Do children younger than 8 years old or less than 4' 9" need to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system? *Updated

Yes, Texas law requires children younger than 8 years old or less than 4' 9" to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system. This change in state law went into effect September 1, 2009.

  • Passenger vehicles, including 15 passenger vans, require seat belts and child safety restraints, plus booster seats for children aged 5-7, unless a child is 4”9”.
  • Buses over 10,000 pounds do not require booster seats for children aged 5-7.
What type of individual storage space must I have for children?
§746.4505 requires individual adequate storage space for each child’s personal belongings. This may be separate hooks, shelves, lockers, or cubicles. Other ideas for storage space include laundry baskets, buckets, carpet squares or placemats on a floor or table. Individual storage space encourages children to organize and be responsible for their personal possessions and offers children a sense of belonging when they can recognize the space as their own. Providing separate space for personal belongings also reduces the spread of lice, scabies and ringworm, which are the most common diseases spread in child care settings.
Will backpacks comply with the requirement for individual storage space for children?
Individual backpacks laid out in a way that children can easily identify their own belongings may comply; however, you should also consider where these children would store a coat, art project, or sports equipment that does not fit into a backpack. Adequate storage would include individual space to accommodate all of a child’s personal belongings.
Do baby monitors comply with the minimum standard for supervision?
Auditory awareness is only one component of the standard §746.1205, requiring supervision at all times. You must consider the ages of the children, their individual differences and abilities, the layout of the building and other hazards or risks. You must also have physical proximity to the children in your care and must intervene when necessary to ensure children’s safety. The use of the baby monitor would depend on each of these variables.
Does a “listed” phone number have to be in the local phone book or only listed in the enrollment agreement I provide to parents?
For purposes of this minimum standard, §746.4507, a listed telephone number is referring to a telephone number that may be obtained from directory assistance by a parent or other person wishing to contact the child-care center.
Can I operate a licensed child-care center in my home?
After September 1, 2003, operations licensed as a child-care center must provide care at a location other than the caregiver’s own home. To be considered as operating in a location other than the caregiver’s own home, the location where care is being provided must be at a different address from the permit holder’s residence. (§746.107)
Can purchased curriculums be used to earn annual training hours?

Using a purchased curriculum (that includes activities for each day, a monthly calendar, and classroom tools and activities for teaching basic concepts) designed for use with children would not be acceptable training for caregivers unless the training materials also include self-instructional materials designed for the adult caregiver.

In order for training to be counted toward annual training requirements, you must ensure the training meets criteria specified in §746.1317. If the purchased curriculum meets these criteria, then it may be counted toward annual training requirements as self-instructional training.

Why are there two different “recipes” for a self-made disinfecting solution?

The disinfection process uses chemicals (or hot water) that are stronger than soap and water, to kill germs and therefore prevent the spread of disease. Disinfection usually requires soaking or drenching the item for several minutes to give the chemical time to kill the remaining germs. §746.3411 lists a weaker self-made disinfecting solution (One tablespoon of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water) to be used on those items which children routinely place in their mouth. The weaker solution is adequate to kill most infectious germs if the proper steps are followed; however, the residue is nontoxic to children.

Toxic cleaners should not be used on surfaces likely to be mouthed by children. §746.4311 lists a stronger self-made disinfecting solution (One quarter cup of bleach to one gallon of water) for disinfecting surfaces, which children do not routinely mouth, but nevertheless carry a significant number of germs such as changing tables, door knobs, floors, bathrooms, low shelving and other surfaces touched by children wearing diapers. After soaking for 10 minutes with this stronger self-made or a commercial disinfecting solution, if the surface is likely to be mouthed by children, it should be thoroughly wiped with a fresh towel moistened with tap water.
How many hours of ongoing training do I need to obtain annually as a child care center director?
ISenate Bill 260, which passed during the 82nd legislature, increased the annual training requirements for licensed child care centers, before and after school programs, and licensed and registered child care homes.  Licensed Child Care Center directors must now obtain 30 clock hours of training annually.  Directors hired before September 1, 2011, will continue to follow current annual training requirements (20 hours) for a training year that ends on or before August 31, 2012.  For training years that will end on or after September 1, 2012, the new number of hours will be required. Minimum standards will be updated to reflect this change in annual training requirements.
How many hours of ongoing training do my child care center employees need to obtain annually?
Senate Bill 260, which passed during the 82nd legislature, increased the annual training requirements for licensed child care centers, before and after school programs, and licensed and registered child care homes.  Licensed Child Care Center employees must now obtain 24 clock hours of training annually.  Employees hired before September 1, 2011, will continue to follow current annual training requirements (15 hours) for a training year that ends on or before August 31, 2012.  For training years that will end on or after September 1, 2012, the new number of hours will be required.  Minimum standards will be updated to reflect this change in annual training requirements.
Can I count pre-service training as annual clock hours for my caregivers if taken for a refresher course?
In §746.1301, the annual training hours are exclusive of the pre-service training requirements. Pre-service training is meant to provide a caregiver with a basic understanding of children and how to work with them, before being given responsibility for a group. In most cases, a caregiver who has been in the classroom will not benefit from this basic level of training. Annual training hours build on this basic foundation and provide an opportunity for a caregiver to learn new techniques or develop specific skills. Training topics are similar for both pre-service training and annual training requirements; however, the content for annual training should build on what was learned during pre-service training.
Our child-care center is located in the church building and the church secretary answers the telephone for us. Do we need to have a separate listed number for the child-care center?
If the child-care center shares a telephone with the church or school and does not have its own listed telephone number, child-care center employees must have access to a telephone located in the same building for use in an emergency and where a person is available to receive incoming calls, transmit messages immediately, and make outgoing calls. Generally, parents will know the name of the church or school their children are attending and there is typically a listed telephone number for this location. If a cellular phone is being used as the child-care center telephone, the phone number should be listed with directory assistance so parents and others may reach the child-care center.
How can I release training records to my employees who no longer work for me and also keep these records in my files for three months after the employee leaves?
§746.907 requires you keep all records for at least three months after an employee’s last day on the job, with the exception of annual training records. Training records for the last full training year and current year are to be maintained on current directors and caregivers. Persons no longer employed at the center are not considered current employees. This allows an employer to release original training certificates to an exiting employee, if they choose to. Caregivers moving to a new position in child-care may be able to use these certificates according to §746.1323 and §746.1039.
As a child-care center director, why can’t I obtain credit toward my annual training hours by training others?

§746.1311 states training hours may not be earned for presenting training to others. Training others does not satisfy the purpose of obtaining training, which is to learn the newest techniques for dealing with children, learn the latest findings in what children need and how they develop, and to refresh and energize skills.

Training that you attend to learn new information (which you may share with others at a later date) is acceptable annual training, if it complies with §746.1311 and §746.1317.