Reporting Daycare Injuries in TexasTexas Daycare Abuse and Neglect Statistics

Nearly 1 million Texas children attend licensed daycare centers, according to the most recent report from Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Hundreds of thousands of working parents across the state of Texas rely on daycare centers to care for and protect their children each workday. If Texas is like the rest of the country, where the number of working mothers with children under 18 years old has increased to 72.9%, according to a 2022 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, then moms in the Lone Star State are growing more dependent on daycare help for their children, too.

Infants and toddlers spend substantial periods of time under the care and supervision of entrusted daycare workers at one of the 8,058 licensed daycare centers in the state. Sadly, some of the childcare facilities are negligent and cut corners when it comes to the safety and well-being of Texas children. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported 1,746 daycare abuse or neglect investigations opened during fiscal year 2022. Of those investigations, the state agency identified 2,594 illegal operations, and 18.3% of the investigations resulted in a high risk finding.

If your child was harmed or seriously injured at a daycare center in Texas, what do you do and where do you turn? In this article, our Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm break down the steps and provide important resources—all in one place—to make it easier for you to report these traumatic incidents and get your child the help they need to move forward. 

Who Do I Report Daycare Abuse and Neglect to in Texas?

It is important to report all child daycare center incidents, regardless of whether you believe the incident appears big or small. State law protects people who make a report in good faith from legal liability.

With multiple state agencies involved in investigating child daycare abuse and neglect, it can be difficult to know who to call if your child has been injured at a Texas daycare center. Start here:

  1. Report child daycare abuse and neglect or daycare safety violations to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). This state agency is the central place to make sure your report is referred to the appropriate agency or investigator. However, there are different procedures for reporting incidents depending on the severity of your child’s situation.

If your child’s situation needs to be investigated within 24 hours, you should report the incident by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Urgent situations include some of the following scenarios:

  • A child 5 years or younger was physically harmed
  • A child 5 years or younger was left alone or is likely to be neglected in the next 24 hours
  • A child sustained serious physical injuries
  • There were instances of sexual abuse
  • Anytime you believe the situation requires immediate attention

In non-critical circumstances, you can report the daycare injury incident or violation online at Note that it can take 48 hours or more for an online incident report to be processed.

  1. Contact the Police to Report Daycare Abuse

The police or local law enforcement should also be contacted if your child is physically hurt or abused at a Texas daycare center. Police and law enforcement investigate allegations of violations of criminal law, which can include child daycare crimes such as hitting, slapping, striking, or sexual abuse.

Any alleged crime involving children is considered serious. Contacting the police or local law enforcement in instances of physical injury or abuse can help properly investigate the daycare center and the person or people responsible for your child’s injuries. 

Reporting incidents is important because sometimes daycare centers have a history of violations that need to be addressed, or an investigation may uncover additional unreported issues compromising the safety of children. Even if the incident seems minor, a record of the incident and investigation can help ensure the daycare center is providing a safe environment for all children. If you do not live in Texas, our daycare injury attorneys have created this resource that lists daycare injury reporting procedures by state.

What Information Will They Ask for When Reporting Incidents of Daycare Abuse or Neglect?

When reporting a daycare incident in Texas, you will be asked to provide some of the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your relationship to the child
  • Brief description of the situation and injury
  • The name and address of the daycare center
  • The name of the person or people you suspect responsible for the abuse, neglect, or safety violation.

In Texas, DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential, so you will not need to worry about your information becoming public or known by the daycare center.

When Should I File a Report If I Suspect My Child Was Abused or Neglected at a Daycare Center in Texas?

It is critical to report child daycare abuse, neglect, or injuries as quickly as possible so that local law enforcement or state investigators can investigate your incident quickly and protect all children attending the daycare center.

We’ve written about different types of child daycare abuse and neglect that can be reported here.

Should I Remove My Child from a Texas Daycare Center After Filing an Abuse Report?

Yes, we recommend that parents find a new childcare center, even if it is a temporary solution, after filing a daycare abuse report. You can read more about why we suggest you remove your child from a negligent facility here.  

Who Regulates and Investigates Daycare Abuse and Neglect Reports in Texas?

In Texas, licensed daycare centers are required to maintain a healthy and safe environment for children. The Texas Child Care Licensing division of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for issuing daycare center permits and enforcing the rules governing Texas daycare centers. These rules are known as the minimum standards and are intended to ensure safe environments for children. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is generally responsible for investigating reports of child abuse, neglect, or unsafe daycare environments. Finally, police and local law enforcement investigate allegations of criminal violations.

Should I Contact a Daycare Injury Attorney?

If your child has been injured while at a Texas daycare center, our knowledgeable and experienced Texas daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm are ready to listen, investigate and hold the negligent daycare center accountable. It’s best to gather and preserve evidence as soon as possible in a potential case. Our Texas daycare injury attorneys are experienced in preserving and obtaining evidence from negligent and evasive daycare centers. Also, there is a two-year limit for filing a daycare injury lawsuit in Texas. Contact The Button Law Firm today so we can investigate your case and determine if your child’s daycare should be accountable.

The Button Law Firms investigates and pursues daycare injury cases in cities across Texas including Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, Midland, and San Antonio. Reach out to our experienced Texas daycare injury lawyers by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form.

The Button Law Firm has been successful in holding negligent daycare centers accountable and obtaining compensation to help families recover. We have been successful in recovering some of the following damages after a daycare injury:

How The Button Law Firm Helps Your Child After a Daycare Injury

A daycare injury can create significant physical and emotional trauma for your child and can cause stress for you as a parent. It is important to retain an attorney like our experienced and compassionate daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm as soon as possible. Let us take some of the stress off your shoulders. We can guide you through the recovery process after your child’s injury at a Texas daycare center. Our team is recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or email us at [email protected]. You can also fill out a contact form for a free consultation. You should not have to deal with a negligent daycare center alone.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.