When the City of Austin approved the City’s budget just a few weeks ago, it included a significant win for the youngest and most vulnerable children in Austin: the City restored approximately $500,000 in funding for services to young children.
Approximate funding restored to early childhood services throughout Greater Austin thanks to advocacy from UWATX and our partners.
“When the City re-bid their Health and Human Services contracts last year, programs serving children under 6 lost more than $850,000 in funding,” explains Sue Carpenter, Senior Director of Success By 6 . “That included parent education, home visiting, literacy services, Head Start and child care centers – it was a significant blow, particularly because these are 3-year contracts.”
In response, community organizations rallied together under the leadership of UWATX’s Success By 6 program to identify common goals, create a plan and lobby City Council to restore funding. Thanks to their efforts, Austin’s youngest community members are receiving more support.
The restored funds include $150,000 of on-going funding and $350,000 of one-time allocations. With input from Success By 6 and other leaders, the City’s Early Childhood Council is working on recommendations for how the money will be spent.
“We still have more to do – this is a great victory for young children, but we need to get back to previous funding levels so we can truly serve our children and invest in the future of our community,” said Carpenter. “Public officials need to see that all of these efforts are working toward a set of common goals that have been prioritized based on community need and best practice research.”
Learn more about the School Readiness Action Plan, the ambitious 3-year plan led by Success By 6 to help our youngest children.