7300, Voluntary Actions of the Operation

7310 Withdrawal of an Application

September 2015

An operation may voluntarily withdraw an application for a permit.

See 3230 Withdrawal of an Application for a Permit.

 

7320 Temporary Relocation

December 2009

An operation may relocate temporarily for a period of up to 90 days due to damage or renovation to the building, which makes it temporarily unsuitable for child care.

The operation must notify Licensing immediately when it moves to a new location.

40 TAC §§745.8511745.8517

Procedure

A licensed operation must obtain fire, sanitation, and gas pipe pressure test inspections of the temporary location before or as soon as possible after the relocation.

The inspector must inspect the operation before or as soon as possible after the relocation to ensure that no risk to children exists.

The physical plant (space, restrooms, playground) should comply with minimum standard rules.

The inspector may use discretion in approving arrangements that do not comply. Factors to consider when deciding whether to approve include:

  • the anticipated length of stay at the temporary location;
  • the degree of deviation from minimum standards; and
  • the risk to children considering the activities offered by the operation.

The inspector documents the relocation in CLASS.

 

7330 Voluntary Suspension

May 2020

An operation may request a voluntary suspension of its permit when:

  1. changes or repairs must be made to the operation;
  2. enrollment is too low to operate, or no children are in care;
  3. the owner or caregiver is ill;
  4. the owner or caregiver takes an extended leave of absence; or
  5. the owner or caregiver have other personal reasons that necessitate a change.

During the voluntary suspension period, an operation must:

  • continue to pay all standard fees; and
  • apply to renew the permit if the permit is due for renewal during the voluntary suspension period.

See 3912 When an Operation's Permit Renewal is Due

Texas Human Resources Code §42.071

40 TAC §§745.8519745.8521745.8527;

 

7331 Assessing and Granting a Request for Voluntary Suspension

August 2020

To assess a request for a voluntary suspension, Child Care Regulation (CCR) staff must receive a written request from the operation that includes the following information:

  1. The proposed dates that the suspension will begin and end;
  2. The reason for the request;
  3. Plans for resuming operation; and
  4. A statement about how the permit holder will meet the minimum standard rules at the end of the suspension period.

Child day care operations and homes may request to have a permit suspended for a maximum of 90 days.

Residential child care operations may request to have a full permit suspended for a maximum of two years.

A voluntary suspension may not be granted if the operation is under:

  1. involuntary suspension;
  2. automatic suspension;
  3. probation; or
  4. revocation proceedings.

40 TAC §§745.8519745.8521745.8523745.8525 

Procedure

When an operation submits a request for voluntary suspension, the inspector consults with the supervisor to determine whether to grant it as requested, grant with conditions or deny the request.

The inspector:

  1. confirms that the operation is not undergoing involuntary suspension, automatic suspension, probation, or revocation proceedings;
  2. evaluates the operation’s compliance history;
  3. determines the reason for the voluntary suspension and the length of the operation plans to be closed is appropriate; and
  4. confirms that no children will be in care during the voluntary suspension period.

 

7332 Documenting the Voluntary Suspension

August 2020

Procedure

If the inspector grants the voluntary suspension with or without conditions, the inspector:

  1. changes the Operating Status on the Operation main page in CLASS to No and updates the Effective Date;
  2. notifies the program administrator or designee to check the Do Not Display On Public Website box on the Operation main page;
  3. completes the Provider Voluntary Suspension Plan page in CLASS as follows:
    • fills out the date the voluntary suspension begins;
    • selects the appropriate reason from the Reason drop-down menu; and
    • fills out the Disaster Name field, if applicable; and
  4. sends the Voluntary Suspension Approval Letter Form 2865, located on the Provider Voluntary Suspension Plan page in CLASS to the operation, notifying the operation of the decision to grant the suspension and the expectation that the permit holder return the permit to the inspector.

If conditions are added to the voluntary suspension request, the inspector sends notice of the conditions as an enclosure with the Voluntary Suspension Approval Letter, Form 2865. The inspector documents the conditions in the Correction Plan section of the Provider Voluntary Suspension Plan page in CLASS.

 

7333 Denying the Voluntary Suspension

September 28, 2018

If Child Care Regulation denies the request for a voluntary suspension, the operation may request an administrative review of the action.

