What kind of child care is available?

In Texas, child care can be broken down into the following types of operations:

Day Care Centers

Licensed Child-Care Centers

Licensed Child-Care Centers provide care for seven or more children under 14 years old for less than 24 hours per day at a location other than the permit holder's home. All types of licensed facilities have published standards they are required to follow and are routinely monitored and inspected. The application process requires that the licensed operation provider receive orientation and background checks are conducted. A license is issued after licensing staff completes on-site inspection(s) to ensure minimum standards are met. Licensed facilities are inspected at least once every 12 months and to investigate reports alleging violations of standards or child abuse/neglect. Licensed Facilities include day care and 24 hour residential care.

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Day Care Homes

Licensed Child Care Homes

Licensed Child Care Homes provide care for less than 24 hours per day for 7-12 children under 14 years old in the permit holder’s own home. All types of licensed facilities have published standards they are required to follow and are routinely monitored and inspected. The application process requires that the licensed operation provider receive orientation and background checks are conducted. A license is issued after licensing staff completes on-site inspection(s) to ensure minimum standards are met. Licensed facilities are inspected at least once every 12 months and to investigate reports alleging violations of standards or child abuse/neglect. Licensed Facilities include day care and 24 hour residential care.

Registered Child Care Homes

Registered Child Care Homes provide care in the caregiver's home for up to six children under age 14; they may also take in up to six more school-age children. The number of children allowed in a home is determined by the ages of the children. No more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children of the caregiver. The application process requires that a registered child care home provider complete an orientation class and receive clearances on background checks. A registration certificate is issued after licensing staff completes an on-site inspection to ensure minimum standards are met. Registered homes are inspected every 1-2 years and to investigate reports alleging violations of standards or child abuse/neglect.

Listed Family Homes

People who must list with the division are those who are compensated to provide regular child care (at least four hours per day, three or more days a week, for three or more consecutive weeks or four hours a day for 40 or more days in a 12 month period) in their own homes for 1-3 unrelated children. After receipt of an application and licensing background check clearances, an Issuance Letter is issued. The listed family home caregiver must be at least 18 years old. However, there are no minimum standards, orientation or training requirements for listed homes. They are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child abuse/neglect, an immediate risk of danger to the health or safety of a child, and/or if providing child care subject to regulation.

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24-hour Residential Care

General Residential Operations provide 24-hour care for 13 or more children under 18 years old and may offer programmatic services such as transitional living or emergency care or may offer treatment services such as for emotional disorders or primary medical needs. Residential Treatment Centers are a subset of General Residential Operations that serve only children needing treatment services for emotional disorders.

Child Placing Agencies are persons or organizations other than a child's natural parent or guardian who plan for placement of a child or place a child in a child care operation, foster home or adoptive home.

Foster Family Homes provide 24-hour care for 6 or fewer children under 18 years old.

Foster Group Homes provide 24-hour care for 7 to 12 children under 18 years old.

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