“Texas Rising Star” Quality Rating Program Participation Becomes Requirement for TWC Child Care Providers

Date: September 15, 2022

Media Contact: Angela Woellner
Phone: 512-463-8556

Texas Workforce Commission announces timeline for providers that provide state-funded Child Care Services

AUSTIN – Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) administers Texas Rising Star, a quality rating and improvement system, for all providers participating in the TWC Child Care Services (CCS) program, which provides financial aid for child care to families needing assistance. Providers attain Texas Rising Star certification by meeting quality standards that exceed the state’s Child Care Regulation (CCR) minimum licensing standards and may qualify for a certification level of Two-Star, Three-Star, or Four-Star.

On September 13, 2022, the Commission adopted rule changes, effective on October 3, 2022, to implement House Bill (HB) 2607, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2021. HB 2607 requires all child care providers in TWC’s CCS program to participate in the Texas Rising Star program. Child care providers that do not become Texas Rising Star-certified by the deadline of September 2024 cannot enroll families that receive CCS financial aid.

“Texas has one of the youngest populations in the nation, and creating a child care system focused on quality lays a foundation for lifelong learning,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “And is an important first step in creating a pipeline of talent for the future of Texas. 

Providers that wish to serve CCS children may begin at the new Entry Level rating, which requires that providers not have a significant number of licensing deficiencies. Providers may remain at Entry Level for up to two years. CCS providers must attain at least Two-Star level certification within two years. This means that current providers who meet the Entry Level rating on October 3, 2022, will have until September 30, 2024, to achieve at least a Two-Star rating. If a provider does not meet the qualifications for certification within 24 months, the provider will no longer be eligible to serve CCS families. There are limited exceptions, such as service in the areas with an insufficient supply of child care to meet the need (often referred to as a “child care desert”).

As of June 2022, the TWC CCS program provided financial assistance for more than 125,000 children daily. Nearly 50 percent of the families in the program have selected a Texas Rising Star child care program to care for their children. TWC offers program statistics on the Child Care by the Numbers website.

TWC-funded Child Care Services enable parents to work or attend school. Texas Rising Star guarantees that from the youngest age, children are receiving a high-quality education,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “For a state with an exciting future, we want to invest in our workforce as early as possible.”

Texas Rising Star certified programs receive higher reimbursement rates for children based on their star level. There are various ways to increase the Texas Rising Star ratings, such as increasing training for staff, the quality of teacher-child interactions, or improving the quality of indoor and outdoor environments.

“The Lone Star State is powered by its people, and Texas Rising Star launches the next generation of employees into new heights and opportunities,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “This beneficial program puts the child care employers on a trajectory to grow their important businesses and support the growth of the Texas economy.”

HB 2607 also requires Local Workforce Development Boards to inform local school districts and open-enrollment charter schools about opportunities to partner with child care providers to expand access to pre-kindergarten programs. Previously, the Commission approved one-time stimulus funding to hire local TWC staff to assist with expanding pre-K partnerships.

For more information on TWC’s Texas Rising Star program or to apply, visit the Texas Rising Star website here.

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The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.

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