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 COVID-19, advocates and child care leaders across the state are springing into action to prevent this ongoing crisis from toppling our already fragile child care systems.

Many Texas child care centers have closed as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, leaving working families without child care, and leaving child care operations vulnerable to permanent closure. Some child care providers have stepped forward to provide child care to front-line essential workers, but many worry about the long-term impact of the pandemic on the child care industry. Fortunately, Texas state agencies, notably the Texas Workforce Commission and Governor Abbott’s newly announced Frontline Child Care Essential Worker Stakeholder Task Force are working to ensure children have access to safe, affordable, and quality care during this unprecedented time.  But, how will the child care business survive the downturn, if many of them struggled to be profitable prior to COVID-19?

In an effort to shine a light on the challenges providers are facing in every corner of our state, discuss innovative practices and what regions are doing differently to adapt, and to highlight important considerations for Texas policymakers, CHILDREN AT RISK  hosted a Virtual Roundtable on “Texas Child Care & COVID-19 which aired on facebook/childrenatrisk on April 21st, 2020.

Missed the broadcast? Watch the recording of the conversation is below.

Roundtable Participants:

  • Bob Sanborn, President & CEO, CHILDREN AT RISK
  • Nneka Ibekwe-Okafor, Director, Early Education Research & Policy, CHILDREN AT RISK
  • Jill Goodrich, Executive Director, Opportunity School – Amarillo
  • Cathy McHorse, Vice President of Success By 6, United Way for Greater Austin
  • Libby McCabe, Senior Policy Advisor, Commit – Dallas
  • Kim Manns, Managing Director, Early Matters Dallas
  • Sylvia Acosta, CEO, YWCA El Paso del Norte Region
  • Diana Hastings, Business Development and School-Age Administrator, YWCA El Paso del Norte Region
  • Melanie Johnson, President and CEO, Collaborative for Children – Houston
  • Devin McCain, Community Impact Director, Lubbock Area United Way

To learn more about CHILDREN AT RISK’s Center for Early Childhood Education, visit

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.