HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – For more than 18 months, ABC13’s Who’s Hiring job fair has helped hundreds of people do farm work, but we have also helped people with childcare grants.

The latest job report shows that the unemployment gap between men and women has widened over the past year. Experts say one reason for this gap is childcare.

“This is always an issue for working parents, because with low-wage jobs you have to calculate and make sure that it makes sense for you to take on these jobs,” explains Michelle Castrow, spokeswoman for Workforce Solutions.

A 2020 study shows that the average childcare costs were $ 700 per month.

To get help with childcare costs, you can usually find information every Thursday.

ABC13 is working with Workforce Solutions to host a virtual job fair. Since its inception, the program has helped more than 350 people find jobs. We also helped with childcare. During the half-hour event we will present programs and explain how you can get help.

“There is more money available now than I’ve seen in my 15 years doing this,” Castrow said.

Nor is it with a program. Workforce Solutions currently has three childcare grants to help parents through the pandemic.

The first program is their traditional childcare grant. This pays part of the childcare. You must work or attend school 25 hours a week and meet the income requirements, which are around $ 4,400 per month for a family of four.

There are a few new ones. The agency offers a job search grant.

If you are unemployed and looking for a job, you can get childcare for 90 days.

After all, there is money to help an industry desperately looking for workers.

If you work in the hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, bars or hotels; Work 25 hours per week; and meet the income requirements, which are about $ 5,300 a month for a family of four, you could have full childcare coverage for a year.

It’s a scholarship that could add 50% to the number of children living in Southeast Texas.

“We hope the Service Industry Recovery Fund can help an additional 12,000 children,” Castrow said.

To learn more about childcare grants, visit the Workforce Solution website. You can also call the ABC13 hotline at 713-243-6663 from Monday.

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