Amid COVID-19, TX kids need smart state policies

Texans Care for Children
While much of the discussion about coronavirus has focused on the threat to adults, we all know that the way the virus is reshaping our lives has significant consequences for Texas children.
So I want to take just a moment to highlight a few of our concerns and the ways that Texas can support children during this time.
  • Children’s services — ranging from student mental health to Child Protective Services (CPS) to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) — are facing significant challenges reaching and serving kids. 

    We’re working with partners and state agencies to highlight challenges in our communities and develop solutions. For instance, we recently spearheaded efforts to ensure that ECI programs can continue to serve babies and toddlers with disabilities, and we helped deliver a number of CPS and foster care policy recommendations to state leaders.

    During the next legislative session, fully funding these and other services for families will be more important than ever. Although current economic projections are certainly gloomy, when it comes time to finalize the next state budget a year from now, we’re hopeful that additional federal funding, more optimistic revenue projections for 2022 and 2023, and a commitment to children will result in strong investments in all programs serving Texas families. 

  • Health insurance is more important than ever for keeping kids and parents healthy and reducing the financial strain on families. As unemployment soars, health insurance is also more threatened than ever. 

    We’re glad to report Texas has taken some good steps in areas that we’ve been working on with our partners and state officials. For example, during this public health emergency, Texas is suspending those inaccurate mid-year eligibility checks in Children’s Medicaid and allowing moms to continue their Medicaid health coverage more than 60 days after childbirth. As we recommended, Texas also requested federal funding to cover COVID-19 tests for uninsured Texans.

    There’s much more work to do, so we will continue to push multiple state policy recommendations to ensure that reducing the state’s sky-high uninsured rate is part of the Texas coronavirus strategy. You can help by joining Texans from around the state in calling Governor Abbott today at 1-877-880-6704 and urging him to expand Medicaid so low-income moms, dads, and other adults have a health insurance option.

  • Child care has emerged as a critical part of the state’s emergency response — often determining whether hospital staff can show up to work. It’s a critical sector for eventually getting parents back to work to rebuild the economy. Of course, a thriving, high-quality child care sector is also key to getting young children off to a strong start in life.

    As part of the Governor’s Frontline Child Care Task, we are working with state leaders and partners to ensure essential workers have access to child care. We’re also pushing for greater state support for child care, collaborating with state officials to implement solutions and driving the public conversation through our recent op-eds and other ways. 

These are just a few of the key children’s policy issues facing the state as we confront coronavirus. To learn more about these and other issues, we encourage you to visit the coronavirus policy page on our website:
Visit our Coronavirus Policy Page
 
  • : Texans Care for Children