Child Care & Early Learning Services - Program Overview

The child care services program subsidizes child care for low-income families, promoting long-term self-sufficiency by enabling parents to work or attend workforce training or education activities. It also educates parents about the availability of quality child care, which enhances children’s early learning. Additionally, the program provides supports to early learning programs working to improve the quality of child care services. To learn more about the impact of TWC’s child care program, see Child Care by the Numbers.


On this page:



Learn how eligible families of children under the age of 13 may receive child care financial assistance so that parents can work, attend school or participate in training. Additionally, learn about what high quality child care looks like and how to find it.

Child Care and Early Learning Programs

Find out how to provide services to families that receive child care financial assistance. Additionally, learn about resources to improve program quality including information about the Texas Rising Star quality rating and improvement system for child care and early learning programs in Texas.

Return to Top

Data and Reports

Child Care by the Numbers

TWC has developed Child Care by the Numbers, which provides both current information (for the most recent 15 months, updated quarterly), and historical information (back to 2015), on the child care program, including:
  • Number of children served in TRS and in non-TRS providers
  • Number of child care providers serving subsidy children, both TRS and non-TRS

Plans and Reports

TWC also publishes other plans and reports regarding child care services:

Additionally, the Texas Early Learning Council has published the following reports: 

Child Care and Development Fund Annual Quality Progress Report (ACF-218)

The Administration for Children and Families uses the annual Quality Progress Report (QPR) to collect information from states to describe investments to increase access to high quality child care for children from birth to age 13. The annual data provided is used to describe state priorities and strategies to key stakeholders, including Congress, federal and state administrators, providers, parents, and the public.

Child Care and Development Fund Monthly Case-Level Report (ACF-801)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Child Care (OCC) collects data regarding the children and families served through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). All CCDF lead agencies are required to report this data through the ACF-801 case-level data submission. TWC submits the ACF-801 to OCC 60 days after the end of each quarter of the federal fiscal year.

Return to Top

Authority & Funding

Child Care Services is funded through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Care. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the lead agency for CCDF in Texas. Workforce Development Boards administer child care services through the Workforce Solutions offices. CCDF is authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act and Section 418 of the Social Security Act.

CCDF Final Regulations:

State Child Care-Related Regulations:

Texas CCDF Funding

The Texas State Legislature allocates the majority of CCDF funds to TWC to provide direct child care services to eligible families and to support the improvement of child care quality across the state. TWC in turn allocates most of these dollars to the 28 Local Workforce Development Boards (Boards) to oversee service delivery. At the state level, funds are also directed to statewide initiatives to improve child care quality and to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to administer Child Care Licensing.

Return to Top

Stakeholder Input

TWC’s three-member Commission (Commission) affords the public the opportunity to provide input during any of its posted public meetings. Additionally, the Commission works with staff to provide opportunities for:

  • child care and early learning stakeholders to offer input on subsidized child care
  • TEA, school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, relevant businesses, and the public to offer input on coordination between subsidized child care and pre-K;
  • child care providers to offer input on existing health and safety regulations that could be more efficient or less costly without reducing health and safety outcomes; and
  • child care providers to offer input on burdens relating to complying with existing regulations that could be mitigated, reduced, or eliminated while maintaining the intent, objective, or purpose of the underlying regulation.

TWC notifies stakeholders of opportunities to attend regional meetings and of other child care updates. Stakeholders interested in receiving updates should Sign up to receive workforce updates you can use by entering your email address and selecting the child care topic areas.

TWC is currently seeking input on the development of the Child Care and Development Fund State Plan for Fiscal Years 2021–2024. The expected timeline for the development and submission of the plan is as follows:

  • Stakeholder Input in the Development of the CCDF State Plan—Fall/Winter 2020
  • Commission Approval of a Draft CCDF State Plan—April 2021
  • Public Hearing(s)/Public Review/Comment—April/May 2021
  • Commission Approval of Final CCDF State Plan—June 2021
  • CCDF State Plan Effective Date—October 1, 2021

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on potential goals and strategies TWC is considering:

We welcome your input for the 2022–2024 CCDF State Plan by completing our Stakeholder Survey (English) (Spanish) by January 7, 2021.

Additionally, stakeholders may provide specific feedback on implementation of the Texas Rising Star Four-Year Review revisions and other quality improvement plans. More information is available on the Texas Rising Star Workgroup website. TWC is especially interested in feedback on the following topics:

  • The implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement Plans for Texas Rising Star child care and early learning programs

 Commission’s Proposed Amendments to TWC’s Chapter 809 Child Care Services Rules PDF

  • A five-year plan for requiring programs that receive child care subsidies to qualify for a “Pre-Star” designation Commission-Approved Discussion Paper 

Pre-Star Requirements for Subsidized Child Care ProvidersPDF

Return to Top