Abbott waives regulations to preserve, extend child care capacity for critical workers during COVID-19 response

Gov. Greg Abbott has waived certain regulations to preserve and extend child care capacity for critical workers during the COVID-19 response.

A release from the governor's office says the waivers allow the Texas Workforce Commission the flexibility to respond to child care needs, ensure families using child care subsidized through TWC will not lose their slots and secures payment to child care providers while the state works to respond to COVID-19.

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"Through these waivers, TWC will be able to better respond to the child care needs of our front line workers in Texas," said Abbott. "We remain committed to working with TWC and other state entities to ensure Texans serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response have the support they need." 

The waivers are part of the governor's work through the Supply Chain Strike Force to strengthen child care infrastructure for critical workers during the COVID-19 response, says the release.

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Children within TWC's child care services program will be able to accrue absences due to COVID-19 without impacting ongoing eligibility or provider reimbursements, says the release. TWC will also be able to waive the parents' share of costs and direct local workforce development boards to make supplemental emergency payments to offset those lost due to COVID-19.

Additionally, these waivers will allow TWC to temporarily broaden the definition of "protective services" to include children of critical workers.

On March 19, Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which took effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and goes through midnight on Friday, April 3, bring the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.



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