An intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission by someone working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the operation. See the Texas Family Code, §261.401(a)(1) and DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, §§745.8553 and 745.8557.

Administrative Review       

An informal review meant to give certain individuals or operations the opportunity to dispute a specific Licensing decision or action.

Adverse Actions

A type of remedial action that Licensing may impose to address a deficiency. This action may require closure of an operation or the addition of permanent restrictions or conditions to a permit. The four types of adverse actions are - denial, adverse amendment, suspension, and revocation.

Application Process

The application process for licensed and registered operations involves a pre-application interview, inquiry meeting, or orientation; the submission of the application materials; public notice and hearing requirements for residential child-care operations; reviewing the application for compliance with minimum standards, rules and statutes; accepting the application as completed or returning it if incomplete; and the decision to issue or deny.  Listed homes are not required to attend a pre-application interview or orientation.

Background Checks

Searches of different databases that are conducted on an individual. There are three types of background checks: criminal history checks conducted by the Department of Public Safety for crimes committed in the State of Texas, criminal history checks conducted by the FBI for crimes committed anywhere in the U.S., and central registry checks conducted by DFPS. The central registry is a database of people who have been found by Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, or Licensing to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult. Background checks are conducted on child care providers, foster and adoptive parents (and their household members), and child-placing staff.  Background checks are also conducted on employees at licensed operations as well as at registered and listed family homes. Rules are in place to dictate which types of background checks are required of each person.  For more information about these requirements, see 40 Texas Administrative Code §.745.615.

Before or After-school Program

A type of licensed center that provides care before or after or before and after the customary school day and during school holidays, for at least two hours a day, three days a week, to children who attend pre-kindergarten through grade six.


The maximum number of children that a permit holder may care for at one time.

Care Types

The type of care offered by a licensed center or general residential operation based on the months, days, and hours of operation, the ages of the children in care, or the services provided. Care types for Licensed Centers include Child Care Program, Before or After School Program, and School Age Program.  Care types for General Residential Operations include Child Care Services Only, Emergency Care Services Only, Multiple Services, or Residential Treatment Center. This information reflects the law that was in effect through August 31, 2011. 


A person whose duties include the supervision, guidance, and protection of a child or children.

Central Registry

A subset of data within the IMPACT system of people who have been found by CPS, APS, or CCL to have abused or neglected a child or vulnerable adult. 

Child-Care Administrator

A person who supervises and exercises direct control over a general residential child-care operation, and who is responsible for the operation’s program and personnel, regardless of whether he or she has an ownership interest in the operation or shares duties with anyone.

Child-Care Facility

An establishment subject to regulation by Licensing that provides assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility, for all or part of the 24-hour day, whether or not the establishment operates for profit or charges for its services. A child-care facility includes the people, administration, governing body, activities on or off the premises, operations, buildings, grounds, equipment, furnishings, and materials.

Child Care Licensing (CCL)

The division within DFPS that regulates child day care operations, residential child-care operations, other child-care activities, and the licensing of child-care administrators and child-placing agency administrators.

Child Care Licensing Law

Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code.


Child Care Licensing Automation Support System. A case-management computer application used by DFPS licensing staff and is the system of record for many licensing activities, including non-abuse/neglect investigations.

Complete Application

A packet of materials submitted by an applicant that contains all of the documentation required to apply for a permit.

Corrective Action

A type of remedial action that Licensing may impose to help an operation improve compliance without requiring it to close. The two types of corrective actions include evaluation and probation. Corrective actions are not imposed on listed family homes.


Any failure to comply with a minimum standard rule, law, specific terms associated with a permit, or condition of a remedial action. Also referred to as a violation.


An adult designated to have daily, on-site responsibility for a licensed day care facility, including maintaining compliance with the minimum standards and licensing laws.


An electronic version of the application for a permit to operate a child-care operation.


A type of corrective action in which a corrective action plan is imposed that may include conditions beyond the minimum standard rules and the basic permit requirements. During the evaluation period, inspections are conducted more frequently to assist the operation in meeting conditions, improving compliance, and assessing risk to children in care.

