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Minimum Standard Rules for Registered and Licensed Child-Care Homes


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Introduction

The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) is required by Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code to conduct a comprehensive review of the minimum standard rules every six years. The standards in this publication represent a recent consolidation of minimum standards for registered family homes and group day care homes into one set of standards for home-based child care, which are effective September 1, 2003.

While the type of standards has historically dictated certain types of child care, organization of the standards by facility type no longer addressed the diverse needs of individual children within a facility. PRS believes that consolidating the minimum standard rules in this manner will help PRS and child-care operators to focus on meeting the needs of children in care.

Questions and Answers

These standards for Registered and Licensed Child-Care Homes have been written in an easy to follow question and answer format. This "plain language" format is being used more and more in government documents to help the user find requirements quickly and understand them easily. The added detail, characteristic of a question and answer format, will also increase consistency in interpretation and enforcement and reduce mistakes and frustration. PRS anticipates that the easier the standards are to read and comprehend, the higher the rate of compliance.

Audience

These standards were written for the primary caregiver or operator of the child-care home who is referred to as "you," and variations such as "I" or "my." The primary caregiver is asking the questions. PRS or Licensing is referred to as "we," and variations such as "our" or "us." PRS is responding to the primary caregiver's questions.

Table of Contents and Index

The plain language format allowed us to breakdown the minimum standards into smaller sections by topic. The table of contents and index will help you to identify and quickly locate topics in the publication. This feature is especially helpful in the electronic version of our publication which can be found on our website at www.tdprs.state.tx.us/child_care you may share this publication with parents and others by referring them to our website or providing them with a photocopy.

Appendices

Appendices, which can be found at the back of the publication, provide supporting information referred to in the standards such as excerpts of the law (Texas Family Code and Texas Penal Code) or rules from the Texas Administrative Code.

Best Practices

Another new feature we hope you will find helpful are the best practices delineated by text in boxes. The best practices may provide information regarding the health, safety and well-being of children that exceeds the minimum standards, offer helpful hints for providers and parents, or convey rationale for the minimum standard. You may choose if you want to utilize these best practices; however, you are not required to follow or comply with them.

See the following resources for further information related to child-care Best Practices:

The ABC's of Safe and Healthy Child Care

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Internet website: http://www.cdc.gov

Keeping Kids Healthy-The Lone Star Guide for Healthy Child Care

Healthy Child Care North Texas Coalition

Texas Department of Health

P.O. Box 181869

Arlington, Texas 76096-1869

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

1509 16th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036-1426

Internet website: http://www.naeyc.org/

Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care, Second Edition

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

P.O. Box 747

Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0747

Internet website: http://www.aap.org

Handbook for Public Playground Safety

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Washington, D.C. 20207-0001

Internet website: http://cpsc.gov/

National Program for Playground Safety

School of Health, Physical Education & Leisure Services (NPPS)

WRC 205, University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0618

Internet website: http://www.uni.edu/playground

The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood

Contributing authors Marilyn Goldhammer and Laura J. Colker

Published by Teaching Strategies, Inc.

P.O. Box 42243,

Washington, D.C.

Texas Child Care

Published by the Texas Workforce Commission

P.O. Box 162881

Austin, Texas 78716-2881

Maintaining Compliance in a Licensed Child-Care Home

It is essential that you and caregivers who assist you recognize four critical aspects of Licensing's efforts to protect the children in care and to help you comply with the law, rules, and standards:

1. The inspection: Various aspects of the operation are evaluated for compliance with the Minimum Standard Rules during regular inspections of the operation. The emphasis on these inspections is to prevent risk to children in care. All operations are designated a monitoring plan based upon their compliance history:

Plan 1 -- Inspections are made every 3 - 5 months to operations with repeated deficiencies that do not place children at immediate risk, are too new to have established a compliance record, or are have made inadequate attempts to correct deficiencies.

Plan 2 -- Inspections are made every 6 - 9 months to operations with a few deficiencies that do not put children at immediate risk, and that are corrected on time.

Plan 3 -- Inspections are made every 10 - 12 months to operations that consistently comply or whose deficiencies are few and are promptly corrected.

Deficiencies: During any inspection, if Licensing staff find that the operation does not meet minimum standards in specific areas, these areas are discussed with you or your substitute caregiver in your absence. Technical assistance and consultation on the problem area are provided. If a deficiency is recorded, time frames for correcting them are noted. You or your substitute caregiver will be asked to sign the monitoring form. Signing the form is only to signify that you have been made aware of the report and in no way indicates that you agree with the finding. Discuss your disagreements and concerns with your Licensing representative. If your concerns are not dealt with, ask for an administrative review.

