Early Childhood Education

The brain’s architecture is built during a child’s first 1000 days

Early Childhood Education lays the foundation for a child’s future. CHILDREN AT RISK works to ensure every child and family has access to high-quality early education programs.

With support from the Kellogg Foundation, CHILDREN AT RISK presents the Texas Child Care Desert Map — an interactive tool to explore the local availability of child care across the state of Texas.

CHILDREN AT RISK seeks to answer the following question with our child care desert map: Does the supply of child care in your area meet the demand for services among children of working parents?

Shared Services Alliances and Research

Shared Services empower child care providers by helping them save time and money on day-to-day operations, so they can invest back into their businesses, provide quality care, and best serve their children and families. CHILDREN AT RISK is working to establish Shared Services Alliances in three regions across Texas – Amarillo, Central Texas, and San Antonio. These alliances will allow child care providers to partner with other providers and nonprofits in their area to leverage economies of scale and secure the best prices on goods and services.

To learn more about this exciting work and the power of Shared Services for Texas, check out the video at right, and read our full report

Our Latest

Access to Affordable High-Quality Child Care is Scarce

By Kaeleigh Hernandez, Early Childhood Education and Sara Moran, Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation  (Note: The analyses in this post uses data on child care centers from September 2019) Across Texas, nearly half of all child care providers accept subsidies - around 8,000 licensed child care centers and homes. However, many parents that qualify for subsidy care, have limited options of...

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Quality Child Care & the 86th Texas Legislature

During the 86th Texas Legislative Session, CHILDREN AT RISK  diligently supported legislation that would improve access to quality child care across Texas. To help legislators understand the scope and impact of child care deserts in their home districts, C@R created Child Care Desert Profiles for every state House and Senate district. C@R is thrilled the Texas Legislature ultimately prioritized...

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Texas Child Care Desert Methodology

In recent years, the concept of food deserts - areas with little or no access to fresh foods - has been widely publicized and frequently studied. Borrowing from that concept, experts at Child Care Aware and Center for American Progress have coined the term “child care deserts” to identify another crucial commodity with limited availability. These child care deserts are areas where there is a...

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New Push for TX Lege to Support Babies, Toddlers, and Their Parents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Rashena Flagg, 713.301.4577 Austin – Today three Texas nonprofit organizations announced a new effort to work with the Texas Legislature and other state leaders to increase the number of infants and toddlers who are healthy, supported, and arrive at school ready to learn. While Texas is home to 1 in 10 of our nation’s children, our current policies are not...

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VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: Texas Child Care & COVID-19

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...

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Letter to Congress Regarding COVID-19 & Child Care

"The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a longstanding truth: child care is one of the most critical institutions for our state’s employers, families, and children’s health and education. However, if Congress fails to support our child care providers and educators throughout this crisis and beyond, temporary closures may become permanent.” During this pandemic, the Center for Early Childhood...

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Investment & Innovation

Exposure to high-quality early childhood education (ECE) is the foundation for future academic success, especially for children from low-income backgrounds. Increasing access to subsidized child care and public pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) opportunities are some of the pathways that Texas is utilizing to provide affordable early educational supports for children from low-income families. However,...

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Texas Rising Star Recommendations

Every four years, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reviews and updates the Texas Rising Star (TRS) guidelines. CHILDREN AT RISK has developed a high-level overview of the TRS Workgroup’s recommendations to help the public prepare for TWC’s upcoming TRS Public Stakeholder Meetings (https://twc.texas.gov/partners/texas-rising-star-workgroup). A few of the recommendations include developing...

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Early Childhood Apprenticeship Programs

  Texas child care teachers care for an estimated 1 million babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children. Children birth through age three experience an incredible amount of brain growth which shapes their future learning, health, and behaviors. Child care teachers play a vital role in the brain-building that set children up to be school-ready. In the recently released report,...

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Early Childhood Apprenticeship Programs: Creating a pipeline of highly-qualified teachers

By Ali Schoon In the recently released report, Early Childhood Apprenticeship Programs, CHILDREN AT RISK reviews how apprenticeship programs can create a pipeline of highly-qualified early childhood education teachers in Texas. This blog touches on three important pieces from this report on: the challenges child care teachers face, how to use an apprenticeship program to solve issues in early...

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Child Care Subsidy & Policy Resources

Issues impacting the child care industry in Texas are complex and while solutions exist, it is often difficult to understand how to get there. With input from stakeholders across Texas, Children at Risk created resources with specific strategies for state and local decision-makers to increase access to quality child care in Texas. Local workforce boards, nonprofits, school districts, and others...

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What is HBO 680 and how does it impact children?

Child care providers (often referred to as “day care”) are important to our communities, and in Texas, about half of them care for low-income kids with working parents who receive financial assistance (or “subsidy”) from the Texas Workforce Commission. Even though this subsidized child care program receives taxpayer dollars just like public schools and is a critical factor in preparing children...

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Investing in Teachers who are Charged with Child Development & School Readiness

by Patrick Gill, CHILDREN AT RISK In the recently released report, Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, CHILDREN AT RISK examines how quality child care can be leveraged to drive Texas’s economy forward today and for years to come. This blog series summarizes key findings from this report. This post, four of six,...

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Only 10% of Eligible Children in Texas Receive Child Care Assistance

by Patrick Gill, CHILDREN AT RISK In the recently released report, Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, CHILDREN AT RISK examines how quality child care can be leveraged to drive Texas’s economy forward today and for years to come. This blog series summarizes key findings from this report. This post, three of six,...

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Quality ECE Can Transform the Future Workforce of Texas

by Patrick Gill and Shay Everitt, CHILDREN AT RISK In the recently released report, Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, CHILDREN AT RISK examines how quality child care can be leveraged to drive Texas’s economy forward today and for years to come. This blog series summarizes key findings from this report. This post,...

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Most Texas Families Cannot Afford Child Care

By Patrick Gill and Shay Everitt, CHILDREN AT RISK In the recently released report, Building Brains & Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, CHILDREN AT RISK examines how quality child care can be leveraged to drive Texas’s economy forward today and for years to come. This blog series summarizes key findings from this report. This post,...

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Building Brains & Economies

On a nine-city tour, CHILDREN AT RISK  unveiled an executive summary of their upcoming report, Building Brains and Economies: Quality Child Care as an Engine for Economic Development in a 21st Century Texas, as well as a mapping tool to help local and state leaders improve access to quality early childhood education. Over a 6-month period across the US, 45% of parents miss work at least once due...

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