Minimum standards for daycare centers in TexasBeing a first-time parent can feel overwhelming with the number of decisions you have to make. Choosing a daycare center is one of the most significant ways to create a good foundation for your child’s learning and future growth. In order to find a facility where your child will be safe and well cared for, it is important to understand the rules and regulations that daycare centers are required to follow, also known as the minimum standards.

The minimum standards are very thorough, covering every aspect of childcare. That is why our Texas daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm are breaking down the most important standards that parents need to know.

What Are the Top 5 Daycare Minimum Standards That Texas Parents Should Know?

A vast majority of serious injuries that children can experience at a daycare center are caused by unqualified caregivers and a lack of supervision. Thus, the primary daycare rules and regulations that parents should know include:

  1. Hiring Qualified Caregivers: Daycare centers have a responsibility to hire qualified workers. This means that the caregivers have passed background checks and completed annual training requirements. In addition, qualified caregivers are knowledgeable about the minimum standards and can mitigate safety risks to keep little ones safe. Unqualified caregivers can put children at a greater risk of being exposed to known allergens. They can drug children with Benadryl or melatonin to make them easier to control. And, when frustrated with little ones, they can inflict abusive treatment on children by using corporal discipline tactics. In addition, infants can be endangered when unqualified caregivers do not comply with safe sleep practices.
  2. Properly Supervising Children: The minimum standards dictate daycare workers maintain a close visual and audio awareness of each child under their watch. This means the caregivers can anticipate and respond quickly to safety risks. If a risk presents itself, such as a fall, bottle warmer burn, or finger injury, a little one can experience serious injuries that can have lifelong impacts on their health and quality of life. Proper supervision is also key to preventing curious toddlers from wandering out of a classroom and, ultimately, the daycare center. In the summer months, close supervision can also prevent deadly overheating incidents in daycare vans and buses.
  3. Maintaining Mandated Caregiver-to-Child Ratios: The key to ensuring that children are properly supervised is to operate classrooms with a limited number of children assigned to each teacher or caregiver. These ratios are determined by the age of the children to ensure they are not neglected and are less likely to get hurt at the daycare center. As you might expect, a room full of infants or toddlers requires more caregivers to meet the needs of these younger children at the daycare center.
  4. Emergency Preparedness: Lastly, daycare workers need to be prepared for any medical emergency, including how to spot red flags and how best to respond. For example, 1 in 13 children live with a food allergy, and severe reactions can escalate in a matter of seconds. That is why it is imperative that caregivers quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and respond appropriately by administering an EpiPen, or if and when other medications should be administered, and when to call 911. Emergency preparedness also covers how caregivers respond to a child’s fall injury, including spotting signs of a brain injury, and contacting emergency medical services as needed.
  5. Parental Notifications and Incident Reports: Daycare centers in Texas are required to notify parents when children are injured immediately following the incident. In addition, the center is required to complete an incident report that includes all of the details including what happened, what caregivers were present at the time, and how the daycare responded. Was the child able to be treated at the daycare center or did it require emergency medical services to be called? These questions should also be in the report. Parents should be given a copy of the report, and the center should also file the report with the state. If a daycare center does not complete an incident report or refuses to give you a copy, they are breaking the law.

You can explore all of the minimum standards that Texas daycare centers are required to follow here.

Where Should I Start Looking for a Daycare Center that Complies with the Minimum Standards?

A good first step to finding a safe daycare center for your child is confirming that the facility is licensed by the state. This means that the center is regulated, registered with the state, promises to comply with the state’s minimum standards, and is subjected to monitoring and inspections. 

You can easily check the status on the Texas Health and Human Services website here.

Where Else Can I Find Information for Finding a Safe Daycare Center?

Our legal team at The Button Law Firm has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to daycare centers across the Lone Star State. That is why we created a free guide to help parents find safe facilities for their children. The guide includes what to look for on a tour, the questions to ask the center’s director and caregivers, and what red flags appear at unsafe facilities.

Hold a Texas Daycare Center Accountable for Failing to Comply with the Minimum Standards

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child was physically or emotionally harmed because a Texas daycare center did not comply with the minimum standards. We are ready to listen and fight for your family to get justice and help you move forward. Our legal team at The Button Law Firm is recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Get a free case evaluation by calling us at 214-699-4409, emailing us at [email protected], or filling out a contact form.
Russell Button
Connect with me
Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.