2. Technical Assistance: Part of the Licensing Division's job is to offer consultation to potential applicants and permit holders about meeting and maintaining compliance with Licensing standards, and achieving programs of excellence.

3. Investigation of Reports: When a report alleges abuse or neglect, a deficiency in meeting standards, or a violation of the law, the Licensing Division must investigate and must notify you or your substitute caregiver of the investigation, and report the results of that investigation in writing within prescribed time frames.

4. Your rights/entitlements:

Waivers and variances: If you are unable to comply with a standard for economic reasons, or there is good and just cause to meet the purpose of the standard in a different way, you may request a waiver or variance of the standard. Ask your Licensing representative to explain the process.

Administrative Review: If you disagree with a Licensing representative's decision or action, you may request an administrative review. This is where disagreements over Licensing Division actions can be resolved. Generally, a supervisor is assigned to review your case.

It is important that you clearly understand the purpose of Minimum Standards and the reasons for the Licensing representative's inspections. Do not hesitate to ask questions of Licensing staff that will help you understand any Licensing actions and your options. You may obtain information about Licensing standards or procedures by calling our toll-free telephone number, 1-800-862-5252 or visiting our web site at www.tdprs.state.tx.us.

Maintaining Compliance in a Registered Child-Care Home

It is essential that you recognize four critical aspects of Licensing's efforts to protect the children in care and to help you comply with the law, rules, and standards:

1. The inspection: Various aspects of the operation are evaluated for compliance with the Minimum Standard Rules during regular inspections of the operation. The emphasis on these inspections is to prevent risk to children in care. All operations are designated a monitoring plan based on their compliance history:

Plan 1 -- Inspections are made every 10-12 months to operations with repeated deficiencies that do not place children at immediate risk, are too new to have established a compliance record, or are have made inadequate attempts to correct deficiencies.

Plan 2 -- Inspections are made every 22-24 months to operations with a few deficiencies that do not put children at immediate risk, and that are corrected on time.

Plan 3 -- Inspections are made every 34-36 months to operations that consistently comply or whose deficiencies are few and are promptly corrected.

Deficiencies: During any inspection, if Licensing staff find that the operation does not meet minimum standards in specific areas, these areas are discussed with you or your substitute caregiver in your absence. Technical assistance and consultation on the problem area are provided. If a deficiency is recorded, time frames for correcting them are noted. You or your substitute caregiver will be asked to sign the monitoring form. Signing the form is only to signify that you have been made aware of the report and in no way indicates that you agree with the finding. Discuss your disagreements and concerns with your Licensing representative. If your concerns are not dealt with, ask for an administrative review.

2. Technical Assistance: Part of the Licensing program's job is to offer consultation to potential applicants and permit holders about meeting and maintaining compliance with Licensing standards, and achieving programs of excellence.

3. Investigation of Reports: When a report alleges abuse or neglect, a deficiency in meeting standards, or a violation of the law, the Licensing Division must investigate and must notify you or your substitute caregiver of the investigation, and report the results of that investigation in writing within prescribed time frames.

4. Your rights/entitlements:

Waivers and variances: If you are unable to comply with a standard for economic reasons, or are able to meet the intent of the standard in a different way, you may request a waiver or variance of the standard. Ask your Licensing representative to explain the process.

Administrative Review: If you disagree with a Licensing representative's decision or action, you may request an administrative review. This is where disagreements over Licensing Division actions can be resolved. Generally, a supervisor is assigned to review your case.

It is important that you clearly understand the purpose of Minimum Standard Rules and the reasons for the Licensing representative's inspections. Do not hesitate to ask questions of Licensing staff that will help you understand any Licensing actions and your options. You may obtain information about Licensing standards or procedures by calling our toll-free telephone number, 1-800-862-5252 or visiting our web site at www.tdprs.state.tx.us

Administration

§747.101 What is the purpose of this chapter?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

The purpose of this chapter is to set forth the minimum standards that apply to child-care homes.

§747.103 What do certain pronouns mean when used in this chapter?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

The following words have the following meanings when used in this chapter:

(1) I, my, you, and your -- A permit holder who is the primary caregiver in a licensed or registered child-care home, unless otherwise stated.

(2) We, us, our, and Licensing -- The Licensing Division of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

§747.105 What do certain words and terms mean when used in this chapter?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

The words and terms used in this chapter have the meanings assigned to them under §745.21 of this title (relating to What do the following words and terms mean when used in this chapter?), unless another meaning is assigned in this section or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. In addition, the following words and terms have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Activity space -- An area or room used for children's activities, including areas separate from a group's classroom.

