On January 1, 2021, 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:
Best-in-Class Paid Parental Leave Policy
Effective January 1, 2021, the Paid Parental Leave Policy provides 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 at the time 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. Please click on the Paid Parental Leave Policy for more information. You may also email: PaidParentalLeave@bmd.hctx.net for additional information or questions.
Infant Sick Leave
Effective January 1, 2021, in recognition of the additional medical care needs of infants after birth, Harris County will provide new parents up to 40 hours of family sick leave in addition to paid parental leave since children are particularly susceptible to getting sick in their first year of life. For more information, please click here link to page 4 of the Paid Parental Leave Policy.
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 available 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%
Family-Friendly Workplace Resources
Family-Friendly Workplace Policy
Paid Parental Leave Policy
Harris County Request for Paid Parental Leave Form
Paid Parental Leave and Infant Sick Leave Flyer
Additional Childcare Resources
The Cigna Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies program is to assist Harris County employees and the baby stay health 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 Cigna-enrolled employees, the Employee Assistance Program provides resources and referrals for childcare providers and various unspecified childcare resources.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are available for up to $5,000, which is separate from the healthcare FSA.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit. The CDC developed this resource to help support parents, caregivers, and other adults serving children and young people in recognizing children and young people's social, emotional, and mental health challenges and helping to ensure their well-being. For additional information, please call 800-232-4636.
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 their region's children are ready to succeed in the long term. Learnings 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 13 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 fit the needs of their children. Families Empowered provides a wealth of COVID related resources for parents/families such as free childcare options and referrals, meals for families, and virtual educational guides/activities for K-12. For additional information, please contact Families Empowered at 713-589-8767
Limitless Minds Inc. -- A non-profit designed to help students continue learning despite the ongoing COVID pandemic. The organization offers free 1-on-1 virtual tutoring to K-8 students. For additional information, please contact Limitless Minds Inc. at 732-439-0400.
Texas Child Care Availability Portal -- The Texas Child Care Availability Portal allows parents to search for available child care near their home or work, and displays a map of licensed child care centers, licensed homes, and registered homes. Additionally, the portal displays each facility's operating hours, number of open seats per each age group at the facility. For more information, please visit Texas Child Care Availability Portal or contact your child care provider to inquire about enrollment.
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 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 possesses certified teachers who offers instruction in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills. Sylvan Learning Offers free learning activities and resources and is a free website that's been specially created for parents, grandparents and guardians who want to help their kids succeed in school. The organization 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 281-586-8069.
The Texas Workforce Commission offers financial aid to parents with children under 13 years of age and who meet 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