State Licensing


The Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) regulates child care and child-placing activities in Texas, investigates reported cases of abuse/neglect in child-care facilities, and creates and enforces minimum standards for child care facilitites.

The Child Care Licensing division of DFPS develops rules for child care in Texas. Once proposed, reviewed, and adopted, these rules become part of the Texas Administrative Code (Child Care Licensing Rules). Each set of Minimum Standards is based on a particular chapter of the Texas Administrative Code and the corresponding child-care operation permit type(s). The Minimum Standards are designed to mitigate risk for children in out-of-home care settings by outlining basic requirements to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children in care.

Each of the Child Care Licensing Minimum Standards in Texas has been assigned a weight (High, Medium High, Medium, Medium Low, or Low) based on the risk that a violation of that standard presents to children. Weights are noted within the minimum standards documents in the left margin next to each standard or subsection. Only those standards that can be violated (marked as a deficiency) are weighted. For example, definitions are not weighted.

Assigning weights to the Minimum Standards takes into account the relative importance of standard violations and helps facilitate a clear and common understanding of risk among providers, consumers, and Licensing staff. When child-care providers and Licensing staff have the same understanding regarding the risk associated with each standard deficiency, they can use this information as a guide in correcting deficiencies and setting priorities when making corrections. While weights reflect the risk to children if a rule is violated, the assigned weights do not change based on the scope or severity of the specific circumstances surrounding an actual deficiency. In addition to the weights of the standards, Licensing staff consider, assess, and document scope and severity factors when making Licensing decisions.

To learn more about child care licensing, click here to visit the Texas DFPS web site.