In a manner consistent with federal law and regulations, each prekindergarten program provider, Head Start and Early Head Start program provider, and provider of an after-school child-care program provided at a school shall coordinate with the agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, and local workforce development boards regarding subsidized child-care services.
The coordination required by this section must include:
providing to an applicant for a child-care service information regarding:
child-care resource and referral agencies serving the applicant’s community;
information and referral providers serving the applicant’s community; or
the prekindergarten program, local child-care and development fund contractor, or Head Start program administrator serving the applicant’s community; and
coordinating to ensure, to the extent practicable, that full-day, full-year child-care services are available to meet the needs of low-income parents who are working or participating in workforce training or workforce education.
The coordination required by this section may also include:
cooperating with each state agency regarding child-care or child-development studies conducted by that agency;
collecting data necessary to determine a child’s eligibility for subsidized child-care services or a prekindergarten, Head Start or Early Head Start, or after-school child-care program, to the extent that the collection of data does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g);
cooperating to provide for staff training and professional development activities;
identifying and developing methods for the collaborative provision of subsidized child-care services and prekindergarten, Head Start or Early Head Start, or after-school child-care program services, including:
operating a combined system for eligibility determination or registration processes so that an applicant may apply for all services available in an applicant’s community through a single point of access;
sharing facilities or staff; and
increasing the enrollment capacity of those programs;
identifying child-care facilities located in close proximity to prekindergarten, Head Start or Early Head Start, or after-school child-care programs;
coordinating transportation between child-care facilities identified under Subdivision (5) and a prekindergarten, Head Start or Early Head Start, or after-school child-care program; and
coordinating with the State Center for Early Childhood Development to develop longitudinal studies to measure the effects of quality early childhood care and education programs on educational achievement, including high school performance and completion.
In coordinating child-care services under this section and in making any related decision to contract with another provider for child-care services, the agency, Texas Workforce Commission, local workforce development boards, and each prekindergarten program provider, Head Start and Early Head Start program provider, and provider of an after-school child-care program provided at a school shall consider the quality of the services involved in the proposed coordination or contracting decision and shall give preference to services of the highest quality. Any appropriate indicator of quality services may be considered under this subsection, including whether the provider of the services:
meets Texas Rising Star Program certification criteria;
is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization approved by the Texas Workforce Commission and the Department of Family and Protective Services;
meets standards developed by the State Center for Early Childhood Development; or
has achieved any other measurable target relevant to improving the quality of child care in this state.
Any coordination required by this section that involves a prekindergarten program must be approved by the commissioner.Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 790, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.Amended by:Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 241 (H.B. 376), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.