AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Paid leave for new Austin parents who are city employees is proving more popular than officials had expected.

Austin last year became the first Texas city to offer paid leave to its employees to care for a newborn or a newly adopted or foster child.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the city paid out about $691,000 in the program's first seven months. That's more than double the amount the city expected to pay for the entire year.

City officials expected 60 employees to take the paid maternity or paternity leave. In the first seven months, 162 parents took time off work.