Letter from the Director 
Work schedules remain unpredictable for many as we toggle between in-person and remote. As an employer, striking the right balance is a daily challenge. One bright spot helping families juggle their work-life balance is the recent release of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Texas families are using CTC payments to help with the cost of essentials such as food, child care, housing, and paying down loans

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible families began receiving their CTC in July. According to a report conducted by Columbia University, within that first month child poverty decreased by more than 40%. Through the end of 2021, payments will be made monthly at $250 per child between 6-17 years old or $300 per child under six years old. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent.

This tax credit is significantly impacting families in our community. Please help ensure your employees understand how they can access the CTC by sharing the resources linked in the Early Matters Greater Austin toolkit specific to the CTC.

Sharing resources like this with employees is just one — of many — ways that you can help make Austin a Best Place for Working Parents®.

Check out this month’s newsletter for even more! 
Cathy McHorse
Director | Early Matters Greater Austin

What do we need to get back to work? 

Mom talking to toddler at a child care center
Research shows that, for a majority of parents, rejoining the workforce requires child care: 
  • 78% of unemployed parents need child care to return to work. 
  • 84% of working parents need full-time care 5 days per week 
  • 25% of working parents need after-school care 
Check out this recent study by Best Place for Working Parents® to better understand the critical supports families need to mobilize reentry into the workforce.
See how

Family-friendly policy deep dive

Breastfeeding support

Did you know that employers who support women who choose to breastfeed have more satisfied and loyal employees, which can also result in higher productivity? When breastfeeding mothers feel comfortable expressing milk at work, they are more likely to return to work after maternity leave and often return to work sooner.

Check out this resource to learn more about implementing this family-friendly policy!
Learn more

Help strengthen the data on family-friendly policies

Man in suit holding a sleeping baby
A recent study conducted by the Best Place for Working Parents® Network (BP4WP) and the Center on Research and Evaluation at Southern Methodist University shows that child care assistance, flexibility, and other family-friendly practices are increasingly becoming a strategic lever for employers of all sizes who are seeing the direct correlation between these policies and their business bottom line. 

Help us deepen our community’s knowledge and understanding by participating in a limited, no-cost opportunity with  BP4WP and the Center on Research and Evaluation at Southern Methodist University to study the ROI of BP4WP’s top 10 family-friendly policies. 

This study will help to deepen the research base detailing how those policies positively impact both employer and employee outcomes. It’s a win-win! 
Want to get involved? Contact Sadie Funk, Director, The Best Place for Working Parents®.
Join the study
Even more from Early Matters Greater Austin
Another case for paid family leave. New research shows that lack of paid parental leave can negatively impact an infant’s neurological development. Learn more >
Not able to attend “Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: Supporting Texas Families for a Stronger Economy?” Check out the slides and recording from an all-star lineup about the impact the child care crisis is having on both the present and future of the Texas economy, as well as potential solutions. 
“The crumbling child care industry is increasingly holding back economic recovery across the country.” The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the existing child care crisis, turning it into a potential catastrophe that impacts working families and businesses in nearly every sector. Check out this report from Ready Nation to learn how companies can help address the child care crisis >
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