Once you pick a child care center or home, it's important to stay involved. That's the best ways to make sure your child is happy, safe, learning and developing.
30-second TV spot - Parent and Child Role Reversal [transcript]
- 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 adjusting the new environment.
- 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 your child’s health or safety as soon as possible.
- Call the Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400) is you suspect a child has been abused or neglected in child care center or home. 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 a report in good faith from legal liability.
- If you think that a child care center or home is illegal (operating without a state license or permit), you should report that too. Again, call the hotline at 1-800-252-5400
If you have more general concerns, call your local Child Care Licensing office or the statewide Child Care Information Line at 1-800-862-5252.
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 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 www.TxAbuseHotline.org
- Telling your family and friends about the benefits of regulated care.