(PPL) Family Friendly Workplace

On January 1, 2021, the Harris County Family-Friendly Workplace program was implemented to provide eligible Harris County employees with Paid Parental Leave, Infant Sick Leave, childcare access, breastfeeding support, and mental health support. Program benefits are as follows:

Paid Parental Leave Policy

Effective January 1, 2021, the Paid Parental Leave provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of Paid Parental Leave, starting with up to 8 weeks in 2021, 10 weeks in 2022, and 12 weeks in 2023 and beyond, at 100% of the eligible employee's pay. Eligible employee may use this leave within 12 months after the birth, adoption, or foster-to-adopt placement of a child, in addition to any other leave for which the employee is eligible. For more information, please review the Paid Parental Leave Policy. You may also send an email to PaidParentalLeave@harriscountytx.gov for additional information or questions.

Infant Sick Leave

Effective January 1, 2021, in recognition of the additional medical care needs of infants after the birth, adoption, or foster-to-adopt placement of a child, Harris County will provide parents up to 40 hours of Infant Sick Leave during the infant’s first 12 months of birth. For more information, visit page 6 of the Paid Parental Leave Policy. You may also send an email to PaidParentalLeave@harriscountytx.gov for additional information or questions.

Lactation Policy and Lactation Rooms

Harris County supports breastfeeding mothers by accommodating their desire or need to express milk during the workday. Harris County departments will give a reasonable amount of break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public to express milk. Please call our Wellness Team to locate an available County lactation room.

Breastfeeding Supplies and Support are also available! You're eligible for a breast pump covered at 100% provided by eviCore, the exclusion in-network supplier of Durable Medical and Respiration Equipment (DME) for Cigna customers. To obtain details, please call Cigna at 800-244-6224.

Lactation support classes are preventive and covered at 100%.

Additional Childcare Resources

The Cigna Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies program is designed to assist Harris County employees to ensure the baby stays healthy before and after the pregnancy. For additional information, please visit https://benefitsathctx.com/health/pregnancy-postpartum/ or call Cigna at 800-244-6224.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – For employees who are enrolled in Cigna, the Employee Assistance Program provides resources and referrals for childcare providers and various unspecified childcare resources.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – For this short plan year (March – December), the adjusted amount for Dependent Care is $4,166.00, and is separate from the Healthcare FSA. The contribution limits for the Dependent Care FSA can vary based on compensation. For more information, please visit the 2023 Benefits Guide.

Childcare referral services -- The Cigna EAP, Work/Life Program has a research team available to give employees a list of referrals for babysitters, custody care, pre-schools, summer camps, nannies, etc. To apply for childcare subsidies, please contact Workforce Solutions Child Care Services at 888-469-5627 or visit: http://www.wrksolutions.com/for-individuals/financial-aid/financial-aid-for-child-care.

Collaborative for Children is a non-profit child-care resource that strengthens early education throughout Greater Houston. The organization works with parents, educators, and local leaders to ensure that children are ready to succeed in the long term. Learning resources target young children 0-5 years old and will help sustain children's learning while they are out of the classroom, reducing potential learning loss. Harris County employees with children who are 13 years of age and under can visit, findchildcarenow.org to be connected to a child care center that best serves their children's needs. The organization also offers financial support (through Workforce Solutions) to essential workers who need to offset child-care expenses.

Families Empowered - The mission of Families Empowered (FE) is to empower families to engage in a marketplace of schools. FE informs families about educational options in their geographical area and connects them to those options. The organization provides parents with free, credible, third-party information about all school options, both public and private, and support in finding high performing schools which best fits the needs of their children. Families Empowered provides a wealth of resources for parents and families such as free childcare options and referrals, meals for families, and virtual educational guides/activities for grades K-12. For additional information, please contact Families Empowered at 713-589-8767.

Limitless Minds Inc. – Limitless Minds, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to help students continue learning by offering free 1-on-1 virtual tutoring to K-8th grade students in order to ease their transition to online education. For additional information, please contact Limitless Minds Inc. at 732-439-0400.

Local Public Libraries offers a great deal of virtual educational programs and services.

Teaching to Give is a student-led organization that offers pupils in K-8th grade free education and tutoring services in various subjects ranging from academics to the arts (academic, foreign languages, music, debate, fine arts, coding and group classes). Teaching to Give also offers individual lessons for students needing one-time, occasional, or weekly assistance. Individual sessions can be booked up to two weeks in advance. All classes are 30 minutes long with the exception of 45-minute long art classes. Teaching to Give's tutoring sessions take place through Zoom. For additional information please visit their website at Teaching to Give.

Sylvan Learning Center has certified teachers who offer instruction in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills. They also offer free learning activities and resources for parents, grandparents and guardians who want to help their kids succeed in school. In addition, the center offers helpful academic ideas (articles, tips, videos, activities), so you can help your child feel confident in school. For additional information, please contact Sylvan Learning Center at 888-338-2283.

The Texas Workforce Commission offers financial aid to parents with children under 13 years of age who meet the eligibility criteria via their Child Care Program. Eligible families of children under the age of 13 may receive child-care financial assistance to cover a portion or, in some cases, all of the costs for child-care so that parents can work, attend school or participate in training. Child-care assistance is available only for children under the age of 13 in any of these circumstances:

  • Parents are receiving or transitioning off of public assistance
  • Are receiving or needing protective services
  • Families are low-income