Revision 22-5; Effective Nov. 4, 2022

Certain provisions in Chapter 531 of the Texas Government Code transferred the regulatory functions of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on September 1, 2017.  Hence, by default, Chapter 42 of the Texas Human Resources Code now designates HHSC as the agency responsible for protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Texas children by regulating child-care operations that provide assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision:

  • for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner of the operation; and
  • for all or part of the 24-hour day.

The same provisions of the Texas Government Code transferred DFPS’s responsibility under Chapter 43 of the Texas Human Resources Code to HHSC. Hence, HHSC is responsible for issuing licenses for child-care and child-placing-agency administrators. This chapter requires HHSC to develop and administer an examination as part of the licensing process for licensed administrators.

HHSC has designated the Child Care Regulation (CCR) Department for being responsible for carrying out the responsibilities outlined in Chapters 42 and 43 of the Texas Human Resources Code.

Texas Government Code Sections 531.02001531.02011531.02013531.02014; and 2401.002 

Texas Human Resources Code Sections 42.00142.00242.052(c)43.00343.004(2); and 43.008

1110 CCR's Regulatory Activities

February 2021

Child Care Regulation's (CCR's) regulatory activities include:

  1. reviewing applications for permits;
  2. determining whether a child care program is subject to regulation or is exempt;
  3. issuing permits to applicants;
  4. inspecting and investigating operations;
  5. developing and administering licensing examinations for child care and child-placing agency administrators;
  6. seeking to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements in Texas statutes and rules;
  7. providing technical assistance to operations and licensees;
  8. supporting operations in their efforts to improve their programs;
  9. taking administrative, corrective, or adverse action on operations and licensees, as appropriate; and
  10. conducting background checks on persons who are required to have a background check.

1120 Legal Support for Policies and Procedures

September 28, 2018

This handbook is intended primarily for HHSC Child Care Licensing staff. Licensing staff must follow the handbook's policies and procedures, so that HHSC meets the requirements in the Licensing statutes and rules. State statutes and rules that support the policies and procedures are cited in the handbook.

1121 District and Regional Procedures

December 2011

District directors and managers may develop procedures for their staff provided that the procedures:

  • support the provisions in this handbook;
  • do not conflict with Licensing statute, rules, and the policies in this handbook; and
  • have been discussed and approved by the Director of Child Day Care Licensing or the Director of Residential Child Care Licensing.

1122 Child Care Regulation Statutes

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

State statutes for Child Care Regulation (CCR) are found in the following:

Human Resources Code

Chapter 40: Although most of the statutes in this chapter relate to DFPS responsibilities, two exceptions are Human Resources Code (HRC): 

Chapter 42: Regulation of Certain Facilities, Homes, and Agencies That Provide Child-Care Services — Establishes standards for regulating child care.

Chapter 43: Regulation of Child-Care and Child-Placing Agency Administrators — Establishes standards for regulating the child care administrators and child-placing agency administrators.

1123 Child Care Regulation Rules (Texas Administrative Code)

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

HHSC rules related to CCR are found in 26 TAC Chapter 745. The rules implement the agency's statutory responsibilities and identify and describe the rights and responsibilities of HHSC and the operations HHSC regulates. These rules can be found on the HHS website at Minimum Standards or on the Secretary of State website at Texas Administrative Code.

Before adopting new, amended or repealed rules, HHSC publishes all proposed rule changes in the Texas Register for a 30-day review and comment period.

Chapter 2001Government Code (GC)

Once adopted, rules in the TAC carry the force of law.

1123.1 Chapters of Rules in the Texas Administrative Code Applicable to Child Care Regulation

Revision 23-4; Effective Nov. 30, 2023

The following chapters of rules in Title 26 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) apply to the rules for CCR. Once proposed, reviewed and adopted, rules become part of the Texas Administrative Code. Minimum Standards for child care are based on the corresponding chapter of 26 TAC.

