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Child Care Regulation (CCR) records are considered open records, with certain exceptions.
Upon written request, information that is not considered confidential must be released to the public.
Texas Government Code, Title 5, Ch. 552, Public Information Act
CCR staff provide information about child care and regulation upon request. Making the community aware of the minimum level of care required by CCR increases the safety of the children in the community:
Staff may receive inquiries from:
- persons subject to regulation (see 2000 Handling Inquiries About the Licensing Process and Exemptions);
- HHSC staff;
- staff from other state and federal agencies;
- the media;
- advocacy organizations;
- legislators; and
- the public.
The method CCR staff uses to release information depends on:
- the source of the request;
- type of information requested;
- amount of information requested; and
- resources HHSC has available.
8100 Information for General Release
8110 Referring Requestors to the CCR Public Website
CCR staff refer a requestor to the Child Care Regulation (CCR) public website when the requestor requests publicly available information, such as:
- proposed changes to HHSC rules;
- minimum standards and guidelines for child day care;
- minimum standards and guidelines for residential child care;
- addresses and phone numbers of local CCR offices;
- the Child Care Licensing Policy and Procedures Handbook;
- forms the provider may download and print; and
- data and statistics about CCR.
8120 Providing Information About Child Care Operations
CCR staff refer the requestor to the CCR public website if the requestor requests a list of operations or requests information about a specific operation, including information about:
- the status of an operation’s license or registration;
- the type of operation;
- the name of the permit holder;
- an operation’s address and phone number;
- an operation’s capacity, the ages it serves, and its hours, days, and months of operation; and
- details about an operation’s violations of minimum standards that have been upheld.
For any other information about an operation, staff instruct the requestor to submit a request for open records by emailing the HHSC Open Records mailbox.
8210 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public
8500 Releasing Information to the Media
8130 Processing an Open Records Request
When designated CCR state office staff receive an open records request from the HHSC Open Records Office, staff take the following steps:
- Ensure that the request was sent to the appropriate program;
- Determine if a time cost estimate is needed; if so, then make sure it is complete and accepted by the requestor, if appropriate;
- Collect documentation from CLASS and the CCR SharePoint Site;
- Request any needed documentation from the field;
- Log the information provided on the CCR Records Tracking Log located on the CCR share drive; and
- Provide information to the HHSC Open Records Office.
CCR staff notify the requestor of any pending due process when sending documentation.
8131 Charging for Materials
HHSC may charge a fee when:
- providing printed copies of HHSC materials; or
- the request requires staff time and effort to program or decode electronic data.
If HHSC will charge a fee, CCR provides the requestor with a cost estimate prior to processing the request. The requestor may modify the requestor’s initial request based on the cost estimate.
8200 Protecting Confidential Information
If CCR staff receive a request for information that is not publicly available on the CCR website, including requests for confidential information, staff:
- instruct the requestor to submit a request for open records by emailing the HHSC Open Records mailbox; and
- explain that the information must be screened and the confidential material must be removed before the information can be released.
8210 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public
A judge may order the release of confidential material in a court hearing or by court order. If the request for records is the result of a subpoena, the CCR staff handling the subpoena discusses the release of information with the HHSC Legal Department.
If it appears necessary to share information with a permit holder that is not subject to disclosure, CCR staff consults with the supervisor and the HHSC Legal Department.
The table below identifies the information that must not be released to the public, provides the rationale for not releasing the information, and lists any applicable exceptions to the restrictions:
|Confidential (Not for Release)||Rationale||Exceptions|
|The name of the reporter and the reporter’s identifying information.||The Attorney General’s Open Records Decision No. 176, September 9, 1977, states that the identity of a reporter alleging a possible violation of minimum standards at a child care operation may not be disclosed. 40 TAC §745.8493 also prohibits identifying a person who made a report that resulted in an investigation.||Information identifying the person who made a report resulting in an investigation may only be released as provided in 8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released.|
|The name and identifying information about someone contacted during an investigation who makes a new allegation that is unrelated to the report being investigated. See 6260 Confidentiality of the Reporter’s Identity.||This person is a reporter with respect to the new allegation, so Open Records Decision No. 177 is applicable, even if CCR investigates the new allegation as a part of the original investigation.||Information identifying the person who made a report resulting in an investigation may only be released as provided in 8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released.|
|Information obtained through criminal history checks regarding conviction, indictment, criminal complaint, or deferred adjudication.||Government Code §§411.084, 411.085, and 411.114 prohibit the release of criminal history checks to unauthorized persons or entities.||Authorized persons or entities may receive criminal history information in certain situations. See Government Code §§411.084(a)(2) and 411.114(a)(6) and (7).|
Information received from another agency, division, or person, if that information is confidential under law.
|The information is confidential according to statute and may not be released.||
The findings related to child and adult protective services are released to a child care operation, when appropriate.
