Are you asking the right questions?
If you are wondering how to find out if your child’s daycare facility is licensed, then you are asking the right questions! The answer is not as simple as you might think. Whether a facility is licensed depends on many different factors. For example, does the facility have to be licensed? You may have also come across websites or information when interviewing child care facilities that have told you that their facility is “accredited.” This likely has you wondering what does accreditation mean and how is it different from being licensed? Which is better?
This article will go over some basic questions and answers that you have as a parent looking for the right daycare facility.
Why be licensed?
Who has to be licensed? – You might be surprised to find out that not every person or center who cares for children as their job has to be licensed by Texas. The Department of Family and Protective Services has a licensing division that is responsible for regulating child-care facilities in Texas.
Center-based care that provides care for seven or more children for less 24 hours in a day at a location other than the caregiver’s home, must be licensed by the State of Texas.
Home-based care that provides care for no more than 12 children, including the caregiver’s own children, at their own residence, must be licensed by the State of Texas.
The Department of Family and Protective Services Licensing Division offers a quick search feature to locate licensed child-care facilities in your area.
Why be registered?
Who has to be registered? And how does registering differ from licensing? – You may have found a facility that says its “registered,” and you are wondering what that means. Again, you are asking the right questions!
Home-based care that provides care for four to six children, plus six additional school-aged children, in their own residence must be registered with the State of Texas.
The registration process requires the provider to apply to the State of Texas, undergo an on-site inspection, complete an orientation class, and achieve clearances on background checks. The difference between licensing and registering is the amount of state involvement in regulating the facility. Typically, registration relies more heavily on self-monitoring and parental-monitoring. Facilities that are just registered have less children they are caring for.
Who must be listed?
Who has to be listed? How does being listed differ from being licensed or registered? Finally, the last level of state regulation involves child care “listing.”
Home-based child care that provides care for three or fewer children at a time, at the residence of the provider must “list” themselves with the State of Texas. The total number of children in care of the provider, including provider’s own children, must not be more than 12.
A listed child care provider ensures that background checks have been conducted on the individual provider and all residents or people that come in and out of the home while the children are being cared for. Listing does not require that the provider have any level or education or training, only that the caregivers are over the age of 18. Listed homes are not subject to regular inspections and will only be investigated after a report of abuse or neglect.
What does it mean when they are accredited?
What is an accreditation? There is a difference between being licensed and being accredited. Licensing is done by the State of Texas. Accreditation is given by private organizations that require certain standards, typically above what is necessary to receive a license. There are many different accrediting organizations nationwide with varying standards or accreditation. You should always ask if the facility is accredited, and if so, by which organization. After you have the organizations name, you can do some background research into the standards that needed to be met in order to receive that accreditation.
We hope this information was helpful and provided some guidance to parents out there wondering what to look for when it comes to licensing of daycare facilities. There are many resources online and we encourage you to utilize the Texas State Department’s website when searching for the right facility for your child.
Far too often, children are left in the care of daycare facilities that are in violation of the law and are not meeting Texas’ minimum requirements to legally care for children. Before putting your child in the hands of someone else, make sure to gather some clarity on whether the facilities you’re considering are doing what they are supposed to.
We provide a lot of information on daycare cases so that you can be informed to select a safe daycare. However, if something happens at the daycare facility, we are here to help bring closure and guide you through that process. If you need to read more free information on daycare cases or daycare requirements, check out our other daycare articles. If you want to know more about injury cases in Texas, download a copy of Russell's free book called The Essential Guide For Your Texas Injury Case. It is absolutely free and no strings attached. Download it here.