HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just south of downtown Houston, near Dixie Drive, stands the Regency Lofts, which includes the new construction of 120 affordable housing units and a pre-K, which will be available at no cost to residents.
"One of the reasons the development wanted to include a pre-K is because they know the impact that education has on building a stronger community," Cheryl Lawson, executive director of William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity, said.
Lawson said incorporating a childcare component into affordable housing is not common in the area.
"It demonstrates not only a commitment to high-quality affordable housing, but also strengthening the community around it," Lawson said.
In data showing the ratio of children to childcare capacity, ABC13 found that about 53 zip codes in the Houston metropolitan area are considered childcare deserts
Of those zip codes, ABC13 learned that 33, or 62% of them, have majority non-white communities, and about 32% have median household incomes under $50,000.
Our data team also found that when it comes to both subsidized and non-subsidized childcare deserts, more than half of the zip codes have majority non-white communities, indicating that this issue appears to affect diverse communities more.
"We know that when they have a strong foundation those first five years, language development, good social, emotional security and attachment, good adult relationships in their lives, we know children flourish," Kofron says.
She says the childcare addition will be beneficial in the long run to a child's development.
"We know that when they have a strong foundation those first five years, language development, good social, emotional security and attachment, good adult relationships in their life's, we know children flourish," says Kofron.
Jalandria Nealey, a working mother of one, says she understands first-hand the importance that early childhood education can have on her child's growth.
"You could be a busy parent and not have that time for your child, but then if they're able to go to school and learn how to talk, write, and read, that's something that school has helped you with, because what if you don't have anyone to help you," Nealey said.