Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas recognizes the vital role that quality child care plays in the development of young children. A child’s experience during the critical early years lays the foundation for the rest of their lives. As a result, child care affects the way that children think, learn, and behave.
Texas Rising Star (TRS) Program
Because the quality of care a child receives early in life is so critically important, Workforce Solutions encourages their contracted providers to participate in the Texas Rising Star (TRS) Program, a voluntary program designed to recognize those child care providers meeting criteria that exceeds the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing Minimum Standards.
To learn more about the Texas Rising Star program, please visit Texas Rising Star website (best displayed with Google Chrome browser). To express your interest in becoming a Texas Rising Star provider, contact the CCS office at 325-795-4200 and ask to speak to a Child Development Specialist.
TRS 2020 Four-Year Review
Every four years, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) conducts a comprehensive review of the Texas Rising Star (TRS) program. TWC recently established a TRS workgroup to inform the upcoming 2020 program review. Stakeholders, including child care providers, are invited to give input. Get updates, provide feedback, review meeting materials, and more on the TRS workgroup webpage!
The TRS workgroup will review all of the input received and make recommendations for TWC to consider in the development of new TRS Guidelines. This includes input from TWC-funded research that was conducted by the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. The presentation on CLI’s initial findings is available on the workgroup webpage under “Workgroup Resources" as a PowerPoint or recorded session (with transcript).
Infant & Toddler Classroom Expansion Program
Quality care for infants and toddlers is a huge need in our 19-county region. Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas is launching a classroom expansion incentive program in summer 2019 to increase the number of infant/toddler slots available at participating child care providers. This will directly impact access to quality care for families with children under the age of three. The program is open to all CCS providers, with priority access for providers participating in TRS. Home-based and center-based CCS facilities are eligible to apply. Program participation applies to providers currently offering infant/toddler care that will be creating additional slots and/or providers newly offering infant/toddler care through slots created by this expansion program. Financial incentives will be awarded up to $2,000 per additional infant/toddler slot! Completed applications must be sent to Norah.Orchard@workforcesystem.org no later than Friday, July 19, 2019. Funds are limited and will be awarded first-come, first-serve.
Kirby Lake Nature Park Travel Stipends
Workforce Solutions will cover travel costs for West Central Texas providers located outside of Taylor County to visit Kirby Lake Nature Park and conduct educational activities. Expenses will be reimbursed based on distance traveled according to the following tiers:
Tier 1: up to 30 miles away from Abilene = $50 round trip
Tier 2: 31-60 miles away from Abilene = $80 round trip
Tier 3: 61-90+ miles away from Abilene = $120 round trip
Providers must request a travel stipend within 30 days of completing the trip. A recap report with the following information is required: invoice for travel, lesson plan or list of activities, pictures of the trip and activities. Stipend requests with attached documentation should be sent to Norah.Orchard@workforcesystem.org.