Licensing Exemptions

Chapter 42 of the Texas Human Resources Code requires persons who operate a child care facility to be licensed by Child Care Licensing. Chapter 42 also exempts certain programs and facilities from the licensing requirement.

Licensing Exemptions

Can I relinquish a license if I meet all requirements in an exemption type in law?

Yes. You can relinquish a license if you meet all requirements in the law for an exemption type listed in Texas Human Resources Code §42.041(b). Contact your licensing representative to review requirements for the type of exemption and notify the Health and Human Services Commission of your decision.

If I think I am exempt from regulation, what do I do?

If you think you meet requirements for an exemption type listed in Texas Human Resources Code §42.041(b), you do not need to complete an application to obtain a permit. The law provides a concise list of exemptions and their requirements. Licensing can guide you in the Exemption Determination process and will review requirements for the type of exemption you indicate in your exemption request. Most operations receiving public funding require a permit and are not exempt.

Do private schools in Texas need to be licensed?

Private educational facilities that are accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or are a member of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission and that operate for educational purposes for prekindergarten and above may be exempt from regulation. Licensing can guide you in the Exemption Determination process and can review requirements for this educational exemption. The following programs may be part of the exemption: before or after-school programs operated by the accredited facility or some before or after-school programs operated by another entity under contract with the educational facility. Private schools need to obtain a permit from Licensing for any program or service that offers care for children under 3 years of age.

Texas Human Resources Code §42.041(b)(7)  refers to an educational facility that is accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or an accreditation body that is a member of the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission and that operates primarily for educational purposes  for prekindergarten and above, a before-school or after-school program operated directly by an accredited educational facility, or a before-school or after-school program operated by another entity under contract with the educational facility, if the Texas Education Agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or the other accreditation body, as applicable, has approved the curriculum content of the before-school or after-school program operated under the contract.

Do karate, gymnastic or other skills-based classes for children need to be licensed as child care centers or school-age programs?

Texas Human Resources Code §42.041(b)(18) exempts certain programs where children receive direct instruction in a single expertise or proficiency. Requirements for this exemption are set by law and must be met to qualify for the exemption. HRC §42.041(b)(18) refers to a program:

  • in which a child receives direct instruction in a single skill, talent, ability, expertise, or proficiency;
  • that does not provide services or offerings that are not directly related to the single talent, ability, expertise, or proficiency;
  • that does not advertise or otherwise represent that the program is a child-care facility, day-care center, or licensed before-school or after-school program or that the program offers child-care services;
  • that informs the parent or guardian:
    • that the program is not licensed by the state; and
    • about the physical risks a child may face while participating in the program; and
  • that conducts background checks for all program employees and volunteers who work with children in the program using information that is obtained from the Department of Public Safety.

How do I know if a program is regulated by the Health and Human Services Commission?

You can research programs and access information on regulated programs. The web site has clear instructions on how to narrow your search successfully. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure that the program will meet the individual needs of your child and provide an environment where he or she can flourish. Visit the facility and ask questions.

Do I need a license to operate an 11-week summer program?

There is no exemption for an 11-week summer program. Texas Human Resources Code  §42.041(b)(17) exempts a child care facility that operates for less than three consecutive weeks and less than 40 days in a period of 12 months. If during a 12-month period your facility operates for fewer than three consecutive weeks and for under 40 days, your facility may be exempt from regulation. If your facility plans to operate over the limits provided in law for exempt facilities, contact your local licensing office for further information.

If I operate an exempt program, can I operate another exempt program at the same location?

If you have distinct programs for different clients with dedicated personnel and space at the same location, you may operate more than one exempt program. Please contact the local licensing office to complete the appropriate Exemption Determination request. The request forms are listed below.

Can a single skill program offer field trips, homework, and nap-time for children in care and still be exempt?

No, because offering these activities would not meet the criteria for exemption. However, there are activities that a single skill exempt program can provide. For example, providing transportation, serving snacks, giving children time to change into proper gear and having reasonable breaks during the hours of operation are services related to the instruction of any single skill, talent or proficiency.

Is there a list of all type of facilities that do not require a HHSC Child Care Licensing permit?

Yes. Texas Human Resources Code (HRC) §42.041 relating to "Required License", lists exemptions from child care regulation. You can find the list of facilities and their specific requirements listed in §745.113 to §745.129 of the Texas Administrative Code.

A program that is exempt from HHSC regulation or is otherwise not subject to HHSC regulation may operate legally without receiving a permit (license, certification, registration or listing) from Child Care Licensing; or complying with the statutes, rules, or standards that govern regulated child care in Texas. Such a program does not have to meet the requirements of a specific exemption under Texas Human Resources Code §42.041(b).

Requests for Exemption from Regulation Forms