Hurdles remain for parents torn between service industry jobs, child care options

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 3:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - “Help wanted” signs and notices of limited hours remain in the windows of many businesses, especially as the service industry struggles to fill job vacancies amid the ongoing pandemic.

With extended federal unemployment benefits no longer available, many are asking: where has the workforce has gone?

“The thing I hear a lot of people say is, ‘if I have a job, I’m going to need child care. But in order to get a job, I need child care,’” said Danielle Woodward, with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas.

Woodward said many job seekers complain about a lack of affordable child care.

Part of Woodward’s job is to connect families with accredited facilities to watch their children. In recent months, she has helped parents who work in the arts, entertainment, recreation, food service and retail industries.

That help is through Workforce Solution’s Service Industry Recovery funding.

“That is more-so focused, because those industries were the most heavy hit during COVID-19,” Woodward said.

Newly-released data from the Department of Labor Statistics also shows those industries continue to experience a decline in growth. That is mainly in the food service and retail industry.

“They are happy to know that this is one less thing they’re going to have to worry about as far as an expense for their household,” Woodward said.

For those who qualify for the aid, the process is relatively quick.

The two page application needs to be filled out. Then within the next two-or-three days, parents are connected with child care options.

“As a parent, that’s one of your biggest responsibilities and it’s also one of the biggest responsibilities financially,” Woodward said.

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.