10240 Acting on Abuse or Neglect Findings in DFPS Central Registry
7723 Emergency Release
Certain private information may be constitutionally protected, including:
When requests for this information are received, the CCR staff must immediately ask an HHSC attorney to send a written request to the Office of the Attorney General for an opinion on the private nature of the information.
|Government Code, Title 5, Chapter 552, Public Information Act prohibits the release of certain private information to unauthorized persons or entities.||
Exceptions to the Public Information Act may include the release of:
|Pending investigations.||Government Code, Title 5, Chapter 552, Public Information Act prohibits the disclosure of information pertaining to an open investigation, but does require disclosure of investigations upon completion of the investigation.||N/A|
|The Social Security number of anyone in an operation.||Due to identity theft concerns, Social Security numbers are confidential.||N/A|
|Information that may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution.||40 TAC §745.8493 indicates CCR staff may not release portions of CCR records to anyone if the information may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution.||Any information in a CCR record that may interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or prosecution may only be released as provided in 8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released. 40 TAC §745.8493(a)(1)|
|The location of a family violence shelter or information pertaining to a person who was provided family violence services.||Information pertaining to the location of a family violence shelter or a person who was provided family violence services is confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8493.||Information pertaining to the location of a family violence shelter or a person who was provided family violence services may only be released as provided in 8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released. 40 TAC §745.8493(a)(3) and (4).|
|The location of a “victims of trafficking shelter center” (as defined in Government Code §552.138) or information about a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center.||Information pertaining to the location of victims of trafficking shelter center or a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center is confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8493.||
Information pertaining to the location of a victims of trafficking shelter center or a person who was provided services at a victims of trafficking shelter center may only be released as provided in 8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released.
40 TAC §745.8493(a)(5) and (6).
|Photographs or audio or visual recordings, depictions, or documentations of a child in CCR records.||Photographs or audio or visual recordings, depictions, or documentations of a child in CCR records are confidential according to 40 TAC §745.8495.||
We may provide a copy of a photograph or an audio or visual recording, depiction or documentation of a child in CCR records to the following parties in the relevant situation:
The following persons may review a photograph or an audio or visual recording, depiction or documentation of a child in CCR records, but may not have a copy:
40 TAC §745.8495.
8220 Confidential Information that May Be Released
Confidential information may only be released to the following parties in the relevant situations:
- to DFPS staff, including volunteers, as necessary to perform their assigned duties;
- to law enforcement for the purpose of investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect or false or malicious reporting of alleged child abuse or neglect;
- to a member of the state legislature when necessary to carry out that member’s official duties; and
- to any other individuals ordered by an administrative law judge or judge of a court of competent jurisdiction.
CCR staff, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, may withhold any information in its records if the release of that information would endanger the life or safety of any individual.
40 TAC §745.8493
8221 How to Determine if a Person is a Prospective Adoptive Parent
Before releasing any confidential information listed in 8210 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public to a prospective adoptive parent, CCR staff must first determine that the requestor is a prospective adoptive parent by verifying with the CPA:
- that the person has been selected as the prospective adoptive parent for the child; or
- that the person has shown interest in being the prospective adoptive parent of the child.
8230 How to Respond to Requests for Information from DFPS Investigations
If CCR staff receive a request for information from an abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation conducted by DFPS at a child care operation, staff may provide the requestor with Form 2869 Investigation Letter. Staff refer the requestor to DFPS Open Records for all other documentation related to the abuse, neglect or exploitation investigation.
8300 Responding to Requests from Parents and Managing Conservators
CCR staff assist parents and managing conservators by:
- providing information to help them make informed decisions;
- responding to parents’ or a managing conservator’s request for information about how an operation is regulated; and
- providing information when parents report alleged violations of the law or rules.
