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 531.02001; 531.02011; 531.02013; 531.02014; and 2401.002
Texas Human Resources Code Sections 42.001; 42.002; 42.052(c); 43.003; 43.004(2); and 43.008
1110 CCR's Regulatory Activities
Child Care Regulation's (CCR's) regulatory activities include:
- reviewing applications for permits;
- determining whether a child care program is subject to regulation or is exempt;
- issuing permits to applicants;
- inspecting and investigating operations;
- developing and administering licensing examinations for child care and child-placing agency administrators;
- seeking to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements in Texas statutes and rules;
- providing technical assistance to operations and licensees;
- supporting operations in their efforts to improve their programs;
- taking administrative, corrective, or adverse action on operations and licensees, as appropriate; and
- 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
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)
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 2001, Texas 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
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)
In all facets of Licensing responsibilities and activities, staff:
- enforce licensing regulations in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with state law and HHSC policy and procedures;
- inform regulated entities of their rights and responsibilities throughout the regulatory process;
- foster a mutual respect among regulated entities, consumers, and HHSC;
- 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;
- provide information to parents and consumers to assist them in making informed decisions about child care; and
- are courteous and professional when conducting regulatory actions.
Licensing staff must:
- avoid the appearance as well as the fact of improper, unfair, or self-serving conduct, including unwarranted discrimination or differential treatment;
- behave in a manner that earns respect, trust, and confidence and reflects positively on their profession and HHSC;
- promptly disclose any personal or financial interest they have or have had that might appear to influence their actions;
- avoid the fact or appearance of using their positions to endorse a particular product, licensee, service provider, or group of licensees or providers;
- not allow political or religious affiliations to influence decisions made while in the role of a regulator; and
- observe the policies published in the HHS Human Resources Manual.
1140 Operations and Activities Regulated by Licensing
Licensing regulates the following:
- Child day care — Operations that provide care to children under age 14 less than 24 hours at a time
- Residential child care — Operations that provide care to children under 18 years old 24-hours a day
- Administrator licensing — Individuals licensed as child-care administrators, child-placing agency administrators, or both
26 TAC §§745.33, 745.35, 745.8901, and 745.8903
1141 Types of Child Day Care Operations
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:
|Registered child care home|
The primary caregiver:
|Licensed child care home|
The primary caregiver:
|Child care center|
|Small, employer-based child care (A small, employer-based operation employs fewer than 100 full-time employees)|
A small employer that:
|Before or after school program|
1142 Types of Residential Child Care
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:
|Foster group home (Independent)|
An independent foster group home is a home that is:
|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:
|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
The following table describes the types of licensed administrators that Child Care Licensing (CCL) regulates. See also 26 TAC §§745.8901, and 745.8903.
|Child Care Administrator|
A person who:
|Child-Placing Agency Administrator|
A person who:
See also Section 9000 Licensed Administrators.