40 TAC §745.8525

Procedure

If the inspector determines the request should be denied, the inspector notifies the owner of the operation by drafting notice of the denial on HHSC letterhead on the Corrective/Adverse action page in CLASS. The letter must include the reason for the denial and information about the permit holder's right to an administrative review.

The inspector documents the denial in a chronology for the operation in CLASS.

 

7334 Ending the Voluntary Suspension

August 2020

An operation must have Child Care Regulation’s (CCR’s) permission to reopen after a voluntary suspension. To request permission to reopen, the operation must notify CCR at least 15 days before they plan to resume operating.

The inspector may approve an operation’s request to reopen after determining that the operation is in compliance with applicable minimum standards.

If the inspector determines the operation poses a risk to children in care, CCR may impose adverse action to address the concerns.

If the operation does not reopen or voluntarily close by the end of the voluntary suspension period, the operation's permit is revoked. The operation has the right to request an administrative review on the revocation.

40 TAC §§ 745.8529745.8531

Procedure

If the CCR inspector does not hear from the operation at least 15 days before the end of the suspension period, the inspector:

  1. contacts the permit holder to notify him or her that the voluntary suspension period is ending;
  2. informs the permit holder that CCR must receive notification of and approve the request to resume operation;
  3. informs the permit holder that he or she may voluntarily close; and
  4. informs the permit holder that if CCR is not notified of the plans to reopen or to voluntarily close, the permit will be revoked.

Reopening the Operation

If the permit holder of the operation notifies CCR of plans to resume operating, the inspector conducts an inspection before reopening the operation. 

For the operation to reopen, the inspector must:

  1. address any concerns with applicable minimum standard violations observed during the inspection;
  2. change the Operating Status to Yes on the Operation main page in CLASS and update the Effective Date;
  3. notify the program administrator or designee to uncheck the Do Not Display on Public Website box in CLASS;
  4. enter a chronology of any discussion held with the permit holder to verify compliance with minimum standards;
  5. enter the results of the voluntary action plan on the Voluntary Suspension page in CLASS; and
  6. return the permit to the operation.

If the inspector determines that the operation poses a risk to children at the end of the voluntary suspension period, the inspector consults with the supervisor and takes the appropriate action depending on risk to children.

If the Operation Requests to Voluntarily Close

If the permit holder notifies CCR of plans to voluntarily close the operation, the inspector follows up to close the operation. See 7340 Voluntary Closure.

If the Operation Fails to Reopen or Respond By the End of the Suspension Period

If the operation does not reopen or does not voluntarily close by the end of the suspension period, CCR staff contact Legal and the district director to discuss revoking the permit.

If the decision is to revoke the permit, CCR staff:

  1. mail the operation a certified letter on HHSC letterhead stating that:
    • its permit is no longer valid and that the operation must close, as required by Texas Administrative Code §745.8531, and
    • the permit holder of the operation has a right to request an administrative review and the right to appeal CCR’s decision to revoke the permit;
  2. enter the following information on the Provider Voluntary Suspension Plan page in CLASS:
    • Closed in the Result of Suspension field;
    • the date of the decision to close the operation in the End Date field; and
    • the reason for closure in the Correction Plan field;
  3. conduct an inspection to verify that the operation is not caring for children. If the operation is caring for children, CCR staff follow procedures in 6530 Investigations of Unregulated Operations; and
  4. document the operation’s closure in CLASS.

See:

7710 Administrative Reviews

7730 Due Process Hearings

 

7340 Voluntary Closure

July 2012

Licensing rules require that an operation notify the inspector before, if possible, or within 10 days after going out of business or closing. Fees are not refundable when an operation closes.

If an operation is closing for a period of time but plans to reopen, see 7330 Voluntary Suspension.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.071

40 TAC §745.8533

26 TAC §746.301

Procedure

When Licensing is notified that an operation is going to voluntarily close, the inspector takes the following steps:

  1. Changes the operating status to No and updates the Effective Date to reflect the Begin Date of the voluntary closure on the Operation Main page in CLASS.
  2. Enters the closure date in the Application/Closure page in CLASS.
  3. Enters the reason for closure in the Application/Closure page in CLASS.

 

7341 Documentation of an Operation That Has Closed

December 2009

Procedure

If the inspector learns that an operation has stopped or will stop operating and has no plans to reopen, he or she sends CLASS Form 2825 (Voluntary Suspension/Relocation/Closure Letter) to the operation to confirm that it is closing or has closed.

If unable to determine the actual date the operation closed, the inspector uses the date he or she learned of the closing.

