FWI is a nonprofit research-to-action institute dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community. Review their Workforce & Workplace Research and explore the rest of their site for more guides and resources on adapting workplaces to meet the needs of employees and their families.
Researches and provides resources for the implementation of formal programs in which parents can bring their children to work and care for them while doing their jobs.
This is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all moms, women, and families in the United States. Visit their site to learn about family-friendly workplace policies and other related topics.
Works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. This website provides connections to comprehensive resources for information new families. zerotothree.org
Is a business dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding. They sell a variety of freestanding “lactation suites” in various forms that can be purchased for private and public spaces as well as rental for inflatable lactation pods for events.
Mother-Friendly Worksites are businesses that proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants. Creating and implementing a Mother-Friendly policy is both simple and inexpensive. Their step-by-step guide can help a business get started.
WIC is the special supplemental nutrition program that supports income eligible women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or had a baby within the last six months as well as infants and children up to their 5th birthday. This includes food, nutrition classes, breastfeeding support and more.
CITY OF AUSTIN/TRAVIS COUNTY RESOURCES
AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR MOTHER-FRIENDLY WORKSITE
Austin Public Health (APH) can help you transition to a mother-friendly worksite through free technical assistance. In addition, APH offers the Chronic Disease Prevention Mini-Grant opportunity. These competitive mini-grants of up to $2,500 support healthy nutrition, mother-friendly, physical activity, or tobacco prevention projects at workplaces and other locations. Contact (512) 972-6472 or healthyplaceshealthypeople.org
This is prenatal care that includes the mother’s regular health check-up with additional time for learning and sharing. Groups start after the first trimester. Expectant mothers meet with a healthcare provider and other women who are due near the same time for 10 sessions throughout the pregnancy. Contact Centering Pregnancy Coordinators at (512) 978-9435.
The first few days and weeks home with a new baby can be a challenging time for all families, and research indicates that more than 90 percent of families can use some additional support. In Texas in particular, new families are moving to our state at a growing rate and may be far from their traditional support structures such as family and friends. Texas Family Connects can help them navigate this difficult time and ensure the newest addition to their family is thriving in a healthy and safe environment. Through Family Connects, all families have the opportunity for a trained, registered nurse to visit them at home within the first three weeks. These nurses conduct comprehensive strengths and needs assessments for each family and can provide immediate assistance, such as safe sleep support, or make warm referrals to other programs in our community that can provide more intensive and ongoing support for families, such as health care appointments, child care services, parenting support groups and financial and social supports that promote family functioning and child-wellbeing. This program launched at St. David’s South Hospital.
PARTNERS IN PARENTING (PIP)
PIP supports all of Austin’s new parents so they are confident, connected, and have the tools to reach their full potential. PIP offers parenting support through PIPsqueaks groups for any new parents to attend with their babies. At each weekly meeting, the families in the Groups share their highs and lows, process the experience of becoming new parents, and learn tips and resources through weekly topic discussions and guest speakers. Groups meet in the homes of groups during the day or in the evening. Each meeting includes time to focus on the babies’ development and a break time for informal socializing and connecting with other parents. Partners in Parenting is interested to partner with businesses as part of their maternity/ paternity package for employees through a small program fee (approx. $125).
MOM’S PLACE LACTATION SUPPORT CENTER
This program is a specialized breastfeeding support clinic and training center where mothers can receive free services and return as often as needed. It is grant funded through Texas Department of State Health Services and the Health and Human Services Commission. Additional services include: lactation consultations, breastfeeding support & education, and weight checks for baby. To make an appointment, call (512) 972-6700. For the toll-free Breastfeeding Hotline, call 1-800-514-MOMS (6667)
GENERAL PARENTING & CAREGIVER RESOURCES
BRIGHT BY TEXT
Bright by Text sends free games, tips, and resources right to your cell phone. Messages are targeted to your child’s age and include information on child development, language and early literacy, health and safety, behavioral tips, and more! Bright by Text is for anyone who cares for and loves a child between the ages of 0 and 8 - parents, grandparents, babysitters, aunties, uncles, neighbors, friends, teachers, and more. Parents or caregivers can sign-up for the program by texting the keyword SMARTATX to 274448. Then, enter your zip code and date-of-birth of your child. Privacy is guaranteed and the state, as well as our community partners, will not have direct access to that information.