(2) Administrative and clerical duties -- Duties that involve the management of an operation, such as bookkeeping, enrolling children, answering the telephone, and collecting fees.

(3) Admission -- The process of enrolling a child in a child-care home. The date of admission is the first day the child is physically present in the home.

(4) Adult -- A person 18 years old and older.

(5) After-school hours -- Hours before and after school, and days when school is not in session, such as school holidays, summer vacations, and teacher in-service days.

(6) Alternate care program -- A program in which no child is in care for more than five consecutive days, and no child is in care for more than 15 days in one calendar month, regardless of the duration of each stay.

(7) Attendance -- When referring to a child's attendance, the physical presence of a child at the child-care home's program on any given day or at any given time, as distinct from the child's enrollment in the child-care home.

(8) Baby bungee jumper -- A baby bungee jumper allows an infant to bounce while supported in a seat by elastic "bungee cord" suspended from a doorway.

(9) Baby walker -- A baby walker allows an infant to sit inside the walker equipped with rollers or wheels and move across the floor.

(10) Bouncer seat -- A stationary seat designed to provide gentle rocking or bouncing motion by an infant's movement or by battery-operated movement. This type of equipment is designed for an infant's use from birth until the child can sit up unassisted.

(11) Caregiver -- A person whose duties include the supervision, guidance, and protection of a child. As used in this chapter, the term means a person who meets the minimum education, work experience, and training qualifications required under Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Personnel).

(12) Caregiver-initiated activities -- Activities that are directed by or chosen by the caregiver.

(13) Certified Child-Care Professional Credential -- A credential given to a person working directly with children; based on assessed competency in several areas of child care and child development.

(14) Certified lifeguard -- A person who has been trained in life saving and water safety by a qualified instructor, from a recognized organization which awards a certificate upon successful completion of the training. The certificate is not required to use the term "lifeguard," but the permit holder must be able to document that the certificate represents the type of training described.

(15) Child-care home -- A registered or licensed child-care home, as specified in §747.109 of this title (relating to What is a registered child-care home?) or §747.111 of this title (relating to What is a licensed child-care home?). This term includes the program, building, grounds, furnishings, and equipment.

(16) Child-care location -- The street address of the child-care home and the lot on which the building is located.

(17) Child-care program -- The services and activities provided by a child-care home.

(18) Child Development Associate Credential -- A credential given to staff working directly with children; based on assessed competency in several areas of child care and child development.

(19) Child-initiated activities -- Activities that a child chooses on the child's own initiative, and that foster the child's independence. Child-initiated activities require equipment, materials, and supplies to be within a child's reach.

(20) Child passenger safety seat system -- An infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(21) Corporal punishment -- The infliction of physical pain on a child as a means of controlling behavior. This includes, but is not limited to, spanking, hitting, slapping, thumping, or rapping a child.

(22) Creative activities -- Activities that encourage a child to use his imagination. Creative activities include, but are not limited to, dramatic play, block building, stories and books, science and nature activities, and music and art activities.

(23) Critical illness -- An illness requiring the immediate attention of a health-care professional.

(24) Days -- Calendar days, unless otherwise stated.

(25) Enrollment -- The list of names or number of children who have been admitted to attend a child-care home for any given period of time; the number of children enrolled in a child-care home may vary from the number of children in attendance on any given day.

(26) Entrapping equipment -- A component or group of components on equipment that forms angles or openings that could trap a child's head by being too small to allow the child's body to pass through or large enough for the child's body to pass through, but too small to allow the child's head to pass through.

(27) Field trips -- Activities conducted away from the child-care home.

(28) Food service -- The preparation or serving of meals or snacks.

(29) Frequently -- More than two times in a 30-day period.

(30) Garbage -- Waste food or items that when deteriorating cause offensive odors and attract rodents, insects, and other pests.

(31) Group activities -- Activities that allow children to interact with others in large or small groups. Group activities include, but are not limited to, storytelling, finger plays, show and tell, organized games, and singing.

(32) Health-care professional -- A licensed physician, licensed or registered nurse, or other licensed medical personnel providing comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, or therapeutic medical care to the child. This does not include medical doctors or medical personnel where immunizations and contraindications to immunizations are outside the scope of the licensed practice, such as chiropractors, homeopaths, podiatrists; or medical practitioners not licensed to practice in the United States.

(33) Individual activities -- Opportunities for the child to work independently or to be away from the group, but supervised.

(34) Infant -- A child from birth through 17 months.

