Become a Child Care Center-Based Provider

The process for getting a permit to operate a child care operation in Texas is designed to protect children by building a cooperative relationship between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the applicant. Please become familiar with general requirements, rules and resources before you apply.

Please review the steps below:

  1. Attend a Licensed Center Orientation Class
  2. Become Familiar with Required Materials and Helpful Resources
  3. Submit an Application
  4. Create a Child Care Licensing Account

Step 1 - Attend a Licensed Center Orientation Class

Schedule an orientation class to learn more about the application process and what it takes to become a Child Care Center-Based Provider.

Step 2 - Become Familiar with Required Materials and Helpful Resources

You will receive an information packet during your orientation class. The contents of information packets vary by location but will include supplemental forms to complete the application process, as well as contact information for local Child Care Regulation (CCR) staff.

Please review the following information and links to learn more about some of the things you will need to consider when applying to become a child care provider.

Licensing Requirements

CCR regulates child care offered in center-based and home-based operations. Child care includes the care, supervision, training, or education of an unrelated child or children (13 or younger) for less than 24 hours per day in a place other than the child's own home. There are three types of center-based operations: licensed child care centers, before or after-school programs and school-age programs.

Helpful Information can be found by visiting the following pages:

To determine whether your operation may be exempt from licensing regulations, visit Child Care Regulation Licensing Exemptions.

Background Checks

Certain persons at child care operations are required to complete a background check, which may include a Central Registry (child abuse and neglect registry), FBI, and a sex offender registry check. Background checks must be completed before a person provides direct care or has direct access to children in care and on a recurring basis thereafter. If a person has a history of abuse or neglect or has a criminal history, then the person may be prohibited from being at a child care operation.

Visit the CCR Background Checks and Background Checks Notifications pages to learn more.

Controlling Person

All child day care operations are required to submit information on the operation's controlling persons. For more information, visit: Controlling Person.

Minimum Standards

CCR develops rules for child care in Texas. Each set of minimum standards is based on a particular chapter of the Texas Administrative Code and the corresponding child care operation permit type. Minimum standards are designed to reduce risk for children by providing basic requirements to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children in out-of-home care. Learn more about Minimum Standards.

Liability Insurance

Insurance coverage is an important protection for your business. CCR requires applicants for a licensed child care center, before or after-school program, or school-age program to obtain proof of coverage before CCR issues a permit. Learn more in the Texas Administrative Code.

Application Materials

Your complete application packet includes the application form, application fee, and other supplemental forms and documents. For example, a Plan of Operation, including policies and procedures, is a document that is an important part of the application for some licensed operations. It requires your time and attention. It is your written plan showing how you plan to comply with minimum standards. For example, it needs to include information about who is responsible for ensuring minimum standards are met at all times, the physical facility, activities, child to caregiver ratios, safety, and sanitation.

Application Inspection

After you submit a completed application, CCR staff will conduct an inspection to ensure you and your operation comply with the applicable law and minimum standards. CCR staff periodically inspects your operation to make sure it continues to meet minimum standards. After your operation demonstrates compliance with minimum standards, CCR staff will issue an initial or full license to you.

Technical Assistance

CCR staff will assist you every time you need it. We will support you at your pre-application class, at every inspection, over the phone, and on-line. We encourage you to use the forms and documents created for you. Visit the online Technical Assistance Library.


CCR is required to charge fees for processing applications, issuing permits, and conducting background checks. CCR also collects an annual fee that is due each year on the anniversary date of the issuance of your license. The money from fees is deposited in the state's general revenue fund.

Compliance History

Information about your home and its compliance history will be available to anyone on our public Search Texas Child Care.

Zoning, Building Codes and other Legal Requirements

In some areas, you may need to meet zoning, building code, homeowner association, and other requirements concerning the location and construction of a child care operation. These are not CCR requirements, but you may have to meet them before local authorities will perform fire and sanitation inspections.


Read Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Childcare to find general topics and specific information on many topics. It helps providers and applicants review policies and learn about recent changes. Center-based Child Care FAQs has information specific to child care center-based operations.

Training and Resources

Find information regarding access to government programs and resources at:


Contact your local Child Care Regulation Office.

Step 3 - Submit an Application

Complete the application form and send it along with other required forms/documentation to your local Child Care Regulation office.

Step 4 - Create a Child Care Licensing Account

Complete Online Registration to create your provider account once CCR has accepted your application and has provided you with an operation number.