Child care centers and family child care homes provide an indispensable resource to parents across Texas. Quality child care is crucial for the development and early education of young children. Despite the importance of this essential industry, child care centers are among the most economically vulnerable businesses in Texas today. Temporary, extended, and permanent closures of child care facilities have made it difficult for thousands of Texas families to find the care they need for their young children.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, child care was in short supply, and was often too costly for parents, especially in communities of color. The recommendation is that parents only spend 7% of their income on child care expenses. Yet, most families in Texas are paying close to 15% of their monthly income. Cost to parents is not the only hurdle to accessing child care. Teacher shortages and limited availability of seats also contributes to the hardships many providers are facing. The pandemic greatly exacerbated child care shortages, and led to a drastic increase in the amount of child care deserts across the state. A more complicated enrollment process and changes to the parents work schedule were among the new hurdles facing parents seeking child care in 2020 and beyond. Throughout this report we will learn from parent experiences regarding the many hurdles they faced and the impact on their entire family.