Friday, August 27, 2021 by Amy Smith

Council solidifies its vow to include child care in all new city developments

Reaffirming its commitment to including family-friendly features in new city-owned and -sponsored buildings and projects, City Council doubled down with a vote to ensure child care facilities are also included.

As part of the resolution brought by Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council also voted Thursday to include on-site child care services in any future city facilities expected to house a sizable number of city employees.

Tovo recalled a previous Council direction to city management to include a child care facility in the new Development Services Department at Austin Community College’s Highland campus. The directive from Council never materialized, however.

“As the plans unfolded, there was not money allocated within the budget for that facility, and I regard that as a missed opportunity,” Tovo said.

While the city has included child care facilities in solicitations for construction proposals, they were inked in as options. Now, child care will be required, with some exceptions, such as the presence of a high-quality child care center within close proximity to the development.

Following brief comments from Tovo and Mayor Steve Adler, Council passed the resolution on a 9-1 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison off the dais to attend to a family matter and Council Member Mackenzie Kelly voting no.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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