From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern. www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/parents/index.html
(KLRU) In Austin, KLRU is the local PBS station which provides family-friendly programming and events. This website includes information for parents and caregivers. http://www.pbs.org/parents/
Is an online platform that uses predictive matching to help families find child care, preschools, camps, and after-school care for their children. HappiFamli is proud to partner with employers and community organizations to enhance their family friendly culture, increase recruiting and improve retention. https://youngstr.happifamli.com/
Resources and Referrals for Basic Needs and other Resources for Families:
UNITED WAY FOR GREATER AUSTIN 2-1-1 NAVIGATION CENTER
Anyone can contact the Navigation Center by simply calling the free 2-1-1 hotline. Call specialists carefully listen to each individual’s situation, then access information about the appropriate services for that individual using the 2-1-1 Texas database. Navigation specialists help directly find the best navigation pathway for basic needs and healthcare support, and coordinated access with several area clinic networks. Specialists can even make appointments for callers for the Medical Access Program (MAP), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through our Central Health partnership.
RESOURCES FOR ACCESSING HIGH QUALITY EARLY EDUCATION
The Case for Quality
Scientific evidence demonstrates that the most critical period of brain development occurs before age 5. Therefore, the quality of environment where a child spends his or her days will significantly impact long term developmental outcomes and educational success. Employees’ young children need to have confidence that their children’s needs are being addressed while they work. For these reasons, it’s beneficial to help employees identify and access high quality child care. Most importantly, children who attend high quality programs (indicated by national or state accreditation) are more likely to enter school ready for success.
What to look for
National Accreditation: National accreditation is available to early learning programs striving to meet the highest quality standards. These standards are based on research on the development and education of young children and include. The two most recognized accreditations include NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and NAC (National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs)
Texas uses the Texas Rising Star (TRS) system for state-level accreditation for quality. Licensed child care centers have the option of being accredited for quality in addition to National Accreditations above. The TRS rating of a center indicates that a center has met specific quality guidelines related to staff qualifications, child-caregiver interactions, curriculum, nutrition and physical environment, and parent engagement programs. Centers meeting the highest standards are 4 Star Centers. Caregivers can be encouraged to “Look for the Stars!”
Employees may find helpful this checklist helpful in guiding their search for high quality care: https://texasrisingstar.org/parents choosing-quality-child-care/
The City of Austin and Austin Public Health offer this interactive map showing child care and PreK programs throughout Travis County and which centers have achieved either state or national accreditation.
PUBLICLY FUNDED CHILD CARE PROGRAMS (available to income-eligible families):
CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES (Birth – 12 years)
Eligible families of children under the age of 13 may receive child care financial assistance so that parents can work, attend school, or participate in training. Families may choose from the following providers that meet local and state requirements. Eligible caregivers who chose a TRS accredited center for their child also receive a 15% discount on the parent share of cost. Workforce Solutions Capital Area Child Care Services: 512.597.7191 or wfscapitalarea.com
HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START (Birth to 4 years)
This federally-funded program provides low-income families with comprehensive early childhood education, including mental health services, disabilities services, nutrition services, medical and dental services, social services and parent engagement activities. Families whose income falls at or below the poverty guideline for the preceding 12 months or the previous calendar year are income-eligible for Early Head Start and Head Start Services. Child Inc. provides Austin-are services including home and center-based Early Head Start services and center-based Head Start. At least 10 percent of Head Start’s enrollment is dedicated to children with disabilities or other special needs. Specially trained staff members work closely with community agencies to provide services to disabled children while simultaneously providing them with an integrated, developmentally appropriate early childhood experience within the Head Start classroom. Child Inc. 512-451-7361 www.childinc.org
PUBLIC SCHOOL PREKINDERGARTEN (3 and 4 Year Olds)
The state of Texas funds prekindergarten programs for eligible three and four year olds (age as of September 1st of the school year). Eligibility is open to children who are: unable to speak and comprehend the English language, income eligible / educationally disadvantaged, homeless, a child of an active duty member of the armed forces, the child of a veteran injured or killed in active duty, is currently or has been in CPS care, or the child of a person eligible for the Start of Texas Award (as a first responder). Registration is completed through each school district.
AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTS
AUSTIN ISD 512.414.PREK
BASTROP ISD 512.772.7100
DEL VALLE ISD 512.386.3040
ELGIN ISD 512.281.3457
GEORGETOWN ISD 512.943.5080 x 6812
HAYS CISD 512.268.2141
HUTTO ISD 512.759.3771
LAKE TRAVIS ISD 512.533.6023
LEANDER ISD 512.570.0320
MANOR ISD 512.278.4000
PFLUGERVILLE ISD 512.594.0000
ROUND ROCK ISD 512.464.5000
SAN MARCOS CISD 512.393.6031
SMITHVILLE ISD 512.237.2487
TAYLOR ISD 512.352.2275