 

7342 Voluntary Closure During an Investigation

September 28, 2018

An operation may close voluntarily:

  • during an investigation; or
  • while failing to maintain compliance with minimum standards.

However, an operation may not prevent Licensing from taking an enforcement action by voluntarily closing. Once an operation receives an intent to revoke letter, the monitoring inspector may follow through with the adverse action until it is final, regardless of whether the operation has closed.

40 TAC §745.8605(14)(B)

40 TAC §745.8515

 

7343 Notification of Investigation Findings When an Operation Closes Voluntarily

September 28, 2018

Procedure

As soon as the investigation is complete, or as soon as the operation closes, the inspector sends a letter to the permit holder stating the investigation findings and the circumstances leading to the closing.

Exception: If the inspector has already sent an intent to revoke letter to an operation an additional findings letter is not necessary.

 

7344 Licensing Response if the Operation Did Not Close

December 2009

Procedure

If the permit holder later tells the inspector that the operation did not close as planned, depending on the seriousness of the situation, the inspector may:

  • state that the circumstances will affect whether a permit will be issued in the future (see 3700 Denial of an Application for a Permit and Reapplying After Denial or Revocation); or
  • follow through with the adverse action process in spite of the closing (see 7630 Taking Adverse Action).

 

7350 Plan of Action

March 2017

A plan of action is a voluntary enforcement action that is a collaborative effort between Licensing and an operation. The goal is to develop a plan to reduce risk and help improve the operation’s compliance with Licensing statutes, administrative rules, and minimum standards.

Because a plan of action is voluntary, an operation may decline to develop and follow a plan. If this occurs, Licensing may impose a more restrictive enforcement action if Licensing staff determines that risk cannot be mitigated without a plan and the operation meets the criteria for another enforcement action.

The time frame for a plan of action is six months.

Because a plan of action is a voluntary action, it is not eligible for an administrative review.

40 TAC §§745.8611745.8613745.8631(1) and 745.8633(c)

 

7351 Criteria for Recommending a Plan of Action

March 2017

An operation is eligible to participate in a plan of action if a circumstance described in 7110 Circumstances That May Call for Enforcement Action exists and Licensing determines the operation meets all of the following criteria:

  1. demonstrates the ability to identify risk;
  2. accepts responsibility for correcting deficiencies;
  3. has the ability to make corrections;
  4. has a history of making corrections to maintain compliance, if applicable;
  5. will be able to mitigate risk by following the plan of action; and
  6. has not participated in a voluntary plan of action during the previous 12 months for similar issues.

If the permit holder operates multiple operations, Licensing staff may consider the criteria listed above for each operation the permit holder operates when determining the operation’s eligibility to participate in a plan of action.

In determining whether a plan of action is the most appropriate enforcement action for an operation, Licensing staff should consult Appendix 7000-1: Factors to Consider for Enforcement Actions.

40 TAC §§745.8605745.8607; and 745.8633

 

7352 Staffing and Initiating a Plan of Action

September 2019

Procedure

The inspector must discuss the recommendation to initiate a plan of action with the supervisor and obtain supervisory approval before recommending a plan of action to the operation. Licensing staff documents the supervisor's approval in a Chronology in CLASS.

After receiving approval from the supervisor, the inspector:

  1. prepares the operation’s compliance history report;
  2. completes Section I of Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action; and
  3. attaches Form 7277 to the operation’s compliance history.

The inspector then contacts the operation to schedule a meeting to:

  1. discuss the identified compliance issues with the operation;
  2. explain the purpose of the plan of action and the process for developing the plan;
  3. explain the benefits of participating in a plan of action; and
  4. ask the operation if they agree to complete a plan of action.

The meeting is held either in person or via telephone. During the meeting, Licensing staff provide the operation a copy of Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action with the compliance history report attached. If the meeting is conducted by phone, the inspector ensures that the permit holder receives a copy of the plan before the phone conference.

The inspector documents a summary of the conversation with the operation in a CLASS Chronology.

 

7352.1 If the Operation Agrees to Participate in a Plan of Action

March 2017

Procedure

If the operation agrees to complete a plan of action, the inspector takes the following actions:

  • explains to the operation’s permit holder, director, or administrator that they must complete Section II of Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action and return to Licensing within 10 days of receipt; and
  • explains to the operation’s permit holder, director, or administrator that licensing staff and the operation will discuss and must agree to action items the operation documents in Section II of Form 7277 before the plan can be implemented.