CCR staff provide certain types of information, as explained in the table below.
|If parents …||then CCR staff …|
|need permits or forms …||
|have a child in DFPS conservatorship …||must share all information with DFPS staff.|
|need general information …||must follow the procedures in 8100 Information for General Release.|
|allege that a child care operation has violated the law or minimum standards …||must follow the procedures in 6200 Assessing and Processing Intake Reports.|
See 8210 Confidential Information Not for Release to the Public if a parent requests information related to:
- an investigation;
- a photograph,
- an audio or visual recording; or
- other depictions or documentations of a child.
8400 Responding to Requests from HHSC Staff, DFPS and Other Agencies
When there is a job-related need for the information and the release of information is consistent with HHSC policy and rules, CCR staff do not require a formal request in order to provide information to:
- other HHSC staff;
- DFPS staff; or
- to respond to routine requests from other government agencies (including law enforcement).
8410 Releasing to HHSC Staff and DFPS
CCR staff may share any information with any HHSC or DFPS staff person who makes the request for the information without redacting confidential information.
8420 Releasing to Other Agencies
CCR staff may share information with other government agencies, other than DFPS, as long as:
- the request has been staffed with a supervisor;
- the release of information is consistent with HHSC policy and rules; and
- the requestor provides written assurance that any confidential information will be protected and that the information will be used only for the purpose and function of the division or agency requesting it.
CCR staff create a Chronology in CLASS detailing:
- the information provided;
- to whom the information was provided; and
- the purpose of providing it.
For requests for information from other governmental agencies (including law enforcement) that are questionable, not job-related, unusual, unclear, or not routine, staff must obtain:
- a written request from the requestor on the requesting agency's letterhead; and
- verification from an HHSC open records attorney that the release is authorized.
8500 Releasing Information to the Media
8510 Routine Contact with the Media
In routine situations, the following staff may authorize CCR staff to provide information to the media:
- the CCR regional district director; or
- the director of regional operations for day care or residential child care.
8511 Requests Beyond General Release
If a representative of a news organization contacts CCR staff with questions beyond what is afforded in accordance with 8100 Information for General Release, CCR staff refer the representative to the director of regional operations for their respective program.
The CCR director of regional operations or designee will work with the HHSC chief press officer, or that person's designee, to release information to the media that goes beyond what is allowed in 8100 Information for General Release. Before obtaining information that goes beyond general release, the requestor completes a request for open records when necessary.
8600 Responding to Requests from Legislators
If CCR staff must respond to a request for information from a state government official, a member of a government official’s staff, or a member, agency, or committee of the Texas Legislature, staff refer the requestor to the CCR director of policy and program operations as soon as possible. The CCR director of policy and program operations will work with the HHSC Government and Stakeholder Relations office to respond to the request.
8610 Responding to Requests About Complaints or Legislative Issues
If CCR staff receive a general complaint about decisions or actions of HHSC staff, staff refer the person making the complaint to the CCR regional director for the appropriate program. The CCR regional director will work to resolve the complaint. Unresolved complaints are referred to HHSC Consumer Rights and Services.
If CCR staff receive a request about HHSC’s position on proposed legislation or other legislative issues, staff refer the requestor to the CCR director of policy and program operations. The CCR director of policy and program operations will work with the HHSC Government and Stakeholder Relations department to respond to the request.
8700 Responding to Requests from Disability Rights Texas
Disability Rights Texas is the federally funded and authorized protection and advocacy system for Texans with disabilities.
The federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act allows HHSC to release confidential records to Disability Rights Texas when it is representing an individual or investigating crimes related to a complaint about the treatment of an HHSC client. The Act grants Disability Rights Texas staff special access to CCR records to carry out their duties. Employees of Disability Rights Texas are not required to formally request information related to a Disability Rights Texas client.
42 USC §§15041-15045
CCR staff must take the following steps:
- Respond promptly when Disability Rights Texas requests information related to a Disability Rights Texas client. Expedite the response, regardless of whether Disability Rights Texas requests an expedited response.
When it is not clear whether a request for information is client-related, contact the program specialist responsible for releasing information. (Disability Rights Texas staff do not have the same rights to CCR records when they request information on behalf of a friend or family member, rather than as part of their work with Disability Rights Texas)
- Send all Disability Rights Texas requests to the HHSC Open Records mailbox.