ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: WORK SUPPORTS/CHILD CARE


Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Work Supports/Child Care Publications

Testimony: HB 120 Builds on Success of NCP Choices Program (04/11/2011)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities supports House Bill (HB) 120, which would codify and expand the award-winning noncustodial parent (NCP) Choices program. NCP Choices has demonstrated great success in helping noncustodial parents find employment, increasing the amount and consistency of child support payments, and increasing the household incomes of custodial parents. By increasing child support payments to low-income families, the program has the added benefit of reducing the reliance on TANF cash assistance by custodial parents and decreasing unemployment insurance claims.

Federal Funding for Child Support is Critical to Children and Families (09/16/2010)

Over $1 billion in funding for state child support programs could potentially be cut from the 2011 federal budget if Congress fails to repeal funding cuts enacted as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and restore full funding for the child support program. A cut of this magnitude would be devastating to states and needy children. According to the Congressional Budget Office, child support collections would decline by over $2 billion. What’s at Stake Because the cut would be to the federal matching funds on incentive payments earned by state child support programs, states, such as Texas, with the best performance would stand to lose the most funding. Because the cut would be to the federal matching funds on incentive payments earned by state child support programs, states, such as Texas, with the best performance would stand to lose the most funding.

Congress Must Not Leave Any Wounded American Worker on the Economic Battlefield (09/3/2009)

If the First Infantry suffered 9 percent wounded, while the Second Infantry suffered “only” 7.9 percent, sending medicine to the First Infantry, but not the Second, would make no sense. Every wounded soldier deserves help. And, if the Second Infantry is bigger than the First, sending help to the Second would be even more important to the strength of the army. Yet, HR 3404 (McDermott) and S 1647 (Reed) propose to trigger an additional 13 weeks of critically important Emergency Unemployment Compensation for unemployed American workers based upon state unemployment rates. Unemployed workers in 28 states, including Texas, would not get help because of state rates below the trigger. This approach is unfair to American workers and counterproductive for the national economy. Congress should help workers in all states equally.

National Study: Pre-K Investment in Texas Could Save Billions (07/11/2007)
According to new state data released by the national Economic Policy Institute, Texas could save billions of public dollars over the upcoming decades by immediately investing in pre-kindergarten programs. In Texas, high-quality pre-K programs would begin paying for themselves within eight years, according to a state-level analysis of the Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation study.

The State of Working Texas 2006 (09/6/2006)
Every year around Labor Day, CPPP issues a report on the status of the Texas economy in conjunction with the national Economic Policy Institute. This report finds that nearly five years since the 2001-02 recession, the economy has yet to rebound with advances in household income or real wages. In fact, Texas has shown a 6.2% decline in real median household income since 2002. Virtually all demographic groups have experienced this trend, with younger workers and African-Americans especially hard hit. On a positive note, although still above the national average, Texas' unemployment rate continues to decline and Texas is adding jobs at a faster rate than the U.S. as a whole.

Moving Forward: Common Sense Policies to Promote Prosperity for Working Texans (08/30/2006)
Just in time for Labor Day, CPPP is proud to release Moving Forward: Common Sense Policies to Promote Prosperity for Working Texans. The report analyzes the barriers facing low-income Texans and provides nine recommendations to promote prosperity and move the economy forward.

Call to Action: Don't Let Hurricane Evacuees Lose Unemployment Insurance (05/24/2006)
Unless Congress acts this week, about 80,000 Katrina and Rita evacuees will lose their unemployment benefits in June. Of these, more than 26,000 are currently living in Texas. We urge you to contact your Senator and Congressional Representative to pass H.R. 5392, a measure to extend Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for an additional 13 weeks.

TANF Reauthorization--Texas' Choice: The High Road or the Low Road? (04/18/2006)
As part of budget reconciliation, Congress recently reauthorized Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) after numerous short-term extensions. The reauthorization makes several programmatic changes while providing a minimal increase in child care funding. TANF reauthorization provides an opportunity for states to upgrade their TANF work-based programs to deliver better workforce services, engage more recipients in education and training, and improve outcomes. The question is what Texas can do to help families acquire skills and attain self-sufficiency.

The Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit (01/26/2005)
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Child and Dependent Care Credit are federally funded anti-poverty initiatives that help low-income individuals and families meet their basic needs. Households in poverty and those surviving on meager budgets can significantly benefit from these opportunities to increase their net income.

Texas Fragile Families Final Evaluation Report: Executive Summary (05/1/2004)
After three years of documenting the progress of community organizations participating in the TFF demonstration, Texas' efforts have provided an in-depth look into one incarnation of the new American family. To read the full report, go to http://www.texasfragilefamilies.org/.

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Proposes Rules to Terminate Medicaid in Situations Not Allowed by Federal Law (09/12/2003)
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is proposing a rule that would have the effect of denying Medicaid to extremely poor parents on cash assistance who fail to do things such as meet health check up schedules for their kids or keep their teenagers in school.

The Texas Early Care and Education Crunch: Senate Bills 75 and 76 Help All Texans Access Child Care (05/13/2003)
Millions of Texas families have a hard time finding and paying for good child care. Two bills still pending before the Texas Legislature will help Texas parents go to work and help Texas children get ready for school. Senate Bill 75 will encourage the use of state and federal tax incentives for employers and workers. Senate Bill 76 will help Texas better coordinate its scarce early care and education resources and ensure that the state can provide more families with good early care and education.

Policy Page - Proposed Rule Changes Could Limit Child Care for Working Poor Families and the Parents of Disabled Children (12/2/2002)
Proposed amendments to the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) child care rules require that low-income parents and the parents of disabled children work at least 36 hours per week to be eligible for a child care subsidy. This major policy change does not reflect the realities facing many working poor Texans who are unable to find a full-time job in a period of economic downturn and places an undue burden on parents of disabled children.

Texas Communities Speak Out on Child Care (10/22/2002)
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) of Texas recently distributed a community survey to child care advocates across Texas. CDF requested that the Center for Public Policy Priorities(CPPP) analyze the survey and present our conclusions at CDF's Child Care: Because We All Do conference on October 23, 2002 in San Antonio. CPPP's comments on the survey and its findings are included in this Policy Page.

TANF/Child Care Reauthorization Moves to U.S. Senate (06/20/2002)
Texas' Senators and Senate Finance Committee members need to hear from YOU about the reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).

The Texas Child Care Challenge Part III: Child Care Quality (05/23/2002)
This Policy Page is the third in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" that was released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine variations in child care policies across local workforce development boards. Previous Policy Pages examined funding and access and local control of child care in Texas. The last Policy Page in this series will provide insight into the role and impact of locally generated child care matching funds.

The Texas Child Care Challenge Part II (02/15/2002)
This Policy Page is the second in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" to be released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine variations in child care policies across local workforce development boards. A previous Policy Page examined child care funding and access in Texas. The two remaining Policy Pages in this series will provide insight into the importance of child care quality and the increasingly important role played by locally generated child care match.

The Texas Child Care Challenge -- Part I: Funding and Access (01/30/2002)
This Policy Page is the first in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" to be released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine child care funding and access in Texas. Subsequent Policy Pages in this series will discuss variations in child care policies across local workforce development areas, locally generated child care match, and the importance of child care quality.

Child Care and the 77th Legislature (06/29/2001)
The 77th Texas Legislature passed several child care bills this session. However, the big stories remain the continued underfunding of child care for working poor families within the state budget and looming growth in the state's waiting list of 41,000 children.

Child Care Funding Could Fall Short (05/11/2001)
With House-Senate state budget conferees about ready to wrap up work on Senate Bill 1, the Appropriations Act for 2002-03, final funding for child care will soon be known. This Policy Page explains why more state and federal funds for child care are needed to continue serving working poor families, and provides links to proposed legislation that would affect child care in Texas.

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