Center-based Child Care FAQs

Do children younger than 8 years old or less than 4' 9" need to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system?

Yes, Texas law requires children younger than 8 years old or less than 4' 9" to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system.

  • Passenger vehicles, including 15 passenger vans, require seat belts and child safety restraints, plus booster seats for children aged 5-7, unless a child is 4"9".
  • Buses over 10,000 pounds do not require booster seats for children aged 5-7.

What type of individual storage space must I have for children?

§746.4505 requires individual adequate storage space for each child's personal belongings. This may be separate hooks, shelves, lockers, or cubicles. Other ideas for storage space include laundry baskets, buckets, carpet squares or placemats on a floor or table. Individual storage space encourages children to organize and be responsible for their personal possessions and offers children a sense of belonging when they can recognize the space as their own. Providing separate space for personal belongings also reduces the spread of lice, scabies and ringworm, which are the most common diseases spread in child care settings.

Will backpacks comply with the requirement for individual storage space for children?

Individual backpacks laid out in a way that children can easily identify their own belongings may comply; however, you should also consider where these children would store a coat, art project, or sports equipment that does not fit into a backpack. Adequate storage would include individual space to accommodate all of a child's personal belongings.

Do baby monitors comply with the minimum standard for supervision?

Auditory awareness is only one component of the standards §744.1205 and 746.1205, requiring supervision at all times. You must consider the ages of the children, their individual differences and abilities, the layout of the building and other hazards or risks. You must also have physical proximity to the children in your care and must intervene when necessary to ensure children's safety. The use of the baby monitor would depend on each of these variables.

Does a "listed" phone number have to be in the local phone book or only listed in the enrollment agreement I provide to parents?

For purposes of this requirement, minimum standards §744.3051 and 746.4507, a listed telephone number is referring to a telephone number that may be obtained from directory assistance by a parent or other person wishing to contact the operation.

How many hours of ongoing training do I need to obtain annually as a child care center director?

Licensed Child Care Center directors must obtain 30 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the operation provides care.

How many hours of ongoing training do my child care center employees need to obtain annually?

Licensed Child Care Center employees must obtain 24 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the person provides care.

How many hours of ongoing training do I need to obtain annually as an operation director or program director of a before or after-school program or school-age director?

An operation director and/or a program director must obtain 20 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the operation provides care.

How many hours of ongoing training do caregivers and site directors of my before or after-school program or school-age program employees need to obtain annually? 

Each caregiver and site director must obtain at least 15 clock hours of training each year relevant to the age of the children for whom the person provides care.

Can I count pre-service training as annual clock hours for my caregivers if taken for a refresher course?

In §744.1301 and §746.1301, the annual training hours are exclusive of the pre-service training requirements. Pre-service training is meant to provide a caregiver with a basic understanding of children and how to work with them, before being given responsibility for a group. In most cases, a caregiver who has been in the classroom will not benefit from this basic level of training. Annual training hours build on this basic foundation and provide an opportunity for a caregiver to learn new techniques or develop specific skills. Training topics are similar for both pre-service training and annual training requirements; however, the content for annual training should build on what was learned during pre-service training.

What are some examples of instructor-led, self-instructional, and self-study training?

§744.123 and 746.123 include the definitions of instructor-led, self-instructional, and self-study training. 

Instructor-led training is characterized by the communication and interaction that takes place between the student and the instructor. The training must include an opportunity for the student to interact with the instructor to obtain clarifications and information beyond the scope of the training materials.  Examples of this type of training include, classroom training, web-based on-line facilitated learning, video-conferencing, or other group learning experiences.  Instructor-Led training is live training that includes interaction between the instructor and participants. Technology may allow for instructor-led training as long as it is live, with the participants being able to interact in real time.

Self-instructional training is designed to be used by one individual working alone and at the individual's own pace to complete lessons or modules. Lessons or modules commonly include questions with clear right and wrong answers. Examples include web-based training and self-study. Some typical examples of self-instructional training are training from sources such as Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These training examples are offered online, may be completed at the participants own pace, and includes knowledge check questions to be completed before the completion certificate is generated.  Before the advancement of technology, many trainers created hard copy modules or training binders that could be purchased. These modules are self-paced, include quizzes, or writing assignments that would need to be mailed to the trainer for their review, and upon completion, a certificate would be issued.  Training binders quizzes/writing assignments have also been evaluated for completeness by the primary caregiver verifying the completion of the employees training. A director that meets the training requirements outlined in 746.1317(a)(6), can also evaluate the self-paced modules and training binders quizzes or writing assignments for completeness. The director would then issue a training certificate using their trainer credentials and certifying completeness of the training. Directors cannot certify training hours for themselves nor issue training certificates for themselves per 746.1311(i). 

Self-study training is Non-standardized training where an individual reads written materials, watches a training video or listens to a recording to obtain specific knowledge that is required for annual training.  An example of self-study training could be a recorded webinar or a published article online or in print. In either of these examples, there is not an opportunity for interaction, learning evaluation, or participation. Your training time would be the amount of time taken to read or listen to the training content, not to exceed three hours per training year.

Our operation is located in the church building and the church secretary answers the telephone for us. Do we need to have a separate listed number for the child-care operation?

If the operation shares a telephone with the church or school and does not have its own listed telephone number, operation staff must have access to a telephone located in the same building for use in an emergency and where a person is available to receive incoming calls, transmit messages immediately, and make outgoing calls. Generally, parents will know the name of the church or operation their children are attending and there is typically a listed telephone number for this location. If a cellular phone is being used as the operation's telephone, the phone number should be listed with directory assistance so parents and others may reach the operation.

How can I release training records to my employees who no longer work for me and also keep these records in my files for three months after the employee leaves?

§744.907 and §746.907 require you keep all records for at least three months after an employee's last day on the job, with the exception of annual training records. Training records for the last full training year and current year are to be maintained on current directors and caregivers. Persons no longer employed at the operation are not considered current employees. This allows an employer to release original training certificates to an exiting employee, if they choose to.

As a child care center director, why can't I obtain credit toward my annual training hours by training others?

§746.1311 states training hours may not be earned for presenting training to others. Training others does not satisfy the purpose of obtaining training, which is to learn the newest techniques for dealing with children, learn the latest findings in what children need and how they develop, and to refresh and energize skills.

Training that you attend to learn new information (which you may share with others at a later date) is acceptable annual training, if it complies with §746.1311 and §746.1317.