After your application has been submitted, you may receive an information packet from Child Care Licensing. The contents of information packets vary by location but may include supplemental forms to complete the application process, as well as contact information for local Child Care Licensing staff.

To learn more about some of the things you will need to consider when applying to become a child care provider, please review the following links.

Types of Day Care [close]

Child Day Care Operations
Description of Operation

Listed family home

The primary caregiver:

  • is at least 18 years old
  • provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13
  • provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for more than three consecutive weeks
  • serves no more than three children who are unrelated to the caregiver
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including children who are related to the caregiver

Registered child-care home

The primary caregiver:

  • is at least 21 years old
  • provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13
  • provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for more than three consecutive weeks
  • provides care to no more than six children who are unrelated to the caregiver;
  • provides after-school care to no more than six additional elementary school children; and
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including children related to the caregiver.

Licensed child-care home

The primary caregiver:

  • is at least 21 years old;
  • provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home, for compensation;
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13;
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including the children related to the caregiver.

Child-care center

The operation:

  • provides care for seven or more children;
  • serves only children younger than age 14;
  • provides fewer than 24 hours of care per day; and
  • is located somewhere other than the permit holder’s home.

Application Checklist for Day Care Homes [close]

  • Meet the age qualifications to operate a Home Day Care: For a Listed Home, are you at least 18 years old? For a Registered Home/Licensed Home are you at least 21 years old?
  • Meet the education requirements to operate a Home Day Care: For a Registered/Licensed Home you need at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Review documentation on the different types of Home Day Care facilities to decide on what type of Home Day Care to provide: Listed Home, Registered Home, or Licensed Home.
  • Take the Pre-Application Course (either online or in person) and print your certificate.
  • Check with Landlords, Neighborhood Associations and City Ordinances for any restrictions on your property. Home-based day care operations are located in the caregiver's home, so be aware that your home will need to meet the applicable requirements.
  • Set up an online account with Child Care Licensing. (Be sure to keep your User ID and Password memorable and secure. Your password can later be changed, but your User ID is permanent.)
  • After you complete the online account registration, you will receive an e-mail back from DFPS. Click on the link within that e-mail to activate your account.
  • Login and submit your online application.
    Once your application has been received, Licensing will contact you to confirm receipt, provide you with your operation number (which will later become your permit number if you are granted a permit), and discuss next steps. Record the following information: Date of Contact, Licensing Representative Name, Licensing Representative Phone Number, and your Operation Number.
  • Send Fee Schedule (Form 2988) & payment to the Accounting Department. Be sure to include your operation number on your payment, and make a copy for your records.

    Listed Homes ($20 annual fee)
    Registered Homes ($35 application fee + $2/per background check)
    Licensed Homes ($35 application fee + $35 initial permit fee + $2/per background check)

  • Submit Background Checks for everyone over the age of 14 living in the home.

Licensing Law and Rules [close]

Licensing Requirements
Licensing regulates child-care operations under two main categories: child day care and residential child care. Child day care includes the care, supervision, training, or education of an unrelated child or children 13 years old or younger for less than 24 hours per day in a place other than the child’s own home. Residential child care includes the care, custody, supervision, assessment, training, education, or treatment of an unrelated child or children up to the age of 18 years for 24 hours a day that occurs in a place other than the child’s own home. Learn More

Illegal Operations
An operation that provides child care that is subject to regulation, but does not have a permit and is not in the process of applying for one is an illegal operation. Don't Be In The Dark About Child Care. Learn More AND Find § 42.076. CRIMINAL PENALTIES in the following publication

Background, Criminal History, Central Registry, and FBI Checks
Certain persons at child-care operations are required to complete a background check, which may include a DPS, Central Registry, and FBI check. Background checks must be completed prior to allowing a person to provide direct care or have direct access to children in care and every 24 months thereafter. If a person has a history of abuse or neglect or has a criminal history, then the person may be prohibited from being present at a child-care operation. Learn More

Listed Homes
People who must list are those who are compensated to provide regular child care in their own homes for 1-3 unrelated children. There are no Minimum Standard Rules for Listed Homes and the application process is simple. Note that they are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child care is offered subject to registration and reports of abuse or neglect are investigated

Minimum Standards
Child Care Licensing develops rules for child-care in Texas. Each set of Minimum Standards is based on a particular chapter of the Texas Administrative Code and the corresponding child-care operation permit type. The Minimum Standards are designed to mitigate risk for children in out-of-home care settings by providing basic requirements to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children in care. Learn More

Liability Insurance
Insurance coverage is an important protection for your business. Some operation permit types are not required to obtain proof of coverage before Licensing issues a permit. Learn More

Application Process and Administrative Procedures [close]

Application Materials
Your application form and fee are part of the application process. Your complete application packet includes other forms and documents. For example, a Plan of Operation/ Policies and Procedures is a key document part of the application materials for some licensed operations. It requires your time and attention. It is your written plan showing how you plan to comply with minimum standard rules. The plan needs to include information on, for example, person/s responsible for ensuring that the Minimum Standard Rules are in compliance at all times, the physical facility, activities and child/ caregiver ratio, safety, and sanitation.

Technical Assistance
Licensing staff will assist you every time you need it. Support will come in a variety of forms: at your initial orientation, at every inspection, over the phone, and on-line. We encourage the use of forms and documents created for you. Visit the on-line Technical Assistance Library. Learn More

Licensing Offices
Local Child Care Licensing offices provide information to prospective permit applicants, offer training and orientation services, and assist providers with questions about regulation. If you need assistance, contact your local office. Learn More

Fees
Licensing is required to charge fees for permits and for conducting background checks. The money from fees is deposited in the state’s general revenue fund. Fees may be charged as follows: non refundable application fee for initial license, Initial license fee, annual fee, which is due before a license is issued and on the anniversary date of the license, and fees for criminal history and central registry background checks, for example. Learn More

Application Inspection
Before issuing an initial or non-expiring permit, Licensing staff will conduct an inspection to ensure you and your operation comply with the applicable law and minimum standard rules. Licensing staff periodically inspects your operation to make sure it continues to meet minimum standards. Remember, Listed Homes are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child care is offered that is subject to registration and reports of abuse or neglect are investigated.

Compliance History
Information about your operation and its compliance history will be available on our public web site at www.txchildcaresearch.org. Families and placing agents wanting information about child-care operations in their areas will be able to access this information.

Other Requirements [close]

Zoning, building codes and other legal requirements
In some areas, you may need to meet zoning, building code, home owner association, and other requirements concerning the location and construction of the child-care operation. These are not licensing requirements, but you may have to meet them before local authorities will perform fire and sanitation inspections.

Vocabulary and Definitions
It is important you become familiar with frequently used definition of terms. These terms will help you read Minimum Standards, create your policies and procedures and/or plan of operation, and understand regulation. Learn More

More Information
The 'Frequently Asked Questions' page will help you find general topics and specific information on many topics. It helps providers and applicants review policies and learn about recent changes too.

Contact your local
Child Care Licensing office.

For additional information about the child care licensing application process, see the Applicant's Guide to Listed, Registered and Licensed Child Care .

We also invite you to click around on the Child Care Licensing website to find other relevant information and resources, such as the TA LibraryEmergency Preparedness information, and links to child safety public awareness campaigns.