Types of Child Care Operations

What is a Licensed Child Care Center?

A Licensed Child Care Center:

  • Provides care and supervision to seven or more children 13 or younger.
  • Provides care at least two hours, but less than 24 hours, per day, for three or more days a week.
  • Provides care at a location other than the license holder’s home.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

What is a Licensed Before or After-School Program?

A Licensed Before or After-School Program:

  • Provides care and supervision, including the supervision of recreation or skills instruction or training, to children attending pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Provides care at least two hours per day, three or more days a week, before or after, or before and after the customary school day and during school holidays.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

What is a Licensed School-Age Program?

A Licensed School-Age Program:

  • Provides care and supervision, including the supervision of recreation or skills instruction or training, to children attending pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Provides care at least two hours per day, three or more days a week, before or after, or before and after the customary school day and during school holidays, the summer period or any other time when school is not in session.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

What is a Licensed Child-Care Home?

A 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.

What is a Registered Child-Care Home?

A 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.

What is a Listed Family Home?

A 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.

What is a Small Employer Based Child Care Operation?

A Small Employer Based Child Care Operation:

  • Is located on the employer’s premises.
  • Employs less than 100 full-time employees.
  • Provides care and supervision for up to 12 children of the employer’s employees.
  • Has no minimum standards.
  • Is not routinely inspected unless a report alleging child abuse or neglect is received.

What is a General Residential Operation?

A General Residential Operation:

  • Provides 24-hour care and supervision for seven or more children 17 and under;
  • May provide any of the following services:
    • Child care services.
    • Programmatic services, including emergency short-term care services, therapeutic camp services, a transitional living program or assessment services.
    • Treatment services for children with an emotional disorder, an intellectual disability, an autism spectrum disorder or a primary medical need.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

What is a Child-Placing Agency?

A Child-Placing Agency:

  • Is a person or entity other than a child’s natural parent who places or plans for the placement of a child in a foster family home, adoptive home or other residential child-care setting.
  • Does not provide direct care for children.
  • Evaluates the home before verifying a foster family home or approving an adoptive home.
  • Is responsible for supervising and regulating the foster and adoptive homes.
  • Must meet minimum standards.
  • Receives at least one unannounced inspection per year.

What is a Child-Placing Agency Foster Family Home?

A Child-Placing Agency Foster Family Home:

  • Provides care for six or fewer children (in some instances a home can provide care for up to eight children) age 17 and younger.
  • Is issued a verification after a child-placing agency evaluates the home, including interviews with the household members, a review of the background check results and an inspection of the home to make sure the home meets minimum standards.

Note: The Search Texas Child Care application does not allow a person to search for a Child-Placing Agency Foster Family Home. The application only allows a search for a child-placing agency.

What is a Child-Placing Agency Adoptive Home?

A Child-Placing Agency Adoptive Home is issued an approval to accept adoptive placements after a child-placing agency evaluates the home, including interviews with the household members, a review of the background check results and an inspection of the home to make sure the home meets minimum standards.

Note: The Search Texas Child Care application does not allow a person to search for a Child-Placing Agency Adoptive Home. The application only allows a search for a child-placing agency.