August 28, 2020

Because of COVID-19, many families are seeking alternative plans to facilitate virtual learning for the upcoming school year. Child care providers might need to request a variance to allow for extended screen time for school-age children participating in virtual or remote learning activities while in the care of your operation.

For Child Care Centers:

Supporting virtual learning might be an extension of an existing child care program. Operations can request a variance for Texas Administrative Code §746.2207(c)(3) to allow for extended screen time.

Child care centers also have the option of creating a separate program for virtual learning not associated with the child care operation. To do so, an operation must meet the criteria outlined in §745.119(5) and submit a request for an exemption under a Private Educational Facility (Form 2820). The exempt program will need to be separate from the regulated operation as described in §745.139.

For Licensed and Registered Child Care Homes:

Operations can request a variance for §747.2105(b)(3) to allow for extended screen time for school-age children to support virtual learning. A variance can be requested for a RCCH to exceed the ratio for school-age children, but the operation must not exceed the maximum capacity of 12. (See §747.1701.)

For Before or After-School Program/School Age Programs (SAP/BAP):

SAP/BAPs planning to offer a full-day program for virtual learning and enrichment for pre-kindergarten and school-age children can request an exemption for a Private Educational Facility [§745.119(5)] with Form 2820. The exempt program would need to be separate from the regulated operation as described in §745.139.

You can request a variance through your Child Care Provider portal account or submit the variance request Form 2937 to your inspector. For questions or additional support, contact your inspector. If you do not know your inspector, email Msc@hhsc.state.tx.us with your operation name and operation number.