(35) Janitorial duties -- Those services that involve cleaning and maintenance above that which is required for the continuation of the child-care program. Cleaning and maintenance include such duties as cleansing carpets, washing cots, sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping an area while children are in care.

(36) Natural environment -- Settings that are natural or normal for all children of an age group without regard to ability or disability. For example, the primary natural group setting for a toddler with a disability would be a play group or child-care home or whatever setting exists for toddlers without disabilities.

(37) Pre-service training -- Training given to a person who has no previous experience in professional child care and no relevant training in specified topics.

(38) Propped bottle -- A bottle supported by something other than the child or adult's hand because the child is too young to hold it.

(39) Regularly -- On a recurring, scheduled basis.

(40) Safety belt -- A lap belt and any shoulder straps included as original equipment on or added to a vehicle.

(41) School-age child -- A child who is five years of age and older, and who will attend school at or away from the child-care home in August or September of that year.

(42) Single-use area -- Area not routinely used for children's activities, such as a bathroom, hallway, storage room, cooking area of a kitchen, swimming pool, and storage building.

(43) Special care needs -- A child with special care needs is a child who has a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also requires assistance beyond that required by a child generally to perform tasks that are within the typical chronological range of development, including but not limited to, movement of large and/or small muscles, learning, talking, communicating, self-help, social, emotional, seeing, hearing, and breathing.

(44) State or local fire marshal -- A fire official designated by the city, county, or state government.

(45) State or local sanitation official -- A sanitation official designated by the city, county, or state government.

(46) Toddler -- A child from 18 months through 35 months.

(47) Universal precautions -- An approach to infection control where all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV, HBV, and other blood-borne pathogens.

(48) Water activities -- Related to the use of splashing pools, wading pools, swimming pools, or other similar bodies of water.

Additional definitions may be found in Appendix I, 40 TAC, Chapter 745, Subchapter A Precedence and Definitions.

§747.107 What types of operations do these minimum standards apply to?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

(a) The minimum standards in this chapter apply to all:

(1) Child-care homes registered or licensed by us to care for 12 or fewer children in the caregiver's own home for less than 24 hours per day; and

(2) Family homes registered by us before September 1, 2003.

(b) A group day-care home licensed before September 1, 2003, will have a one-time opportunity to elect to be treated either as a child-care home, subject to the minimum standards in this chapter, or as a child-care center, subject to the minimum standards in Chapter 746 of this title (relating to Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers).

(c) To be considered operating in one's own home, the location where care is being provided must be at the same address as the permit holder's residence.

§747.109 What is a registered child-care home?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

In a registered child-care home, the registered primary caregiver provides care in the caregiver's own residence for not more than six children from birth through 13 years, and may provide care after-school hours for not more than six additional elementary school children. The total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12.

§747.111 What is a licensed child-care home?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

In a licensed child-care home, the licensed primary caregiver provides care in the caregiver's own residence for children from birth through 13 years. The total number of children in care varies with the ages of the children, but the total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12.

§747.113 Who is responsible for complying with the minimum standards?

Subchapter A, Purpose and Definitions

09/01/03

(a) A registered primary caregiver must ensure compliance with all minimum standards in this chapter, with the exception of any minimum standard requirements specified for licensed child-care homes.

(b) A licensed primary caregiver must ensure compliance with all minimum standards in this chapter, with the exception of any minimum standard requirements specified only for registered child-care homes.

(c) A registered or licensed primary caregiver is not required to comply with minimum standards identified for specific types of child-care programs or activities the child-care home does not offer, such as transportation or swimming activities.

Primary Caregiver

§747.201 Who is a primary caregiver?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 1, Primary Caregiver

09/01/03

A licensed or registered primary caregiver is the person with ultimate authority and responsibility for the child-care home's overall operation and compliance with these minimum standards and the licensing laws. The primary caregiver must be the permit holder for the licensed or registered child-care home, and must live in the home where care is provided.

§747.203 As the primary caregiver, may I leave someone else in charge if I cannot be home during all hours of operation?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 1, Primary Caregiver

09/01/03

Yes. When you are absent from the child-care home, you must designate a substitute caregiver to be in charge of the child-care home. Substitutes must:

(1) Know they are in charge and for how long;

(2) Know their responsibilities while in charge;

(3) Have access to all essential information to communicate with parents and state and local authorities as needed; and

(4) Have the authority to run the child-care home in compliance with minimum standards.

