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Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas offering child care aid to service industry employees

A Southeast Texas mom in the service industry said this program will go a long way in helping her keep food on the table.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas service industry workers who have been forking over money for childcare could soon be getting some financial relief from the state.

The Texas Workforce Commission together with Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas will be offering funds to these families starting next year, but the time to sign up is now.

A Southeast Texas mom in the service industry said this program will go a long way in helping her keep food on the table.

"On average I spend anywhere from $450 to $500 a month for just one child," parent Priscilla Dartez said.

The mother of three said childcare is not cheap.

Dartez works two jobs as a hairdresser and bar manager to support her family. She said this childcare assistance is huge.

"Them offering a program like that, the state, would be amazing for parents who might need that extra little bit of help," Dartez said.

Dartez said it's tough having children in daycare because she still has to pay even if they get sick or can't go certain days.

In addition, she said she only gets paid on the days she's working as bar manager at Madison’s and Rickenjak's so this creates a tough financial situation.

"I think I was behind about maybe $200, $300 because I was out of work because I had been exposed and then I ended up getting COVID," Dartez said.

Kim Purnell with Workforce Solutions says the TWC ran a survey, which led them to help workers in the service industry.

“The Texas Workforce Commission did a survey of jobs they were needing folks to get back to help with Covid relief," Purnell said.

Purnell said families of four or more can qualify, but there's also income guidelines.

You must be making less than $5,337 a month before taxes to be eligible for the financial assistance.

"We have a lot of slots available to help families,” Purnell said. “We're trying to get those families back to work, or maybe they are struggling just paying for their childcare expenses so that they can go to work or maybe they're not able to work their hours due to lack of childcare."

Purnell said these families have until March 2022 to enroll and the funds will be available for one year until March 2023.

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