Overview

Texas is home to 10 percent of the nation’s children 0–5 and 20 percent of the nation’s Latinx. Each year approximately 400,000 children are born in Texas and more than $3.5 billion federal and state dollars are invested in early childhood programs and services. During the 2019 legislative session, state leaders made significant advances in the early childhood area by passing legislation to provide funding for full-day pre-k care for eligible children, providing stronger supports for childcare safety. Additionally, Texas lawmakers provided a significant increase in funding for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for babies and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays.

The following annual funding breakout, map, and program and service descriptions are not exhaustive of all early childhood expenditure but are intended to be a primer on the state’s complex early childhood system.

Annual Early Childhood Funding Breakout

*Budget Data for children 0-5 is not available.
**Budget data includes children 0-3; data on children 3-5 is not available.

Map of Texas’ Early Childhood Funding

Community-based early childhood center

Licensed providers of early learning and care for groups of children in a commercial facility.

K-12 schools

Schools with preschool, Head Start or other early childhood service offerings

Family child care home

Licensed providers of early learning and care for groups of children in a private home.

Family, friends, and neighbors

License-exempt individuals who care for children in a private home.

Child and family support entities

Organizations and agencies that provide a range of services including home visiting, special education, nutrition and other health related supports.

Hospitals and clinics

The public and private hospitals and clinics that provide health services to children.

Map Demo

Click each service/program name to view the funding stream

Types of Program & Service Descriptions

Click for more detail

Head Start

Head Start (HS), Early Head Start (EHS), Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP)
  • What is the program/service?
    Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children from birth to age 5 and their families. Many Head Start programs also provide Early Head Start (EHS), which is a comprehensive child development program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and toddlers (from birth through 2), including young children with disabilities. Texas also has Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships.
  • Who is the provider?
    K–12 schools and operators of community-based early childhood centers, some family childcare homes, and child and family support entities.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $642,500,000 (FY18); $444,000 for American Indian and Alaska Native funding (FY18).

    Head Start funds are awarded directly to eligible program operators at the local level. Operators can use contract funds for a wide range of program expenses including operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology. Additional funds for professional development are also included in grants and may be used for technology as well. Regional technical assistance centers receive separate funding and may choose to leverage technology.

  • Who benefits?
    A total of 72,053 children are served.

Foundation School Program

  • What is the program/service?
    Texas pre-k is funded through the Foundation School Program, or the formulas that determine the funding for public school districts and charter schools for operations and facilities. In 2019, Texas created an additional Early Education Allotment, which anticipated providing school districts with $780 million over the next two years to support full-day pre-k and reforms to improve early literacy and math. The Legislature also required districts to provide full-day pre-k to eligible 4-year-old students. If districts choose to operate full-day programs for 3-year-olds, they are required to use other operating funds.
  • Who is the provider?
    K–12 schools
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $823.9 million (FY17)

    Operators can use contract funds for a wide range of program expenses including operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology. The Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines include a technology applications domain, which states “young children have much to gain from the use of technology” and sets a number of technology competency outcomes.

  • Who benefits?
    231,485 children (FY18).

Title I Preschool

  • What is the program/service?
    K–12 schools and other local education agencies (LEAs) with a concentration of low-income children receive targeted funds under Part A (Title I) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA), which provides financial assistance to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Title 1 funds may be used by LEAs to fund early childhood education programs for eligible children that are subject to the performance standards of the Head Start Act.
  • Who is the provider?
    K–12 schools
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    Data on the amount of Title 1 funds allocated to preschool and early childhood programs is not available.

    School districts have flexibility in how they spend their Title 1 funds to help ensure all children are able to meet academic standards, including for a wide range of program expenses such as operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology.

  • Who benefits?
    Data on numbers of children served not available.

Child Care Services Program

  • What is the program/service?
    In Texas, the Child Care Services Program subsidizes childcare for low-income families, promoting long-term self-sufficiency by enabling parents to work or attend workforce training or education activities. Funded by the federal Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG), this program provides reimbursement to childcare providers for the services they offer to families receiving assistance. Eligibility requirements vary by local workforce board. Children with special needs receive priority over other CCDF-eligible families.
  • Who is the provider?
    Operators of community-based early childhood centers, K–12 schools, and family childcare homes.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $747.2 total federal funds (FY18)

    Funds are allocated to provide stable childcare financial assistance to families, help providers enhance the quality of care they offer, and support partnerships that build school readiness.

