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Texas service industry employees can apply for up to 1 year of free child care

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 25.
Credit: annanahabed - stock.adobe.com

DALLAS — Employees in certain service industries in Texas are eligible to apply for up to 12 months of free child care, according to a state-funded program. But the time to apply is running out. 

The deadline to apply for the Service Industry Recovery (SIR) program is Friday, March 25.

Organizers with the ChildCareGroup say the program is for employees in industries including the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services, and retail who have to work "in close quarters with their customers."

Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • Employees must be working at least 25 hours a week for a single-parent family, and 50 hours (combined) for a two-parent family.
  • Employees must meet income guidelines, which are available on the ChildCareGroup website. (A qualifying family of four, for example, must have an annual pre-tax income of $64,043 or below.)

The SIR program is funded by the Texas Workforce Commission and is administered by local Workforce Solutions organizations.

“Parents can’t work if quality child care is too expensive or difficult to access, and employers can’t keep their businesses going if they don’t have employees or their employees are distracted by child care problems,” said Shari Anderson, vice president of child care assistance at ChildCareGroup. 

“Access to reliable child care equals employees who are reliable at their jobs," she continued. 

Those interested must be enrolled by March 31. This is why organizers say applications must be submitted by Friday, March 25.

"The program is open to a wide range of service industry employees, not just hospitality workers,” Anderson said. “Don’t make assumptions about your eligibility — visit our website to find out more about income guidelines and whether or not your job qualifies you for assistance.”

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