Judge Hidalgo Announces Brighter Futures for Harris County Kids Initiative

Wednesday August 3, 2022

A Historic $84 Million Investment of American Rescue Plan Act(ARPA) Funds

Judge Lina Hidalgo shared evidence-based strategies as the cornerstone of an $84 million investment in Harris County children and families. The Brighter Futures for Harris County Kids was announced in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Judge Hidalgo along with Commissioner Ellis, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, Congressmember Al Green, and Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher announced the $84 million initiative at the Children’s Museum Houston.

This initiative is the largest allocation of funding for children in Harris County history and the largest known investment of ARPA dollars by any county or city in the nation for early childhood development and education. The Brighter Futures for Harris County Kids so far includes over $80 million of investments in early childhood and is meant to improve outcomes for its youngest residents.

“This is a historic investment. Never before has Harris County had this focus on children,” said Judge Hidalgo. “Each component of the Brighter Futures for Harris County Kids initiative demonstrates that local government can improve the lives of residents for the long term when working with partners, community members, parents, teachers, and caretakers.

We are exceptionally grateful to our federal partners, especially those standing here with me today, as well as to the Biden administration. The American Rescue Plan Act(ARPA) they championed provided funding and an unprecedented opportunity in creating a pathway to a long term secure future that would not otherwise be possible. I am also grateful to Commissioner Ellis and Commissioner Garcia who have been instrumental and key to making this happen.

These investments will have ripple effects that will make the future brighter for all our children, for our entire economy, and our entire region. I believe, along with the elected officials here with me today, that our kids are the light that will lead Harris County to a brighter future.” said Judge Hidalgo, accompanied by members of Congress.

The strategic package of county programs and resources will invest in three key areas including: early developmental programs to achieve brain and language milestones, programs to support new parents' ability to care for the health of their babies and for themselves, and increasing child care and early childhood education throughout the county.