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Child Care & Early Learning COVID-19 Information
Many families and child care programs that participate in the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) subsidized child care program have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, TWC’s three-member Commission approved the following actions to mitigate the impact:
- Effective March 1, 2020, children may accrue absences without impacting ongoing eligibility for services or provider reimbursements. TWC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make a future determination on when this absence policy will conclude. Providers will continue to be paid, if children are absent, or if the provider is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
- Workforce development boards are authorized to make supplemental payments to child care programs to cover lost parent share of cost payments. TWC will issue further guidance on calculating supplemental payments.
TWC will be issuing additional guidance to local Workforce Solutions staff shortly to address the following issues:
- Interruptions in parents’ ongoing participation in work, education, or training
- Child care eligibility redeterminations
- Continued payments to child care programs
- Texas Rising Star processes
Mass Claims and Shared Work Programs
Facing Layoffs? Check out TWC’s Mass Claims Program
If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits. You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To submit a Mass Claim Request:
- Log on to Employer Benefits Services and select Mass Claims Request. Note: We have waived the requirement that you must submit your Mass Claims Request at least five days prior to the planned layoff.
To submit a Mass Claim Request manually:
Note: If you have already laid off staff, you cannot use Employer Benefits Services (EBS) to submit a Mass Claim. If your layoff date was in the past and you have 10 or more employees affected by the pandemic, you will need to fill out and submit Mass Claims documents manually:
- Complete the Mass Claims Spreadsheet and the Mass Claims Agreement Letter. The spreadsheet has an instructions tab to help you identify which fields are required and which are optional.
- Email the completed documents to TWC’s Mass Claims Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: You can leave the columns highlighted in blue blank.
- Make sure your email contains the following information:
- Your company’s name, address, phone number, and TWC Tax Account Number
- Contact person’s name (authorized representative with signature authority)
- Contact’s email address, and phone number
- The layoff date and how many employees were affected
Our Mass Claims department will process your Mass Claim request in the order received.
For more information, see: Mass Claims for Unemployment Benefits
Need to Reduce Employee Hours? Check out TWC’s Shared Work Program
If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs. TWC developed this voluntary program to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.
Shared Work allows employers to:
- Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits.
- Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit.
Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.
For more information, see TWC’s Shared Work web page.