Ask 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 childcare 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.
If you are looking for a daycare, make sure to check out our FREE guide for parents - 10 Tips For Parents Searching For A Safe Daycare
Why Should the Daycare Be Licensed?
Who has to be licensed? – You might be surprised to find out that not every person or center that cares for children as their job has to be licensed by the State of Texas. The Department of Family and Protective Services has a licensing division that is responsible for regulating child-care facilities in Texas.
A center-based daycare that provides care for seven or more children for less than 24 hours a day at a location other than the caregiver’s home, must be licensed by the State of Texas. Additionally, a home-based daycare 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 Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Licensing Division offers a quick search feature to locate licensed child-care facilities in your area.
Check out what we think the qualifications for a daycare employee should be.
Why Must Daycares Be Registered With the State of Texas?
Daycares in the State of Texas, should be registered with the state so that the daycare is being monitored by the state's registration division, whose goal is to ensure kids are kept safe in daycare.
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 fewer children they are caring for.
Who Should Be Listed at the Daycare?
Who has to be listed? How does being listed differ from being licensed or registered? This 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 the care of the provider, including the provider’s own children, must not total to more than 12.
Having a childcare provider listed with the state ensures that background checks have been conducted on the individual provider and all residents or people that come in and out of the home during daycare hours. A listing does not require that the provider have any level of 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 a Daycare Facility Is Accredited?
What is 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 organization's 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 in regards to daycare licensing. 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.
Do You Want More Information on Daycare Safety?
We provide a lot of information on Texas 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 many daycare articles.
If your child was injured while at daycare, check out our free guide - A Five-Step Guide For Parents Dealing With A Daycare Injury. We hope this information is helpful to you and your family. If you have any other questions please give us a call at 214-699-4409 or simply fill out our contact us form, and we will reach out to you! We work all over Texas, with attorneys located in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Midland/Odessa!