One of the major challenges facing families in New Braunfels is the lack of access to affordable, high-quality childcare. Despite 85% of a child’s brain development occurring before kindergarten, funding is predominantly directed towards K-12 education. As a result, many of our neighbors struggle to find open seats and afford childhood programs. Affordable childcare should not exceed 7% of a family’s income; yet, a median-income childcare worker in Texas would have to spend over 46% of their income to put their own child in childcare. Notably, our neighbors are often spending more on childcare than on in-state college tuition.

According to Children at Risk, there are only 79.3 open childcare seats for every 100 children with working parents in Comal County, indicating a shortage of early childhood education programs. These significant issues have led to an economic burden in our community, with the childcare gaps in New Braunfels costing the community as much as $9,352,000 annually, according to Child Care Gap.

  • The McKenna Foundation’s 2024 Community Needs Survey found that New Braunfels Residents were least satisfied with “Affordable Childcare”


  • There are 4 childcare centers per 1,000 children under the age of 5 in Comal County
        • The Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County reviewed 2,003 cases of child abuse and neglect in 2021
                • Approximately 41% of Texas children were exposed to an Adverse Childhood Experience in 2019       

                                               Sources: County Health Rankings, 2022; Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County; Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative

The Inspiration

McKenna and Early Matters share the vision of widening access to affordable childcare and childhood programs, providing the tools to support families, and reliving the struggles that children in our community face today.

Children are our future and we must give them the resources and access to basic needs. That is why the McKenna Foundation collaborates with a continuum of services addressing access to quality early learning and development.

McKenna actively provides services to enhance the health and well-being of the greater New Braunfels community, serving as a partner and resource to others who share our goals — now and for future generations.


801 W. San Antonio St. New Braunfels, TX 78130
(830) 606-9500
(830) 606-9535
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