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FREE Childcare for One Year!

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has provided funds through Workforce Solutions Panhandle for the Service Industry Recovery (SIR) childcare program to help workers in TWC specified service industries.

If you work in any of the three industries below, you may be eligible for ONE YEAR OF FREE CHILDCARE!
 

  1. Retail - examples include gas stations, supermarkets, clothing stores, auto parts, etc.

  2. Accommodation & Food Service - examples include hotels, restaurants, caterers, bars, etc.

  3. Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation - examples include gyms, movie theatres, bowling centers, etc.

For more information, call Workforce Solutions Panhandle at 806.345.1348

Click to download the flyer 

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Check out this Q&A with Jennifer Galloway of Workforce Solutions Panhandle to learn more about the program, how you can qualify, and the application process.

Q: What is SIR?

A: In order to address the impacts of COVID-19 the 3-member Texas Workforce Commission approved funding to support the child care program to help low-wage workers in TWC specified service industries naming it the Service Industry Recovery Child Care.

 

Q: Which employers are eligible for SIR?

A: To qualify for SIR, at least one parent must be currently employed or entering employment in one of the following TWC- specified service industries with NAICS codes of 71, 72, and 44-45

  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. (such as: Gyms, Movie Theaters, Bowling Centers) NAICS 71

  • Accommodation and food Services, (such as: Hotels, Restaurants, Caterers, Bars) NAICS 72

  • Retail, (such as: Gas Stations, Supermarkets, Clothing Stores) NAICS 44-45

 

Q: Is this funding available throughout the state?

A: Yes, this is a state-wide funding; however, Panhandle office only assists customers who reside in our service delivery area, which is the top 26 counties of the panhandle. If a customer resides in the Lubbock area, they would need to contact the Workforce Center for their area.

 

Q: What is a NAICS code?

A:  NAICS is a classification code developed for use by Federal Statistical Agencies for the collection, analysis and publication of statistical data related to the US Economy.

 

Q: Will employers be required to sign anything?

A: An employer would only have to complete and sign a Pay History Form, if the customer has not been paid yet or the employer can provide a letter on company letterhead stating the start date, how much employee will be paid, and hours they will be working. (this process would also work for regular Low-Income applications, as well).

 

Q: What about an employer that does not fall under these industries, is there another application for at-risk families?

A: Yes, we have an application for low to moderate income families. However, currently we have a wait list for this fund. We would strongly suggest these families to put their name on the wait list. 

Q: How long have you had the waitlist?

A: The waitlist was implemented in August of last year and beginning in October we started pulling names from the waitlist, periodically. Currently, our last outreach pulled customers waitlist Dec 16- 31st.

 

Q: Is there an income eligibility threshold for SIR customers?

A: Yes, families must be at or below 75% of the Sates Median Income for example:

            SIR maximum MONTHLY income for a household of 2 @ 75% SMI – $3,629  

            For At-Risk maximum Monthly Income for a household of 2 @ 85%SMI - $4,113

            SIR maximum MONTHLY income for a household of 4 @ 75% SMI - $5,337

            For At-Risk maximum Monthly Income for a household of 4 @ 85%SMI – $6,049

 

Q: Do both parents have to be working in the Service Industry?

A: No, for two-parent households only one parent can provide proof they are working in a TWC specified Service Industry and require child care to work.

 

Q: How would a parent apply for SIR?

A: If you have the flyer handy, they can point their camera to the QR code and it will bring up the application or parents can go to our website: wspanhandle.com and click on the child care tab at the top. This will show a drop down and the first item on the drop down shows Service Industry Application- Apply Here

 

Q: What types of documents will the parent have to submit with the application?

A: We only need a couple of documents:

  • Child’s age & citizenship - Birth Certificate for each child needing care

  • Parent’s most recent check stub to show as proof of employment at a specified Service Industry.

  Parents will self-attest to the following:

  • Parent requires child care in order to work

  • Parents are working the required number of hours (25 for a single-parent and 50 hours for a for two-parent households

  • Family income is at or below 75 percent of SMI

  • Child resides with the family in the Board’s local workforce development area. (We serve the top 26 counties of the panhandle)

Q: Will the parents have a co-pay?

A: No this is FREE for one year. Once determined eligible, they will have 12 months of free child care.

 

Q: How long does the enrollment process take?

A: Once we receive a complete application and all supporting documents, we have 20 days to determine eligibility and notify the customer of their eligibility. The customer then has up to 14 days to respond with the name of the provider, type of care needed (full time-more than 6 hours per day, part-time which is less than 6 hours per day or Blended care which is for children attending public school), days the child needs care M-F or Mon Wed Thurs, Start Date and most importantly, the name of a child care provider.

 

Q: What happens when their year is up?

A: If At-Risk funding is available our office will contact the families to send them an application to redetermine their case. If no funding is available then the parents care will end and if they choose to re-apply they will have to go on the waitlist.

 

Q: Do parents have to take their children every day?

A: The parents must take their children on the days they requested. Parents are also required to sign an Attendance Agreement that gives the children up to 40 absences within their year. When the child reaches 40 absences the care will end unless the parent submits documentation of illness and we will be able to remove or credit these days. (The parent will be asked to submit documents when the 40 absences have accrued)

 

Q: What if a parent is working part-time in an identified service industry and part time in another industry or attending school/training?

A: Parents may be eligible for SIR child care if working part time in a TWC-specified service industry and part time in another job, or if a parent is working part time in an identified service industry and enrolled in school/training. 

 

Q: How long will SIR child care applications be accepted?

A:  Our cut-off date for applications so a full 12 months of eligibility can be provided before March 31, 2023, will be March 10, 2022.