Tag Archives: child care

Kelly Thomas is Providing a Future for Her Daughter with Help from Child Care Services

29 Jul
Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas on her graduation day

Learning a new skill set to pursue a new career takes time and resources. For parents with young children who want to take this path, having available and affordable child care is essential. Kelly Thomas, who has lived in Austin since 2001, has completed cosmetology training and is now weighing her career options, and she can do so having received support with child care.

In September 2018, Kelly was receiving support from the nonprofit AnyBabyCan. Her parent navigator there told her about child care tuition scholarships offered by Workforce Solutions Capital Area and suggested that Kelly enroll.

“Workforce Solutions have been amazing for providing opportunities to help me and provide resources for finding and keeping child care,” Kelly said.

“Workforce Solutions helped me through the process of applying and renewing for care, and the staff was so kind and always there to help me,” she said. “Anytime I had an issue with something—like reporting attendance—they were there right away to help.”

Photo - Kelly Thomas 003

Kelly Thomas with her daughter

Kelly enrolled in the 1,500-hour cosmetology operator program at Nuvani Beauty School at the end of 2019 and graduated in July 2020. Today Kelly is now preparing for her state board to receive her license to work as a cosmetologist. While her cosmetology plans are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly remains focused on what she will do with her newly earned skills.

“Ideally, I would like to either work under an apprenticeship at a full salon,” she said, “or possibly work at a blow out bar, doing shampoos, styles, braiding and special requests.”

For other parents in Austin seeking assistance, Kelly emphasizes that enrolling in the child care program will provide future benefits for parents and their children: “The program works to help people to not just have a better life, but a better future for themselves and their children,” Kelly said.

“There was no way I could have finished my program without this help. I have had a lot of hardships in my life and this was my big break. Now I can definitely provide a future for my daughter,” said Kelly.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area Child Care Services
Enrollment in the childcare program is subject to the availability of funds. Because the need for childcare services is great in our community, we currently maintain a list of families interested in enrolling in the childcare program.

When enrollment into the program is not immediately available, we ask eligible parents to complete a pre-assessment form to be added to the interested list. At any time, parents may call our office to check on the status of enrollment.

Learn more at our For Parents page.

Hitting the Ground Running

2 Jul

WheTiare Marshalln Tiare Marshall, a native Alaskan, moved to Texas with her now ex-husband in February 2011, she didn’t know anyone. In November 2013, Ms. Marshall relocated from Dallas to Austin after her separation to begin a new life as a single parent. When the former stay-at-home mother made the brave decision to start a new life in Austin, she knew she had to choose the right path for herself and her young son.

Ms. Marshall has always been creative and fascinated with the hair and salon industry. With the freedom to pursue her interests, she researched cosmetology schools and was accepted to Baldwin Beauty Schools in early 2014.

While in school, Ms. Marshall received childcare assistance from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), managed by Workforce Solutions Capital Area, and found an exceptional childcare facility that she and her son love. However, once she graduated in March 2015, she became ineligible for childcare assistance through CCDF.

“It was a really stressful time,” Ms. Marshall said. “I didn’t know how I could attend interviews without childcare.”

Ms. Marshall received childcare assistance through Travis County Continuity of Care, also managed by Workforce Solutions, during a 90-day job search period. Through her tireless effort, she secured employment within 30 days!

“The hardest part was being unsure about my employment situation,” Ms. Marshall said. “I would spend hours every day researching because I wanted to find a job that was right for both of us, not just any job.”

Theresa Nealy, who enrolled Ms. Marshall in childcare assistance at Workforce Solutions, credited her for being ambitious and goal oriented. “It’s wonderful to be of service to Ms. Marshall,” Ms. Nealy said. “She is humble and pleasant. I’m glad to see how our services enabled her to pursue her career.”

Ms. Marshall said the biggest challenge was balancing time with her son while going to school and job searching, but holding out for the career she loves was worth the effort and uncertainty. “I went through so much: being a stay-at-home mom to having to put myself out into the world of working and going to school and being away from my son. I had to really choose what was best for me and my son and make sure that both of us were happy and not settling.”

Ms. Marshall encourages others to find their passions and turn them into careers. “Even if it seems really hard as a single parent, it’s worth it to go through school and work toward a career,” she said. “Never settle, because you deserve to be happy, and your kids really deserve to be happy as well. A stressful job can affect a whole family so I wanted to work towards the right one.”

Ms. Marshall said that childcare assistance helped her hit the ground running in her pursuit of a career in cosmetology. “I really appreciate these programs [such as childcare assistance] because they help people get back on their feet. This past year I was able to achieve my dream career! My son and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.”

About Subsidized Child Care

Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions for a parent to make.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area Child Care Services provide subsidized childcare assistance to eligible low- to moderate-income families in Travis County.

For more information about the program and to determine eligibility, please visit http://www.wfscapitalarea.com/ChildcareServices/ForParents.aspx.