Contact: Bethany K. Warner, City of Fort Worth, 682-715-3659, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Susan K. Medina, SKM Communication Strategies, 817-707-1306, email@example.com
Alongside City and County Leaders, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County & Child Care Associates (CCA) Announce $2 Million to Boost Child Care Educators’ Wages
Elected Officials Form Blue Ribbon Committee to Guide Public/Private Investments for Young Children; Appoint North Texas Community Foundation’s Rose Bradshaw & Dallas Federal Reserve’s Alfreda B. Norman as Co-Chairs
(FORT WORTH, TX) – In light of new COVID realities, alongside significant public investment opportunities from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding, local leaders have come together to provide innovative solutions and strategies focused on the advancement of child care and early education. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, working hand in hand with Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County and Child Care Associates, are commencing this effort with an immediate investment of up to $2 million in public funding to raise child care educator wages.
“We’ve listened to the child care providers working hard in our communities. Without a doubt, the single greatest challenge facing child care programs today is its workforce. We believe this initial investment is a critical first step in ensuring young children continue to have access to quality child care,” said CCA CEO Kara Waddell.
The $2 million supplement for child care educator compensation is being funded by ARPA dollars allocated to Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County for child care quality. Qualifying Texas Rising Star (TRS) quality child care providers (estimated at up to 1,500 child care educators) in Tarrant County are eligible for an approximated $250 in additional monthly income for up to six months. Beyond the six months, child care programs are eligible for Texas Workforce Commission sustainability grants opportunities in 2022 that can be used to continue these salary supplements.
“So many of our residents rely on childcare so they can work to support their families or pursue education and training for even better job opportunities. It makes sense for us to come together as a community to invest in quality, accessible child care and early education—to not only help the workers of today, but to ensure a brighter future for our next generation,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.
Also announced by Fort Worth Mayor Parker in partnership with Arlington Mayor Ross and Tarrant County Judge Whitley is the formation of a Blue Ribbon Action Committee on Child Care to guide critical investment opportunities in child care and early education for children 0-5. Child Care Associates has been asked to lend its capacity and expertise to coordinate a multi-year initiative around strategic investments that improve the lives of young children, working parents and early educators. The Blue Ribbon Committee will help define and guide this initiative aimed at driving bold public and private investments on behalf of young children and to coordinate funds, data and infrastructure improvements at scale.
“There is a crisis facing our child care system that requires immediate response; we need our community’s ‘best and brightest’ to help identify and accelerate solutions to these systemic challenges,” said Mayor Parker.
Mayors Parker and Ross, and Judge Whitley are naming the members of the Blue Ribbon Action Committee to be finalized in the coming weeks to include business, philanthropic and community leaders.
“Along with Mayor Parker and Mayor Ross, we know it’s time to step up on behalf of young children and the child care educators who serve them,” commented Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “After watching the leadership at Child Care Associates manage Tarrant County child care issues during COVID, we knew immediately that they were the right partner for this effort. We are also fortunate to have respected thought leaders Alfreda Norman and Rose Bradshaw convene our Blue Ribbon Action Committee.”
“COVID magnified child care and early education challenges – challenges that have been underlying for years,” said North Texas Community Foundation President and newly appointed Blue Ribbon Action Committee co-chair Rose Bradshaw. “It is a historic moment in our community, and we must step up to guide investments that make a multi-generational impact.”
About Child Care Associates
Child Care Associates is one of the largest child development nonprofits in North Texas and has served more than half a million young children in the past 53 years. Through Head Start and Early Head Start and Child Care Management Services, Child Care Associates delivers quality early education programs to children and families of disadvantaged means, offsets the high cost of child care for lower-income working families and increases the quality of child care delivered across Tarrant County.
CCA offers an array of services to meet families’ individual needs including services for Pregnant Moms, Home Based, Early Head Start and Head Start. Visit us at Head Start/Early Head Start – Child Care Associates for eligibility and enrollment information. In November 2020, CCA was awarded a Great Place to Work! Certification which validates employee experience and workplace culture. For more information, visit CCA’s website: Home-Main Homepage – Child Care Associates.
About Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County (WSTC), under the direction of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), is one of 28 local workforce development boards located throughout the state. WSTC’s primary goal is to meet the needs of Tarrant County employers and workers through locally designed market-driven workforce development initiatives and services. All employers, workers and job seekers are eligible to take advantage of these services. The 29-member Workforce Development Board (WDB) is made up of business and community leaders and is chaired by Gracie Vega, with The Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center. The WDB work in partnership with the Workforce Governing Board (WGB), which is composed of Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross and chaired by Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, to oversee Workforce services in Tarrant County. More information can be found at www.workforcesolutions.net or by calling 817-413-4000. NOTE: Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County is an employment and training resource and does not handle unemployment–that is the role of the Texas Workforce Commission.