Three and One

Why We Regulate

The agency’s Child-Care Licensing (CCL) division is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and well-being of children who attend or live in regulated child-care operations and homes. Using the process set by Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code, we develop minimum standards for regulated operations and homes as well as policies and procedures for enforcing those minimum standards.

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

CCL staff conducts inspections to home and center-based operations to determine if they meet minimum standards and licensing laws. Every licensed operation must be inspected at least once every 12 months, and at a minimum one inspection per year must be unannounced. Other inspections may be announced or unannounced. Every home-based operation must be inspected once every two years. At least one inspection every two years must be unannounced.

We inspect operations based on their ability to comply with licensing standards, rules and law. The frequency of inspections is determined by the following criteria: 

  1. Type and number of deficiencies an operation had in the past
  2. Weight assigned to the standard found deficient
  3. How often deficiencies are found and whether they are repeated
  4. Scope and severity of the deficiencies, such as the ages and numbers of children affected by the deficiency and the role and number of staff contributing to the deficiency
  5. Treatment and programming for children (24-hour residential care only)

We complete an inspection form or letter when we do an inspection that lists deficiencies along with the standards, rules, and law. Licensed child care centerd, 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. These operations can request an administrative review if they disagree with our findings.

Licensing staff does follow-up inspections to make sure operations correct their deficiencies. CCL may take (remedial) action against an operation if it fails to correct deficiencies in a timely manner, repeats or has a pattern of deficiencies, or the violations threaten the health and safety of children. These actions can include putting the operation on evaluation or probation, or suspending or revoking a permit to operate.


In addition to routine inspections, our trained Licensing staffmembers  investigate reports that allege violations of the law or minimum standards.  The type and scope of each investigation may vary 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

Licensing staff provides training and professional development for staff of licensed and registered operations. Examples of topics covered include:

  • Meeting child care minimum standards.
  • Record keeping.
  • Child health and safety.
  • Nutrition.
  • Appropriate activities for children of different ages.
  • Child guidance and discipline.

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

Information and Referral