1100, HHSC Regulatory Authority

May 2020

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 42 and 43 of the Texas Human Resources Code.

Texas Government Code §531.02001§531.02011§531.02013; and §531.02014

Texas Human Resources Code §42.002§42.052(c)§43.003§43.004(2); and §43.008

The CCR pages of the HHS public website contain information on:

  1. the CCR Department;
  2. child care resources in Texas; and
  3. child care operations in Texas.

 

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 Licensing Statutes

September 28, 2018

State statutes for Licensing are found in the following:

Human Resources Code

Chapter 40: Although most of the statutes in this chapter relate to DFPS responsibilities, Texas Human Resources Code (HRC) §40.066 governs hearings at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) conducted by HHSC on behalf of Licensing.  Moreover, HRC §40.005 continues to govern confidentiality provisions in 40 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 745, Subchapter K, Division 3.

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 Licensing Rules (Texas Administrative Code)

December 2019

Texas HHSC rules related to Child Care Licensing (CCL) are found in Title 26, Chapter 745, Texas Administrative Code (TAC) and Title 40, TAC (only Chapter 745, Subchapters K and M). 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 Licensing Rules 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 2001Texas Government Code (TGC)

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 Licensing

December 2019

The following chapters of rules in Title 26 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) apply to the rules for Child Care Licensing:

Minimum Standards for Shelter Care, Chapter 743

Minimum Standards for School-Age and Before- or After-School Programs, Chapter 744

Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers, Chapter 746

Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes, Chapter 747

Minimum Standards for General Residential Operations, Chapter 748

Minimum Standards for Child-Placing Agencies, Chapter 749

Minimum Standards for Independent Foster Homes, Chapter 750

 

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)

Procedure

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

December 2019

The following table describes the types of child care that Licensing regulates. See also 26 TAC §745.37(2).

Child Day Care Operations Regulated by HHSC Description
Listed family home The primary caregiver:
  • is at least 18 years old;
  • provides regular care in the caregiver's own home, for compensation;
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13;
  • provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for three or more consecutive weeks;
  • serves no more than three children who are unrelated to the caregiver; and
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including children who are related to the caregiver.
Registered child care home The primary caregiver:
  • is at least 21 years old;
  • provides regular care in the caregiver's own home;
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13;
  • provides care for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and for three or more consecutive weeks;
  • provides care to no more than six children who are unrelated to the caregiver;
  • provides after-school care to no more than six additional elementary school children; and
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including children related to the caregiver.
Licensed child care home The primary caregiver:
  • is at least 21 years old;
  • provides regular care in the caregiver's own home;
  • serves children whose ages range from birth through age 13; and
  • serves no more than 12 children, total, including the children related to the caregiver.
Child care center The operation:
  • provides care for seven or more children;
  • serves only children younger than age 14;
  • provides fewer than 24 hours of care per day; and
  • is located somewhere other than the permit holder's home.
Small, employer-based child care (A small, employer-based operation employs fewer than 100 full-time employees) A small employer that:
  • provides care for up to 12 children of employees;
  • serves only children younger than age 14;
  • provides fewer than 24 hours of care per day; and
  • is located in the same building where the parents work.
Shelter care The operation:
  • provides care for seven or more children;
  • serves only children younger than age 14;
  • operates for at least four hours a day and three days a week; and
  • is located at a temporary shelter, such as a family violence or homeless shelter.
Before or after school program The operation:
  • provides care before, after, or both before and after the customary school day and during school holidays;
  • operates for at least two hours a day, three days a week; and
  • serves children who attend pre-kindergarten through grade six.
School-age program The operation:
  • provides supervision and recreation, skills instruction, or skills training;
  • operates for at least two hours a day, three days a week;
  • serves children who attend pre-kindergarten through grade six; and
  • may operate before or after the customary school day, school holidays, summer period, or any other time when school is not in session.

 

1142 Types of Residential Child Care

December 2019

The following table describes the types of residential child care that Licensing regulates. See also 40 TAC §745.37(3).

Residential Child Care Operations Description
Foster family home (Independent) An independent foster family home is a home that is:
  • a single, independent home that is the primary residence of the foster parents; and
  • provides care for six or fewer children up to age 18.
Foster group home (Independent) An independent foster group home is a home that is:
  • a single, independent home licensed after January 1, 2007, that is the primary residence of the foster parents;
  • provides care for seven to 12 children up to the age of 18 years; or
  • a single, independent home licensed before January 1, 2007, that provides care for seven to 12 children up to age 18.
General residential operation (GRO) An operation that provides child care for seven or more children up to age 18. The care may include treatment and other programmatic services. Residential treatment centers are a type of general residential operation.
Child-placing agency (CPA) An agency, organization, or person (other than a child's parent) that places or plans for the placement of the child in a foster or adoptive home or other residential care setting.
CPA foster family home A home regulated by a child-placing agency that:
  • is the primary residence of the foster parents; and
  • is verified to provide care for six or fewer children up to age 18.
CPA foster group home A home regulated by a child-placing agency that is verified to care for seven to 12 children up to age 18.
Homes verified after January 1, 2007, must be the primary residence of the foster parents.
CPA adoptive home A home approved by a child-placing agency for the purpose of adoption.

 

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 Administrators Description
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.