Become a Child Care Home Provider

Step 1 - Attend a Child Care Home Pre-Application Class

Contact your local Child Care Licensing office to get dates for pre-application classes scheduled in your area.

Step 2 - Become Familiar with Required Materials and Helpful Resources

You will receive an information packet during your pre-application class. The contents of information packets will include supplemental forms to complete the application process, as well as contact information for local Child Care Licensing staff.

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

Licensing Requirements

Licensing 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.

Licensed Child-Care Home

  • Provides care and supervision to seven to 12 children 13 or younger (no more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children related to the caregiver).
  • Provides care at least two hours, but less than 24 hours, per day, for three or more days a week.
  • Provides care in the primary caregiver's home.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

Registered Child-Care Home

  • Provides care and supervision for up to six unrelated children 13 or younger during school hours, and can also provide care and supervision for six additional school-age children after school hours (no more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children related to the caregiver).
  • Provides care at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more consecutive weeks; or four hours a day for 40 or more days in a 12-month period.
  • Provides care in the primary caregiver's home.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection every one to two years.

Listed Family Home

  • Provides care and supervision for up to three unrelated children.
  • Provides care at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more consecutive weeks; or four hours a day for 40 or more days in a 12-month period.
  • Provides care in the primary caregiver's home.
  • Has no minimum standards or training requirements for caregivers.
  • Is not routinely inspected unless a report is received alleging: child abuse or neglect, an immediate risk of danger to the health or safety of a child, or the caregiver is caring for too many children.

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 background checks webpage to learn more.

Minimum Standards

Child Care Licensing 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.

Visit the Minimum Standards webpage to learn more.

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 a key 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, Child Care Licensing staff will conduct an inspection to ensure you and your home comply with the applicable law and minimum standards. Licensing staff periodically inspects your home to make sure it continues to meet minimum standards. After you home demonstrates compliance with minimum standards, Licensing staff will issue you an initial or full permit.

Note: Listed Homes are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child abuse or neglect, an immediate risk of danger to the health or safety of a child, or the caregiver is caring for too many children.

Technical Assistance

Child Care Licensing 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 on-line Technical Assistance Library.

Fees

Licensing is required to charge fees for processing applications, issuing permits, and conducting background checks. Licensing also collects an annual fee that is due each year on the anniversary date of the issuance of your permit.  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 on our public web site at www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Search_Texas_Child_Care/default.asp. It is available to anyone.

Zoning, Building Codes and other Legal Requirements

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

FAQs

The Frequently Asked Questions page will help you find general topics and specific information on many topics. It helps providers and applicants review policies and learn about recent changes too.

Contact

Step 3 – Create an online Child Care Licensing account

Create your Online Account. Once you have an online account with CCL, you will be able to submit an online application for your child care home operation. On the page where you create your account (the Create a Child Care Licensing Account page), select "No," for the question "Do you have a permit number?", and complete the online account registration form. Once you have successfully submitted your registration request, you will receive an email containing a link that you must click on in order to complete account activation.

If you do not receive the confirmation email (subject line "Complete Registration") within 24-hours, please check your spam folders. If you still have not received the email, attempt to register again and watch for any errors when you submit your registration. If you continue to have difficulty registering, please contact your local Child Care Licensing office.

After you have successfully registered and activated your account, you will need to log in to your account. Once you are logged in, you will be able to complete and submit an online application (eApplication) from within your account.

Step 4 – Submit an Online Application and Fees

After you have successfully registered and activated your account, you will need to log in to your account. Once you are logged in, you will be able to complete and submit an online application (eApplication) from within your account.

When your eApplication has been successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation number. You will also receive instructions for submitting your fee payment and other supplemental documents. You can begin gathering supplemental information, but do not submit fee payments until Licensing contacts you with your operation number, which you will need to include with your fee payment.

Within a few business days you should receive a call from a Child Care Licensing representative in your area to discuss the status of your application, provide you with an operation number (this will later become your permit number if you are granted a permit), and to help answer any outstanding questions that you may have.

You can also periodically check the status of your application by logging into your account.

What if I don't want to apply online?

If you prefer to complete a paper application, please complete the application packet forms and send it to your local Child Care Licensing office.

You will also need to complete the applicable Child Care Fee Schedule and send both the form and the fee payment ($35 for Licensed & Registered Homes, $20 for Listed Homes) to the address listed on the form.