    This funding is used to issue voucher payments to the childcare provider of the family’s choice, with some funding set aside for administering agencies’ overhead costs. Operators and individuals that accept children with voucher subsidies can use funds for a wide range of expenses including operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology.

  • Who benefits?
    More than 130,000 children served per year.

The Texas Migrant Education Program (MEP)

  • What is the program/service?
    The Texas Migrant Education Program supports programs that help migrant students overcome the challenges of mobility, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and other difficulties associated with a migratory lifestyle. These efforts are aimed at helping migrant students succeed in school and successfully transition to post-secondary education and/or employment. MEP serves children from birth to age 12 and is funded through Federal Title 1, Part C of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Who is the provider?
    K–12 schools
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $47.5 million (FY18)

    Operators and individuals can use contract funds for a wide range of program expenses including operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology.

  • Who benefits?
    4,975 children birth to age 5 (FY16).

Special Education

Texas’ Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD), Texas’ Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program
  • What is the program/service?
    The Texas Early Childhood Special Education Program (formerly Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) provides special education and intervention services for children ages 3 to 5. Eligible children may receive PPCD services in a variety of settings such as pre-kindergarten, resource, and self-contained classrooms or in community settings such as Head Start and preschool. The Texas Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program is a statewide program for families with children from birth up to age 3, with developmental delays, disabilities, or certain medical diagnoses that may impact development. These services are primarily provided in a child’s home or other care center.

    Both programs are funded through a combination of state funds and federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – Early Intervention through IDEA Part C, and Early Childhood Special Education through IDEA Part B.

  • Who is the provider?
    K–12 schools, operators of community-based early childhood centers, child and family support entities, and hospitals and clinics.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    Early Childhood Intervention: $341 million (FY18)

    Budget data Early Childhood Special Education includes children 0-3; data on children 3-5 is not available.

    Funding can pay for assistive technology for children. Other service delivery funds may be spent on operations, professional development, and technology. Preschool special education services under IDEA Part B are generally subject to greater strictures in allowable expenditures than IDEA Part C services for infants and toddlers.

  • Who benefits?
    16,655 preschool-age children receive services (FY17), and 57,000 babies and toddlers receive early intervention services (FY17).

Home Visitation Services

  • What is the program/service?
    Home visiting programs in Texas are funded through state general revenue, federal Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Services include in-home prevention services to support and empower families with children from birth to age 5. Support is provided by trained home visitors who are often professionals, early childhood educators, nurses, or patient mentors.
  • Who is the provider?
    Child and family support entities as well as hospitals and clinics. Services are generally provided in the child’s home.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $122 million (FY18)

    Operators that provide home visitation service can use contract funds for a wide range of program expenses including operations, professional development, quality improvement, and investments in technology.

  • Who benefits?
    Approximately 23,000 children 0–5 years of age. (FY18)

Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • What is the program/service?
    The Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded health and nutrition program that provides supplemental foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health care, at no cost, to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are determined to be at nutritional risk.
  • Who is the provider?
    Community-based early childhood centers, K–12 schools, hospitals and clinics including migrant health centers and camps, Indian Health Service facilities, county health departments, and child and family support entities including community centers and public housing.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    $436.5 million (FY18)

    WIC funds go to state agencies to operate the program. Funds are used for a variety of purposes including food acquisition by participants as well as funds for eligible services. Some funds may be used for program operation including technology.

  • Who benefits?
    498,974 children (FY19).

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program

  • What is the program/service?
    Medicaid and Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT): Medicaid provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities. Medicaid is administered by states, according to federal requirements, and is funded jointly by states and the federal government. Texas Medicaid is operated by the Department of Health and Human Services

    The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, developmental, and specialty services.

    Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) serves uninsured children up to age 19 in families with incomes too high to qualify them for Medicaid. States have broad discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states. In Texas CHIP is a jointly funded state-federal program that provides primary and preventive health care to low-income, uninsured children.

  • Who is the provider?
    Hospitals and clinics as well as child and family support entities.
  • How much funding is there and what is it for?
    Data on the amount of Medicaid and CHIP funds expended on services for children 0–5 is not available.

    Subject to applicable statutes and regulations, these funding streams can cover a range of services, and a variety of technologies are used for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

  • Who benefits?
    Data on numbers of children 0–5 served is not available.

This report was made possible by the generous support from Omidyar Network.