Exempt from Regulation

Certain facilities or programs can operate legally without receiving a permit from Licensing. A facility or program exempt from regulation is not required to comply with Licensing’s statutes and rules.

Follow-Up Inspection

Inspections that include evaluating individual standards, conditions, or restrictions, rather than evaluating an entire subchapter of minimum standards

Illegal Operation

An operation that provides child care that is subject to regulation, but does not have a permit.


Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas, a case-management computer application used by DFPS staff.  IMPACT is the statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) for Texas.  IMPACT is the system of record for all DFPS abuse/neglect investigations.  


The physical presence of licensing staff at an operation to determine an operation’s compliance with the child-care licensing law and DFPS rules. Inspection Types: Monitoring, Investigation, Follow-up, Other, and Sampling. See specific definitions in this section.


An action conducted by licensing staff when a report is received alleging a violation of the minimum standards/law or abuse/neglect.  An investigation is conducted to determine the validity of the allegations and to ensure the protection of children in care.

Investigation Inspection

Inspections that include the investigation of reports alleging abuse, neglect, violation of the law, violations of administrative rule, minimum standard rules, or a combination of these


The Licensing division issues a permit to an operation after it determines that an operation or home has met minimum standards and is approved to operate as a child-care operation.

Licensed Child-Care Center (LCCC)

An operation providing care for seven or more children under age 14 for less than 24 hours per day at a location other than the permit holder’s home. A licensed center may also be referred to as a daycare center and includes the care types Child Care Program, Before or After-School Program, and School-Age Program.

Licensed Child-Care Home

A child day-care operation that is licensed.  The primary caregiver provides care in the caregiver’s own residence for children from birth through age 13. The total number of children in care varies with the ages of the children, but the total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12.

Listed Family Home

Listed Family Homes provide child care on a regular basis (at least 4 hours per day, 3 or more days a week, for 3 or more consecutive weeks) for one to three unrelated children. The total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12.  Care is provided in the caregiver’s home. Providers are required to go through an application process that includes a criminal background check and issuance of a certificate.  Listed family home providers must be at least 18 years old. However, there are no orientation classes or training requirements for listed family homes.  Until 9/1/2011, listed family homes currently were not routinely inspected; however, reports alleging more than 3 children are in care or reports alleging abuse or neglect of children in care were investigated by CCL.

Maternity Home

A licensed operation that provides care for four or more minor and/or adult women and their children during pregnancy and/or during the six-week postpartum period.  Senate Bill 1178 (82nd Legislature) made changes to the statutes to delete references to and definitions of maternity homes as a facility licensed and regulated by the Department of Family and Protective Services.  This was effective 9/1/2012.

Minimum Standard Rules

 The rules from Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code which serve as the minimum requirements that a permit holder must meet to maintain their permit and which are enforced by DFPS to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children. These include all rules in 40 TAC Chapters 743, 744, 746, 747, 748, 749, and 750.

Monetary Actions

A type of remedial action. These actions are fines or penalties that Licensing may impose as provided by the Human Resources Code, §42.075 and §42.078. There are two types of monetary actions - administrative penalties and civil penalties.

Monitoring Frequency

The interval between routine inspections at a child-care operation.  The Licensing division determines how frequently to inspect an operation based on risk assessment factors focused on the health, safety, and well-being of children in care.

Monitoring Inspection

Inspections that include evaluation of at least one entire subchapter of the applicable minimum standards and may include evaluation of additional individual laws, administrative rules, or minimum standard rules, or any conditions or restrictions.


Neglect is an act or omission that constitutes a breach of a duty by a person working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child. See the Texas Family Code §261.401, DFPS Rules, 40 TAC, §§745.8553, 745.8555, and 745.8559.


A person or entity offering a program that may be subject to regulation by Child Care Licensing. An operation includes the building and grounds where the program is offered, any person involved in providing the program, and any equipment used in providing the program. The term “operation” is used to refer to any entity providing child care and is usually accompanied by a qualifier to describe the type of care being referenced (for example, “illegal operation” or “daycare operation”).

