Child Care

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

From Texas Standard:

The recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women harder than men, according to a new report published by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the YWCA USA, titled "America's Recovery From the 2020 "Shecession": Building a Female Future of Childcare and Work."

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is lead author of the report. She told Texas Standard the goal was to look at who has been most affected by the 2020 recession. Unlike in 2008, when men were more affected by layoffs, this recession has hit women hardest, both through unemployment and a lack of childcare. Some are calling it the "shesession."

UT professors Ayelet Haimson Lushkov and her husband, Pramit Chaudhuri, have not felt comfortable bringing their young children back to day care during the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part four of a four-part series.

There's a lot of caregiving in Ayelet Haimson Lushkov's life. She's the mother of a 3-  and 1-year-old,  and she also teaches undergraduate and graduate classes at UT. 

Eligia Rivera with her sons Jair, 9, and Elias, 1, outside their Montopolis home.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part three of a four-part series.

Back in May, Eligia Rivera was in a parking lot at Webb Middle School, guiding families through a line to pick up groceries. The nonprofit she works for, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, distributes food weekly at schools in Austin. 

Cheasty Anderson walks her dog with her husband, Hansen, and daughters Caroline (center) and Mary Dale.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part two of a four-part series.

The first month of sheltering in place wasn’t too stressful for Cheasty Anderson. The pandemic was scary, but she was told the best thing to do was to stay home, so she did. 

Mainspring School, a nonprofit child care center that serves children up to age 5, has been closed since March. Most of the families it serves are low-income.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Part one in a four-part series.

On March 13, Cheasty Anderson sat in the conference room at her office. She and her colleagues at the Children's Defense Fund were grappling with the sudden mandate to work from home.

Daily life was about to become unrecognizable in many ways, and one of Anderson's biggest challenges began that day.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas is requiring day care providers to decrease class sizes and follow sanitization guidelines as they open up to serve more than just essential workers. For the last several months, many child care centers have been caring for a fraction of those that they usually serve.

A day care center in Austin.
Eddie Gaspar / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Workforce Commission voted Tuesday to begin phasing out temporary child care subsidy programs for low-income parents and essential workers started in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as Gov. Greg Abbott launches phase two of the state's attempted economic jump-start from coronavirus shutdowns.

A man waits to pick up children at the Capital Metro Child Care and Early Learning Center on Friday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The governor has closed all K-12 schools, restaurants, gyms and other public spaces where 10 or more people can gather in Texas to curb the spread of COVID-19 – but his guidance did not include child care centers.

Because of that, businesses across the state are deciding for themselves whether to stay open.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Bri Rodriguez buckled her son Rocky into his car seat. “Little grumps,” she said, teasing the 1-year-old as he scrunched up his face, unhappy at having to be in the car.


From Texas Standard:

Many parents count on day cares to provide a safe place for their children while they're at work. But a yearlong investigation by the Austin American-Statesman is sounding multiple alarm bells about the safety of day care in Texas.  

Tony Plohetski and Sean Collins Walsh are members of the team investigating an alarming series of incidents at Texas day care centers, and what the state is and isn't doing to respond to allegations of abuse, poor conditions and child deaths. The Statesman series is called "Unwatched."

Plohetski says that over the past decade, Texas day care centers have been cited 3,200 times for abuse and neglect.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Public Health has released an interactive map showing child care and pre-K facilities throughout Travis County, and indicating which centers have received certain national or state accreditation.  

Council Member Delia Garza said where child care centers are located in the city affects everyone – not just those with young children.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Throughout this month, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is hearing public comment on its proposed changes to licensing standards, which advocates say are missing an important item: better caretaker to child ratios in day cares.

KUT News

If you dropped your child off at day care this morning, you likely left them with a regulated provider. That means they have to follow a bunch of state rules created to make day care centers safer. But advocates say the state is not doing enough to improve one of those standards – specifically, the ratio of caretakers-to-children in each facility.

Todd Wiseman / Karolina Michalak / Felipe Hadler/Texas Tribune

For some low income families in Texas, access to childcare is not possible without state assistance.  The Texas Workforce Commission, the state agency in charge of instituting a low-income childcare program, is looking for feedback on how it’s doing in a series of public forums.

Paid Leave, Child Care Could Help Reduce Gender Inequalities

Jan 21, 2015

Most young women and men prefer to equally share family and work responsibilities, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California Santa Barbara.

The researchers found that regardless of their social class, both men and women ages 18 to 32 prefer relationships in which the woman isn’t doing more of the housework and the man isn't spending more time at work.

Women who participated in the survey say they’d prefer to not be the primary caregivers and homemakers, if they could have support from their workplaces.

Flickr/Camilla Nilsson

Victims of spousal abuse in Austin have a new option if their children are to receive supervised visits with the other parent. Travis County has opened PlanetSafe at 11th and Nueces, a supervised visitation and safe exchange center.  Its grand opening is today. 

The facility is operated by the local non-profit Safe Place, and was established with the help of $600,000 in federal grants from the Office of Violence Against Women. Travis County supplied the use of the building for a nominal rent and is paying for staffing. 

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

One problem many freelancers, the self-employed and would-be entrepreneurs face is the challenge of balancing child care and a productive work life.

When Amy Braden had her son three years ago, she struggled with the same issues until hitting upon a solution of her own: creating a “coworking” space that also offers child care.

“Our tagline is: Make your life work,” Braden said of her new work-life center, Plug & Play. “I thought that there had to be a better way for working parents with young children to enjoy their children while they’re young and also be committed to their careers.”

Photo by Kelsey Sheridan

A University of Texas study found that 90 percent of bag lunches brought to school by preschool students were kept at temperatures that could result in food-borne illnesses.

The researchers took the temperatures of 700 preschoolers lunch's at nine different Texas child care centers. Forty-five percent of the lunches had at least one ice pack and 39 percent had none.