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University of Texas
School of Social Work
1 University Station D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358

 

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Devolution of Subsidized Child Care in Texas/A Field Initiated Child Care Research

The publications of this project are housed on the web site of our partnering institution, The Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources:

http://www.utexas.edu/research/cshr/pubs/pubs.php?section=child

Principal Investigator: Deanna Schexnayder
Co-PI: Laura Lein
Participating Staff: Julie Beausoleil, Daniel Schroeder, Ying Tang

This project studies the process and ramifications of the devolution of child care policy in Texas. In 1995, the Texas legislature passed its first major welfare reform legislation, House Bill (HB) 1863. One provision of HB1863 consolidated a number of workforce programs — including child care — under a new agency, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), and authorized the creation of 28 local workforce development boards (LWDBs). As these boards formed and were certified to administer programs, they assumed responsibility for the management of many workforce development programs in their geographical areas of the state. TWC began devolving (transferring from a more centralized to a less centralized authority) responsibility for the management of existing contracts with child care brokers to LWDBs in September 1997. Beginning in September 1999, the local boards assumed responsibility for defining specific local goals and setting selected policies for the provision of subsidized child care. All 28 boards began setting some child care policies by January 2000.

In September 2001, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a three-year grant to the University of Texas at Austin to study Texas’ decision to devolve management and some policy authority for its subsidized child care program from the state to its LWDBs. This research project examines the Texas subsidized child care program from Fiscal Years (FYs) 1998 through 2003, a time period that begins two years before policies were devolved to the local level and ends four years after this change in authority. Its purposes are to describe the processes by which local boards develop child care policies and to determine the extent to which LWDB policy changes are associated with changes in subsidy participation patterns, family outcomes and child care markets in these local geographic areas.

Sponsor:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Child Care Bureau