Three and One

Why We Regulate

We protect the health, safety, and well-being of children who attend or live in regulated child-care operations and homes. We develop minimum standards for regulated operations and homes as well as policies and procedures for making sure those minimum standards are followed, based on Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code.

We provide technical assistance, training, and consultation to child-care providers, and educate the public on selecting and improving child care services.

Who We Regulate

See Guide to Child Care in Texas - What kinds of child care are available?

How We Regulate

Inspections for Registered and Licensed Operations

We inspect home and center-based operations and evaluate the  minimum standards and licensing laws. When a violation of the minimum standards or law is observed we cite a deficiency and notify the operation in writing.

We inspect every licensed operation at least once every 12 months and every home-based operation at least once every two years.

We inspect operations based on their ability to comply with licensing standards, rules and law. The number of times we inspect is decided by the following: 

  1. Type and number of violations an operation had in the past.
  2.  The level of risk to children associated with the violation. How often violations are found and whether they are repeated.
  3. Additional factors like the ages and numbers of children affected by the deficiency and the role and number of staff who caused or created the violation.
  4. Treatment and programming for children (24-hour residential care only.)

We complete an inspection form after every inspection. This form will list the violations found at the operation along with the minimum standards, rules and laws for each of those violations. Licensed child care centers, school-age programs, before or after-school programs, licensed child care homes, and registered child care homes must keep the most recent letter or form posted in view of the public. The operation can request an administrative review if they disagree with our findings.

We complete follow-up inspections to make sure operations correct their violations. We may take additional action, such as placing an operation on corrective action, suspending or revoking a permit if the operation does not correct violations in a timely manner, repeats the same violations, or the violations threaten the health and safety of children.


Besides routine inspections, we investigate reports of violations of minimum standards or law. We also investigate operations  that may be providing child care without the  a permit. These operations are called unregulated or illegal operations. Our investigators search for operations in child care advertisements and other free media sources and investigate them. The type and scope of each investigation is based on the information received in the report. The goal of all investigations is to reduce risk to children and prevent further harm.

To report child abuse or neglect that occurred in Texas, call 1-800-252-5400 or use our secure website: 

Technical Assistance and Training

We offer technical assistance to potential and current child care operations and parents during pre-application orientation sessions, inspections, investigations, and community outreach activities. Areas of frequent technical assistance include:

  • Meeting child care minimum standards.
  • Safe Sleep environments for children.
  • Child guidance and discipline.
  • Transportation and Water safety.
  • Child Health and Safety.

Contact your local licensing office to find out more about specific training offered in your area.

Information and Referral