Types of Child Care
State and federal funding enables us to assist you in selecting a child care provider who will meet your needs and provide the best care available for your children. There are several child care options available to you. You may choose from the following:
- Registered or Licensed Child Care Home
- Licensed Child Care Center
- Approved Relative Child Care provider
We have provided the following information on each type of facility to help you in your decision. For more information, including Tips on Choosing Child Care, click here. In addition, we have provided information on quality child care standards, including:
- Texas Rising Star Providers
- Texas School Ready Programs (TSR)
Registered Child Care Homes
Registered Child Care Homes provide care in the caregiver’s home for up to six children under age five. In addition, providers may also care for six more school-age children. The total number of children allowed in a home is determined by the ages of the children. No more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children of the caregiver. Registered homes are inspected every 1-3 years or more often if a report is filed regarding child abuse/neglect or a violation of standards.
Licensed Child Care Homes
Licensed Child Care Homes , formerly called Group Homes, provide services in the provider’s residence or a separate facility for 7 to 12 children from birth to 13 years. No more than 12 children can be in care at any given time, including children of the caregiver. Licensed homes are inspected at least once a year or more often if a report is filed regarding child abuse/neglect or standards violations.
Licensed Child Care Centers
Licensed Child Care Centers care for seven (7) or more children for less than 24 hours per day at a location other than the child’s or caregiver’s home. Centers may have different names, such as preschool or child development center, or may serve a specific population, such as school-age children. Licensed centers are inspected at least once a year or more often if a report is received related to child abuse/neglect or standards violations.
Relative Child Care
Relative Child Care allows a parent to use a relative of the child as the child care provider. An eligible relative is an individual who does not reside in the same household as the child, is at least 18 years of age, and is, by marriage, blood relationship, or court decree, one of the following:
• the child's grandparent or great-grandparent;
• the child's aunt or uncle; or
• the child’s sibling.
Individuals who are listed on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry are not eligible to be a relative care provider. Relative Child Care is not monitored by child care licensing or CCCS staff. The quality of care provided is based upon an agreement between the parent and the provider, and their individual needs. Relative providers must be "Listed" with DFPS.
What is Registered & Licensed Child Care?
Registered and Licensed Child Care Homes and Licensed Child Care Centers must go through an application process, orientation, and inspection by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Child Care Licensing before a permit to operate is issued. All staff must meet minimum training requirements related to care and education of children, including CPR and first aid as well as have a high school diploma or GED.
DFPS Child Care Licensing is responsible for monitoring all registered and licensed facilities and issuing permits to operate the child care program. CCCS does not monitor licensing regulations. Any concerns or complaints regarding services provided by licensed and registered child care facilities should be reported to Child Care Licensing for investigation and follow up. They can be reached at 800-582-6036.
Quality Child Care Standards
Texas Rising Star Provider:
In order to have an agreement to serve children in our program, child care programs must meet a higher level of quality than the Texas Minimum Standards. Texas has a quality rating system called Texas Rising Star and the higher the quality, the higher their rating is. For more information, please visit the Texas Rising Star website: https://texasrisingstar.org/. If you are interested in searching for a Texas Rising Star program for your child, please visit the Texas Child Care Availability Portal - https://find.childcare.texas.gov/welcome
To search for Texas Rising Star Programs, please click here:
Texas School Ready (TSR):
TSR was designed by the State Center for Early Childhood Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center. The Model encourages school readiness programs to share certified teachers and to integrate facility, space, professional development, and funding from Child Care, Head Start, and Pre-kindergarten sources. The critical instructional components of TSR include:
- Research-based curriculum
- Ongoing professional development through classroom mentoring
- Progress monitoring of children through personal digital assistant devices
For additional information about centers participating in the TSR project, contact the State Center for Early Childhood Development at 713.500.3575 or visit www.childrenslearninginstitute.org.