Public Policy & Advocacy


Research & data without action are not enough. CHILDREN AT RISK leverages its expertise to educate policymakers and advocate for policies that improve the lives of children.

Public Policy and Law Center (PPLC)

The Public Policy and Law Center (PPLC) was established in 2006 as an outgrowth of CHILDREN AT RISK’s longtime research and advocacy work and in response to the American Bar Association’s appeal to the private bar, “[to] get involved and use its legal expertise on behalf of Houston’s children (American Bar Association Children’s Rights Litigation Committee, 2004).”

PPLC is led by a Law Advisory Board of over 35 attorneys from the legal and business communities and staffed with a dedicated and creative group of attorneys and public policy analysts, which has enabled it to be tremendously successful in its years of operation.

The mission of CHILDREN AT RISK’s Public Policy and Law Center is to improve the lives of children across Texas through:

  • Legal and policy research and advocacy
  • Legislative and administrative rule drafting
  • Drafting of amicus briefs and impact litigation
  • Continuing education for attorneys and other professionals on children’s legal and policy issue


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...

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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...

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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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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 ( 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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  • Build Strong Families and Spend Public Dollars More Efficiently
  • Increase Access to Quality Early Education to Ensure All Children Are Ready for Kindergarten
  • Invest in Programs and Strategies that Improve Children’s Physical, Mental and Social Development
  • Prevent Human Trafficking and Protect Survivors

Talk to an Expert

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