Chapter of Rule in Title 26 TACPublication
26 TAC Chapter 742Minimum Standards for Listed Family Homes
26 TAC Chapter 743Minimum Standards for Shelter Care
26 TAC Chapter 744Minimum Standards for School Age and Before or After School Programs
26 TAC Chapter 745Licensing
26 TAC Chapter 746Minimum Standards for Child Care Centers
26 TAC Chapter 747Minimum Standards for Child Care Homes
26 TAC Chapter 748Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations
26 TAC Chapter 749Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies

1130 Ethics of Regulation

September 28, 2018

All state employees are bound by the laws and rules established by the Texas Legislature in the Government Code and the Penal Code. The Texas Ethics Commission interprets these laws.

As a government regulator, Licensing is expected to use its authority in a manner that earns the respect, trust, and confidence of the public and consumers.

Even the appearance of an impropriety must be avoided.

Government Code, §§572.001 and 572.051

Penal Code, Chapter 36 (Bribery and Corrupt Influence) and Chapter 39 (Abuse of Office)


In all facets of Licensing responsibilities and activities, staff:

  1. enforce licensing regulations in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with state law and HHSC policy and procedures;
  2. inform regulated entities of their rights and responsibilities throughout the regulatory process;
  3. foster a mutual respect among regulated entities, consumers, and HHSC;
  4. provide child care operations with information and assistance to improve their understanding of state regulations for child care and improve their ability to meet those regulations;
  5. provide information to parents and consumers to assist them in making informed decisions about child care; and
  6. are courteous and professional when conducting regulatory actions.

Licensing staff must:

  1. avoid the appearance as well as the fact of improper, unfair, or self-serving conduct, including unwarranted discrimination or differential treatment;
  2. behave in a manner that earns respect, trust, and confidence and reflects positively on their profession and HHSC;
  3. promptly disclose any personal or financial interest they have or have had that might appear to influence their actions;
  4. avoid the fact or appearance of using their positions to endorse a particular product, licensee, service provider, or group of licensees or providers;
  5. not allow political or religious affiliations to influence decisions made while in the role of a regulator; and
  6. observe the policies published in the HHS Human Resources Manual.

1140 Operations and Activities Regulated by Licensing

December 2019

Licensing regulates the following:

  1. Child day care — Operations that provide care to children under age 14 less than 24 hours at a time
  2. Residential child care — Operations that provide care to children under 18 years old 24-hours a day
  3. Administrator licensing — Individuals licensed as child-care administrators, child-placing agency administrators, or both

26 TAC §§745.33745.35745.8901, and 745.8903

1141 Types of Child Day Care Operations

Revision 24-2; Effective May 22, 2024

CCR regulates the following types of child day care operations:

  • listed family homes;
  • registered child care homes;
  • licensed child care homes;
  • child care centers;
  • small employer-based child care;
  • shelter care;
  • before or after-school programs; and
  • school-age programs.

Visit 2110 Permits Required for Child Day Care and 26 TAC Section 745.37(2) for descriptions of these operations.

1142 Types of Residential Child Care

Revision 24-2; Effective May 22, 2024

CCR regulates the following types of residential child care operations:

  • general residential operations (GROs); and
  • child-placing agencies (CPAs).

Other types of residential child care operations include:

  • foster homes verified by a CPA to provide foster care; and
  • adoptive homes approved by a CPA for the purpose of adopting a child.

Visit 2120 Permits Required for Residential Child Care and 26 TAC Section 745.37(3) for descriptions of these operations.

1143 Types of Licensed Administrators

December 2019

The following table describes the types of licensed administrators that Child Care Licensing (CCL) regulates. See also 26 TAC §§745.8901, and 745.8903.

Licensed AdministratorsDescription
Child Care Administrator

A person who:

  • supervises and exercises direct control over a general residential child care operation or a residential treatment center; and
  • is responsible for the operation's programs and personnel, regardless of whether the person has an ownership interest in the operation or shares duties with anyone.
Child-Placing Agency Administrator

A person who:

  • supervises and exercises direct control over a child-placing agency, as defined in §745.37(3)(F) (relating to What specific types of operations does Licensing regulate?); and
  • is responsible for the child-placing agency's programs and personnel, regardless of whether the person has an ownership interest in the agency or shares duties with anyone.

See also Section 9000 Licensed Administrators.