AUSTIN, Texas (NEXSTAR) — According to the nonprofit “Children at Risk,” from March 2020 through September 2021, Texas has lost 21% of child care providers.
Now, the group wants to shed light on child care deserts.
Child care deserts are defined as when the number of children who are younger than six with working parents is three times higher than licensed providers in an area.
New maps released by Children at Risk, allow you to interactively check which areas are being affected most.
There are 630 zip codes in Texas dealing with this right now. Low-income Texas families are primarily suffering from this, according to Children At Risk.
“I had to turn parents away every day,” Diana, a child care provider said. “And it’s heartbreaking because I just cannot find enough teachers.”
Children At Risk urges everyone to explore its interactive maps, and put out this call to action:
“In order to increase access to affordable high-quality child care, one policy recommendation is to mandate the enrollment of subsidy providers in the Texas Rising Star. Participating in the Texas Rising Star will help monitor the quality of care children receive and provide quality improvement resources to providers serving our most vulnerable populations.”Children at Risk
Several areas within Texoma are included in the child care deserts map, including in the areas of Alvord, Henrietta and Windthorst where it’s estimated there are 0 childcare seats per 100 children of working parents.