate Release
Contact: Rashena Flagg,, 

HOUSTON  –  In a letter to the Governor, state legislators, and health and human services leaders, 23 organizations and stakeholders in the early childhood field urged for improved childcare quality following a recent Austin American-Statesman investigation into the consequences of lax state policy and oversight of child care.

The Statesman’s 12-part “Unwatched” series reported that “In the last 10 years, thousands of Texas children have suffered serious injuries and nearly 90 have tragically lost their lives as a result of abuse or neglect while in unlicensed or licensed care.”

The letter urges state leaders to support child care reforms that will improve safety and “ensure that more kids have the positive early childhood experiences they need to be academically, socially, and behaviorally ready to start school when the time comes.”

The groups urged state leaders to support efforts in five key areas during the legislative session that starts on January 8, 2019: improving access to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers that would otherwise attend low-quality child care; better leveraging the state’s current Texas Rising Star child care rating system; improving the use of child care data; collecting data on and reducing child-to-teacher ratios in child care; and strengthening the state’s child care oversight workforce.

The following organizations signed the letter:

Alamo Colleges District, San Antonio College, Campfire Fort Worth, CHILDREN AT RISK, Children’s Defense Fund, Collaborative for Children, Commit Partnership, Dallas Early Education Alliance, Early Learning Alliance, Early Matters Dallas, Early Matters Houston, First 3 Years, Leadership ISD, Momentous Institute, Read Fort Worth, Save the Children, Texas Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, Texans Care for Children, T. Howard and Associates, United Way for Greater Austin, United Way Metropolitan Dallas, United Ways of Texas, Voices for Children of San Antonio.

The Statesman’s report comes on the heels of CHILDREN AT RISK’s recent publication Building Brains and Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas.  For a comprehensive analysis of Texas child care systems and detailed recommendations on how to raise the bar on quality, check the full report as well as our other early childhood education work to learn more. 

Improving childcare quality and increasing access are just some of CHILDREN AT RISK’s priorities for the upcoming 86th Texas Legislative session. View our full 2019 policy agenda and learn how you can support our efforts below.