Boards reading “disposable business” cover a storefront in Austin.

Credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune

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Alicia Reed, a Bedford mother of four, lost her job at the onset of the pandemic. She says she wants to return to work, but she cannot afford the cost of child care.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Texas would be opting out of federal unemployment assistance programs — including an additional $300 weekly stimulus check to those enrolled — to encourage those receiving benefits to reenter the workforce. Federal benefits will end June 26.

While Reed, who worked as a sales accountant before March last year, must apply to almost half a dozen jobs each week, she struggles to find positions with sufficient wages to support her family. She said many jobs available also lack flexible schedules, narrowing the types of child care options she can consider.

In the weekend edition of The Brief podcast, Reed shares how she feels worried for her family’s future.

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