The Tarrant County College District will open state-of-the-art child care centers on its South and Northwest campuses in 2025, bolstering student-parent attendance and expanding early childhood education options for surrounding neighborhoods and TCCD employees.
Both centers will offer Early Head Start services at no cost to eligible families as well as provide infant, toddler and preschool services. After-school or evening care may be considered in the future.
Financing for the almost $12.1 million project comes from an interlocal agreement with Tarrant County, approved in January by the TCCD Board of Trustees and Tuesday by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. The county will contribute $8,050,000 in state and local fiscal recovery funds (authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021), and the District will cover the balance from its five-year capital improvement plan and the in-kind property lease for the facilities.
“This one-time funding was a blessing to our community,” said Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks. “It allowed us to create infrastructure in several areas, and child care is one of the areas that we picked. This enabled us to partner with Child Care Associates and create these two new child care centers at Tarrant County College.”
Chancellor Elva LeBlanc: “Our No. 1 priority has always been to maximize student achievement at every level. With new early learning centers at South and Northwest, we’re setting up entire families for a brighter future. When our student-parents succeed, their children succeed and our community thrives.”
TCCD went all in last spring when Tarrant County, working with Child Care Associates, requested applications to expand early education access and care across the county.
“No student should have to abandon the college dream because of rising child care costs or lack of access to quality options,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “With quality child care centers right on our own campuses, TCCD Trailblazers won’t have to.”
Child Care Associates, one of the largest child development nonprofits in Texas, vows to deliver high-quality early education and care services at the South and Northwest campuses.
“We are busting-buttons proud of this vital partnership with Tarrant County and TCCD,” said Kara Waddell, president and CEO of Child Care Associates. “With 55 years of experience serving families with young children in our community, we’re thrilled to provide the developmentally appropriate services children need to thrive while also meeting the needs of parents earning a credential or degree or who are working. Together with TCCD, we’re building a two-generation pipeline of talent.”
At a proposed 13,000-15,000 square feet, the centers at South campus (5301 Campus Drive) and Northwest campus (4801 Marine Creek Parkway) will have eight classrooms, with several dedicated to infant-toddler services in the CCA Early Head Start program. Both centers will feature outdoor play areas and parking for a minimum of 22 employees.
“A child’s learning begins well before arriving at school,” Chancellor LeBlanc said. “Research confirms that the most accelerated brain development takes place when children are infants and toddlers. At TCC we accelerate success for our students. We’re delighted that we can do the same for their children starting at birth.”
Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.
Child Care Associates is one of the largest child development nonprofits in Texas and has served more than half a million young children over the past 55 years. Through Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, PreK and Child Care Management Services, CCA delivers quality early education programs to children and families of disadvantaged means, offsets the high cost of child care for lower income working families and increases the quality of child care delivered across Tarrant County and North Texas.