Child Care Licensing
Minimum standards review
Child Care Licensing has been working the past 18 months, on the six-year, comprehensive review of Texas Child Care Minimum Standards. During the time of our comprehensive review, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) of 2014 passed.
The CCDBG Act is the first comprehensive revision of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program since 1998. The Texas Workforce Commission administers the fund, which is the primary federal funding source devoted to providing low-income families with access to child care.
The Act makes significant reforms to the fund programs to raise the health, safety, and quality of child care. The Act does this by mandating that states comply with a multitude of additional requirements in order to continue receiving the CCDF funding.
Although the Workforce Commission is the lead agency for determining eligibility and distributing the subsidy monies, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is the agency responsible for licensing child care operations, establishing health and safety regulations, and monitoring eligible operations for compliance. Therefore, many of the Act’s additional requirements relate to the responsibilities of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
When will the new standards and changes roll out? The requirements of the CCDBG updates must take effect Sept. 1, 2016. The comprehensive licensing review will roll out its own changes effective in 2017. Trainings will be offered for providers. Dates and locations are still pending.
When will I get a new copy of the updated standards? Licensing will no longer mail copies of the minimum standards. Minimum standards for all regulated care are kept up to date, online at: www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Child_Care_Standards_and_Regulations/default.asp.
The online formats are easy to search, download to your desktop computer, and add to your tablet or smart phone.
Why roll out the changes at different times? Licensing felt it was valuable for providers to be able to differentiate between rules that were mandated by the federal government versus updates that reflect the input of stakeholders, providers, and Licensing on our standards. Also, Texas already meets many of the CCDBG requirements, so the additions or updates with some CCDBG rules merely enhance what Texas providers already have in place.
Which standards are completely new to Texas with the CCDBG requirements? Prevention of and Response to Emergencies Due to Food and Allergic Reactions
Which standards were updated to meet CCDBG requirements? The following content areas:
Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases
Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Using Safe Sleeping Practices
Building and Physical Premises Safety
Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning
Handling, Storing, and Disposing of Hazardous Materials and Biological Contaminants
Transportation of Children
Health and Safety Training
Will training hours increase with CCDFG? No, the number of training hours remains the same. The change you will find relates to the required training content. Licensing and the Workforce Commission partnered with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service previously, and most training content areas are online. Many are free. http://infanttoddler.tamu.edu/courses/ChildCareProviders.php
How will I learn more information so I can be in compliance? Our licensing staff will begin to provide technical assistance at your inspection and talk to you about the new standards. Items that are not in compliance will have a six-month grace period. We strongly encourage you to begin working on the implementation of the changes as soon as possible to ensure the safest environment for all children in care.
How do I stay up-to-date on the new standards? Licensing sends emails to all providers when we have announcements, whether it is a safety initiative, notice of proposed rules, or notice of new rules. Please keep a watchful eye on our website at: www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Child_Care_Standards_and_Regulations/default.asp.
What do I do if I am not getting these emails? If you are not getting the emails, please take the following actions:
1. Check you spam/junk folder and look for a “GovDelivery” sender. If you have this sender in your email, you will need to update your email service to accept messages from this sender or check your spam often.
2. Sign up for email with Licensing at the following link: www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care/default.asp. Once the page opens and you see the example below, you will click on the “envelope” icon that is pointed out by the green arrow below. (Acquire PDF for
full version of this article.)
All providers are automatically subscribed to our system when submitting an application. Please be sure to update your email, if you have changed accounts, via the method above.
Where can I get more information on the CCDBG content areas? You may access the complete list of health and safety guidance from the CCDBG ACT. The link below will provide you with resources that may increase your knowledge on the health and safety guidelines. IMPORTANT: Note that this link is NOT the new Texas standards. The following link has many resources that can be an aid in helping you to update your policies and procedures and locate training resources, among other things. This is not the set of Texas standards that will roll out Sept. 1, 2016. https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/topics/health-and-safety-and-licensing
Brief #1: Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases
Brief #2: Administering Medications
Brief #3: Prevention of and Response to Emergencies Due to Food and Allergic Reactions
Brief #4: Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Using Safe Sleeping Practices
Brief #5: Building and Physical Premises Safety
Brief #6: Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning
Brief #7: Handling, Storing, and Disposing of Hazardous Materials and Biological Contaminants
Brief #8: Transportation of Children
Brief #9: Health and Safety Training
If I still have questions, who can assist me? Your local licensing staff is available Monday-Friday, 8-5. You can find the local offices at www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Local_Child_Care_Licensing_Offices/default.asp.
Still have questions? You may also submit questions to: MSC@dfps.state.tx.us.