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Find Regulated Child Care Near You
Questions to ask when choosing your day care
- May I see your DFPS permit or letter to operate?
- What do you like the most/least about caring for children?
- What is the typical day like for a child in your care?
- How much TV do you let children watch?
- How do you discipline children?
- How do you handle nap times? How do you handle diaper changing or toilet training?
- What types of play or learning activities do you offer for my child?
- Are you trained in CPR and First Aid?
- What other training have you and your staff had?
- How will you let me know about my child’s progress or concerns?
- What types of foods do you serve for meals and snacks?
- Are children ever transported?
- Do you use seatbelts or car seats?
- How do you handle weather or other emergencies?
Sample questions courtesy of Lesia Oesterreich, Iowa State University.
Your choice of child care has a huge affect on your child. While it can’t replace a parent’s love and attention, quality child care can help your child develop language skills, social skills, and self-esteem. So, don’t be in the dark about child care. Find out the facts before entrusting your child to someone else.
Always Choose Regulated Day Care!
Unregulated child care may be convenient and affordable but it leaves you and your child in the dark. Unregulated care means no inspections, no training, no one enforcing basic health and safety standards, and no record for you to check. Don’t be in the dark about child care. Find regulated child care and check its inspection record at txchildcaresearch.org. Day care centers and homes are regulated by the Child Care Licensing (CCL) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). CCL sets minimum standards and rules to ensure the health and safety of children in day care, and issues a license, a registration, or a listing to various types of day care operations. Some types of child care are inspected regularly and others only if there is a complaint. Find out about the types of care, minimum standards, and other rules on the Information for Parents section of the Child Care Licensing website.
Looking for Day Care
- Find the Right Fit for your child. Look for features that will help your child thrive. Consider the caregiver’s education, experience, and training, as well as the size of the group and setting.
- Research your options. Learn about licensed and registered child care at txchildcaresearch.org. There you will find the results of CCL inspections and details about the operation. Ask friends, family, and other parents if they can recommend child caregivers.
How would you feel to be there all day?
- Check them out in person. Once you narrow your list, visit each child care operation while children are there. See what activities are done, how the caregiver interacts with children, and how the children like it there. Take your child to visit the center or home. Read the results of the last inspection at txchildcaresearch.org to see if they comply with minimum standards.
- Meet the caregiver or director. Discuss your concerns and make sure you are happy with their answers. Return unannounced for a second look.
Stay Involved in Your Child’s Care
- Keep talking with the caregiver. Ask to see weekly activity plans and menus. Ask how your child is behaving, getting along with others, making progress, and if your child is having difficulty adjusting.
- Keep talking to your children. Ask them how the day went, what they did, who they saw, or if anything special happened. If your child doesn’t want to go back - find out why and follow up with the caregiver.
Report your concerns. Report anything that may affect a child’s health or safety as soon as possible.
- Report child abuse or neglect or illegal day care to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. The hotline is open all day, every day of the year. For emergencies call 9-1-1 or your local police. The law protects people who make reports in good faith from legal liability.
- If you have more general concerns, call your local CCL office or our statewide child-care information line at 1-800-862-5252. Local offices are listed at Local Child Care Licensing Offices.
How would you feel to be there all day?
Put yourself in your child’s place. [watch video]