 

7352.2 If the Operation Does Not Agree to Participate in a Plan of Action

September 28, 2018

Procedure

If the operation does not agree to complete a plan of action, the inspector:

  • discusses with the Licensing supervisor, program administrator, or district director whether Licensing should impose a more restrictive enforcement action; and
  • notifies the operation, in writing on HHSC letterhead, of the outcome of the discussion.

 

7353 Meeting with an Operation to Review a Plan of Action

March 2017

Licensing staff schedule a meeting, in person or via telephone, with the operation’s permit holder, designee, director or administrator to:

  • review Section II of Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action; and
  • ensure that the operation’s proposed plan addresses the deficiencies and will mitigate risk to children.

The meeting must take place within 10 days of receiving the completed Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action from the operation. The inspector and supervisor must review the plan submitted by the operation before the meeting.

Procedure

During the plan of action meeting, Licensing staff:

  1. review the operation’s compliance history report and discuss areas of concern with the operation;
  2. review the operation’s plan to ensure the action items:
    • address the areas of concern identified in the operation’s compliance history;
    • reduce or eliminate the recurrence of deficiencies; and
    • mitigate risk to children caused by the deficiencies;
  3. explain to the provider how Licensing follows up on the implementation of the plan; and
  4. discuss the date the operation will implement the plan (the start date) and the date the plan will end (see 7357 Plan of Action Time Frames).

In the event the action items the operation outlined in the plan do not mitigate risk, the inspector:

  • explains to the operation how the plan fails to reduce risk and correct deficiencies; and
  • works with the operation to develop new action items that reduce risk and address the deficiencies.

 

7353.1 When Licensing and Operation Agree on a Proposed Plan of Action

March 2017

Procedure

Once Licensing and the operation have agreed to the plan of action, the permit holder or designee and the Licensing inspector and supervisor review and sign the completed Form 7277 Child Care Licensing Plan of Action.

Licensing staff places a hard copy of the plan of action in the case file.

At least 15 days prior to the start date of the plan, Licensing staff sends the permit holder notification that includes the plan’s start date, along with a signed copy of the plan.

Licensing staff documents the plan in CLASS (See 7354 Documenting the Plan of Action in CLASS).

 

7353.2 When Licensing and Operation Cannot Agree on a Proposed Plan of Action

March 2017

Procedure

If Licensing staff and the operation cannot agree on the proposed plan of action, the inspector consults with the supervisor, and, if needed, the program administrator and/or director, to determine whether Licensing should:

  1. implement the plan as written by the operation;
  2. collaborate further with the operation; or
  3. impose a more restrictive enforcement action.
    • Licensing staff documents the consultation and resulting recommendations in a CLASS Chronology.

40 TAC §745.8631(1), §745.8639

 

7354 Documenting the Plan of Action in CLASS

September 2019

Licensing staff document the plan of action in the CLASS Provider Plan of Action List located under the Monitoring tab as follows:

What to Document When to Document CLASS Field(s)
Planned Start Date Before plan of action begins Begin Date
Planned Completion Date Before plan of action begins End Date (must be 6 months from the Start Date)
List of deficiencies within the last 24 months that are the basis for recommending the plan (may or may not include all deficiencies cited within the past 24 months) Before plan of action begins
  • Basis for Plan of Action - Investigation
  • Basis for Plan of Action - Inspection
  • Basis for Plan of Action - Assessment
Operation’s action items Before plan of action begins Plan Summary
Whether implementation of the plan was successful After plan of action ends Status dropdown

 

7355 Starting a Plan of Action

March 2017

A plan of action starts 15 days from the date the operation was notified, in writing, of the plan unless the operation requests, in writing, to begin the plan earlier.

Procedure

If an operation requests to begin the plan of action early, the inspector:

  • documents the revised start date in the Begin Date field in the Provider Plan of Action List in CLASS; and
  • updates the end date in the End Date field in the Provider Plan of Action List in CLASS.

See 7354 Documenting a Plan of Action in CLASS

 

7356 Inspecting an Operation During a Plan of Action

September 2019

During a plan of action, Licensing staff conduct at least two unannounced inspections while children are in care to determine whether the operation has come into and maintained compliance with minimum standards, administrative rules and statutes.

Licensing staff may conduct additional inspections based on the compliance of the operation and risk to children determined during the required inspections.