Other Inspection

Inspections conducted for purposes other than determining compliance with pre-identified minimum standards.


A license, certificate, registration, listing or any other written authorization granted by Licensing to operate a child-care facility, child-placing agency, general residential operation, listed family home, registered home or maternity home. This also includes a Licensed Administrator’s permit.


A type of corrective action in which Licensing imposes a corrective action plan that is more restrictive and intense than an evaluation corrective action plan. It may include conditions beyond the requirements of the minimum standards and the basic permit requirements.  During the probationary period, inspections are conducted more frequently to assist the operation in meeting conditions, improving compliance, and assessing risk to children in care.


A person or entity associated with an operation. This term generally implies a degree of responsibility for the operation, and refers to applicants, operations that are subject to regulation, or permit holders.

Registered Child-Care Home

Registered Child Care Homes provide care in the caregiver’s home for up to 6 children under age 14, and may also take in six additional school-aged children before and/or after the customary school day. The number of children allowed in a home is determined by the ages of the children. No more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children of the caregiver. The application process requires that a provider complete an orientation class and receive clearances on background checks.  A registration certificate is issued after CCL staff completes an on-site inspection to ensure the provider is meeting minimum standards.  Registered homes are inspected by CCL at least once every 2 years or if a report is received related to child abuse/neglect or standards violations.

Remedial Actions

An action Licensing may impose if an operation is deficient in a minimum standard, rule, law, a specific term associated with the operation’s permit, or a condition of evaluation, probation, or suspension. There are four types of remedial actions: corrective, adverse, judicial, and monetary.


An expression of dissatisfaction or concern about an operation, made known to DFPS staff, that alleges a possible violation of minimum standards, rules, law, or abuse/neglect, and that involves potential risk to a child or children in care.


The person who reports to DFPS an expression of dissatisfaction or concern that alleges a possible violation of minimum standards, rules, law, or abuse/neglect, and that involves potential risk to a child or children in care.

School-Age Program

A licensed center that provides supervision along with recreation or skills instruction or training, and may provide transportation before or after the customary school day, for at least two hours a day, three days a week, to attending pre-kindergarten through grade six. A school-age program may also operate during school holidays, the summer period, or any other time when school is not in session.


An account from an operation of a serious incident that occurred at the operation. All regulated operations are required to make reports to Licensing about certain types of incidents that could pose a risk to children in care.

Small Employer Based Child-Care

A child-care facility that is operated by a small employer to provide care to not more than 12 children of the employer’s employees and is located on the employer’s premises. A “small employer” means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other legal entity that employs fewer than 100 full-time employees.


The State Office of Administrative Hearings is the state agency that conducts administrative hearings to satisfy a child-care provider’s rights to due process regarding either a substantiated finding of abuse/neglect or a remedial action.


A temporary closure of an operation that may be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary suspensions are usually at the request of an operation, and licensing staff must inspect the operation prior to reopening to ensure compliance with standards. Involuntary, or emergency, suspension is imposed by Licensing for a maximum of 30 days based on serious and immediate risk of harm to children. 

Team Inspections

Inspections that are conducted by at least two licensing staff. At least one of the unannounced annual inspections of a 24-hour residential child-care facility must be conducted by a team of at least two CCL monitoring staff.  Other operation types may also have team inspections. Whenever possible, members of the inspection team are from different CCL units, to facilitate objectivity, and consistency in regulation.

Technical Assistance

Training, information, and consultation that licensing staff offer to a permit holder, applicant, and operation employees to help them comply with the minimum standard rules and applicable law.

Temporary Shelter Care Providing Child Care

A child-care program at a temporary shelter, such as a family violence or homeless shelter, providing care for seven or more children under age 14 while the resident parent is away from the shelter. The child care program operates for at least four hours a day three days a week.  Temporary Shelter Care Providing Child Care Programs are issued a Certificate of Compliance.