Find Child Care

How To Pick Child Care

Don't blindly pick a daycare. Always use to find state-regulated child care.

30-second TV spot - "Blindfold" [transcript]

Texas Child Care Search is the state's database of regulated child care that helps you find child care in your area. It also puts each child care's records at your fingertips so you can compare how well they meet state standards.

Your choice of child care has a huge effect on your child. So, don’t be in the dark about child care. Get the facts before putting your child in someone else's hands.

  • 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.
  • Do your Homework
    Learn about licensed and registered child care at There you'll find the results of CCL inspections and details about the operation. Ask friends, family, and other parents if they can recommend a caregiver.
  • Check Them Out
    Once you have a short list, visit each child care center or home while children are there. Check out their activities, how the caregiver interacts with children, and how the children like it there. Take your child to visit the center or home to see how she or she likes it. Read the results of the last inspection at 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. Drop by later without an appointment for a second look.
  • Put yourself in your child's shoes.
  • Would you like to spend your day at this daycare? Does your child seem to like it?

Stop Illegal Child care

Most illegal child care is provided in homes by a single caregiver. Often they don't know they're breaking the law but they may be putting children at risk.

Illegal child care means no background checks, no inspections, no training, no one enforcing basic health and safety standards, and no record for you to check. Illegal child care is generally less safe than legal child care. A person providing child care without a permit may be fined up to $150 each day they are in violation of the law and/or may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

Texas Child Care Licensing (CCL) sets standards to protect the health and safety of children in child care and issues licenses or permits to various types of child care operations. CCL inspects some types of child care regularly and others only if there is a complaint. However, it requires background checks for all child care centers and homes.

You can help crack down on illegal child care by:

  • Urging people who want to be child care providers to learn how on the DPFS website.
  • Reporting illegal child care at 1-800-252-5400 or
  • Telling your family and friends about the benefits of regulated care.