Before the end of the plan of action, Licensing staff evaluate the operation’s compliance with the entire subchapter associated with each minimum standard listed in the Basis for Plan of Action section of the Provider Plan of Action List in CLASS.

26 TAC §745.8631(1)

Procedure

The inspector must conduct the inspections at appropriate intervals in order to be able to:

  • evaluate the operation’s progress in implementing the plan; and
  • determine whether the operation successfully completed the plan or a more restrictive action may be needed.

During each monitoring inspection, the inspector:

  1. evaluates the operation’s compliance with at least one subchapter of the minimum standards associated with the plan of action;
  2. evaluates the operation's compliance with one additional subchapter of the minimum standards to ensure overall compliance with the minimum standards;
  3. documents that the plan of action was evaluated during the inspection in the Narrative field on CLASS Form 2936;
  4. provides technical assistance in the areas where the operation is deficient; and
  5. completes all other tasks required during a monitoring inspection (See 4126 Monitoring Inspections).

The inspector may evaluate whether the operation is following the plan of action, but only cites a deficiency if the operation violates a minimum standard, administrative rule, or statute. If the operation is still deficient in the areas identified in the plan, the inspector reviews the specific action items in the plan related to the deficiencies with the permit holder or designee at the time of the inspection.

 

7357 Ending a Plan of Action

 

7357.1 Staffing Before a Plan of Action Ends

March 2017

Before a plan of action ends, the Licensing inspector meets with the Licensing supervisor at least once to review the operation’s compliance with minimum standards, administrative rules, and statutes. The inspector may conduct additional staffings with the supervisor as needed based on the operation’s progress and overall compliance.

Procedure

During each staffing, the Licensing inspector and supervisor review the operation’s progress on the plan of action and overall compliance with minimum standards. They also discuss whether:

  1. the plan remains appropriate;
  2. the plan should end early;
  3. additional inspections are needed; or
  4. a more restrictive enforcement action would be more appropriate.

Before ending the plan, the Licensing inspector and supervisor must discuss whether the plan of action has been successful.

The staffing and any recommendations are documented as a Chronology in CLASS.

 

7357.2 Plan of Action Time Frames and Ending a Plan of Action Early

March 2017

A plan of action lasts six months. Licensing may not extend a plan of action, but may end a plan of action early if Licensing determines that:

  • the operation has reduced risk and come into and maintained compliance with minimum standards, administrative rules, and statutes; or
  • the operation’s compliance has worsened and a more restrictive enforcement action is necessary.

40 TAC §745.8611745.8643

See 7357.3 Ending a Plan of Action When Compliance Has Been Established and Maintained and 7357.4 Modifying or Ending a Plan of Action When Compliance Has Not Been Established

 

7357.3 Ending a Plan of Action When Compliance Has Been Established and Maintained

September 28, 2018

Procedure

When the operation has come into and maintained compliance with all minimum standards, administrative rules, and statutes, the inspector sends a letter on HHSC letterhead to the operation stating that:

  1. compliance with the minimum standards, administrative rules, and law has been established;
  2. the plan of action has ended; and
  3. compliance with the minimum standards, administrative rules, the law, and any restrictions or conditions on the license or registration must be maintained.

The inspector also changes the Status from In Progress to Successful on the Plan of Action Details page in CLASS.

 

7357.4 Modifying or Ending a Plan of Action When Compliance Has Not Been Established

March 2017

If the operation’s compliance with minimum standards, administrative rules, and statute does not improve sufficiently to reduce risk at the operation as a result of the plan of action or the operation’s compliance worsens, the inspector may:

  • recommend additional action items, modify action items, and/or increase inspections; or
  • end the plan of action and impose a more restrictive enforcement action.

40 TAC §745.8643

Procedure

If the operation has not met compliance with minimum standards, administrative rules, and statute, Licensing staff:

  • reevaluates the plan to determine the appropriateness of its terms and:
    • recommends an amendment to the plan’s action items and/or increased inspections if the term of the plan of action is not expiring within the next 45 days; or
    • ends the plan and imposes a more serious enforcement action; and
  • notifies the operation, in writing, that the operation has not met compliance and Licensing is proceeding with the decided upon action.

When the plan ends, the inspector also completes the fields below on the Plan of Action Details page in CLASS as follows:

  • Status: Change from In Progress to Not Successful.
  • CLASS Chronology: Document an explanation for ending the plan and the date the plan actually ended.