On March 31, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA 14 implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people not in the same household. The governor’s executive order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19. The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. View the document for examples of essential services.
Child day care operations are encouraged to remain open to serve essential service employees and children receiving protective daycare services authorized by the Department of Family & Protective Services. The governor has set up the Frontline Child Care Portal to match essential service employees with available child care spots.
Can I continue to serve families of non-essential service employees?
No. You can only provide child care services for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services. Use the attached Parent Letter to inform parents who have children still attending your child care operation of this change.
How can I provide child day care for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services?
If your child day care operation will remain open to serve essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services, update your availability by completing the Availability Form. The form does not open in Internet Explorer. Do this as often as you want but at least once a week. We recommend bookmarking this webpage. Visit this link to find instructions for how to log in for the first time. Email MSC@hhsc.state.tx.us if you have difficulties logging on.
How often can I update my available spots on the Frontline Child Care portal?
Establish your account and then you can update your open spots at any time. The system will send you reminders. It will require you to update your availability at least weekly.
Do I have to confirm a parent’s essential service employee status prior to providing child day care?
Yes, you must ensure you are only providing child day care to essential service employees and to children receiving protective day care services per the Executive Order GA 14.
All parents must complete one of two forms. Form 7265 will indicate which approved essential service they are providing per the US Department of Homeland Security and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Form 7264 will indicate they have been authorized by DFPS to receive protective day care services.
Do I have to keep a record of the completed form for each child in my care?
Yes, you must keep a record of the completed form for each child in your care.
Can my staff bring their own children to my child day care operation while they work?
Yes, your staff can bring their own children to the child day care operation while they work if are providing child day care for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services.
How can I ensure the health and safety of my staff and children in care?
You must follow:
- UPDATED CDC guidelines for Child Care Programs that Remain Open
- HHSC COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers
- HHSC COVID-19 Guidance to Daycare Child Care Providers about Variances
- DSHS COVID-19 Informational Page
What steps should I take if I choose to close my operation?
Complete the following survey to update us on your operation’s status whether you plan to permanently or temporarily close your operation.