§747.205 Must I be present at my child-care home during all hours of operation?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 1, Primary Caregiver

09/01/03

As the primary caregiver, you must routinely be present in your child-care home during its hours of operation; however, you may be temporarily absent for limited periods of time for vacations, short-term family emergencies or family business, illness, hospitalization or doctor appointments, jury duty, to attend training, or to attend to child-care business.

§747.207 What are my responsibilities as the primary caregiver?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 1, Primary Caregiver

09/01/03

You are responsible for the following:

(1) Developing and implementing your child-care home's operational policies, which comply with or exceed the minimum standards;

(2) Complying with all minimum standards that apply to your licensed or registered child-care home, as specified in this chapter;

(3) Ensuring all substitute and assistant caregivers comply with the minimum standards for caregivers, as specified in this chapter, and are provided assignments that match their skills, abilities, and training;

(4) Ensuring all household members comply with the minimum standards that apply to household members, as specified in this chapter;

(5) Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation as required by the Texas Family Code, §261.401;

(6) Ensuring parents have the opportunity to visit your child-care home any time during all hours of operation to observe their child, the home's operation, and program activities, without having to secure prior approval;

(7) Initiating background checks within two days of obtaining a new assistant or substitute caregiver, the addition of a household member, or a household member turning 14 years, who will regularly or frequently be present at your operation while children are in care as specified in Subchapter F of Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Background Checks);

(8) Complying with the child-care licensing law, found in Chapter 42 of the Human Resources Code, and all other applicable rules in the Texas Administrative Code, including the minimum standards in this chapter.

Children are at risk when adults responsible for them do not clearly understand their roles and responsibilities.

The primary caregiver may accompany any parent who is visiting their child during the child-care home's hours of operation to and from her child's group, or may limit the amount of time a parent spends at the home, if the primary caregiver believes this is necessary to protect the children in care.

§747.209 Must I maintain liability insurance?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 1, Primary Caregiver

09/01/03

No. We do not require you to have liability insurance.

Required Notifications

§747.301 What changes regarding my child-care home must I notify Licensing about before making the change?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 2, Required Notifications

09/01/03

You must notify us in writing before:

(1) Changing location;

(2) Adding to or reducing indoor or outdoor space;

(3) Adding a swimming pool or other permanent body of water;

(4) Changing the age range of children to be cared for;

(5) Changing the hours, days, or months of operation;

(6) Offering new services relating to minimum standards found in this chapter, such as transportation or field trips;

(7) Closing temporarily; or

(8) Going out of business.

As events occur or changes are made to the child-care home, health and safety conditions may change. Licensing may need to verify that minimum standard rules related to the changes are in compliance to ensure the continuing safety of children in care.

A license or certificate of registration cannot be bought, sold or transferred and is only valid for the location/address noted on the permit.

§747.303 What other situations require notification to Licensing?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 2, Required Notifications

09/01/03

(a) You must notify us as soon as possible, but no later than two days after:

(1) Any occurrence that renders all or part of your child-care home unsafe or unsanitary for a child;

(2) Injury to a child in your care that requires treatment by a health-care professional;

(3) You become aware that a household member, caregiver, or child in care contracts an illness that the law requires you to report to the Texas Department of Health (TDH) as specified in 25 TAC 97, Subchapter A (relating to Control of Communicable Disease);

(4) A county or district attorney accepts an indictment or information regarding an official complaint against a household member or caregiver alleging commission of any crime noted in §745.651 of this title (relating to What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation?); and

(5) The occurrence of any other situation that places a child at risk, such as forgetting a child in a vehicle or not preventing a child from wandering away from your child-care home unsupervised.

(b) You must notify us immediately if a child dies while in your care.

Examples of occurrences that may render a child-care home unsafe or unhealthy are the lack of running water, sewer backups, and flood, fire or storm damage. Notifying parents enables them to protect their children from high-risk situations.

§747.305 What emergency and medical situations must I notify parents about?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 2, Required Notifications

09/01/03

(a) After you ensure the safety of the child, you must notify the parent immediately after a child:

(1) Is injured and the injury requires medical attention by a health-care professional;

(2) Has a sign or symptom requiring exclusion from the child-care home as listed in Subchapter R of this chapter (relating to Health Practices);

(3) Has been involved in any situation that placed the child at risk. For example, forgetting a child in a vehicle or not preventing a child from wandering away from your child-care home unsupervised; or

(4) Has been involved in any situation that renders the child-care home unsafe, such as a fire, flood, or damage to the child-care home as a result of severe weather.

(b) You must notify the parent of less serious injuries when the parent picks the child up from your child-care home. Less serious injuries include, but are not limited to, minor cuts, scratches, and bites from other children requiring first-aid treatment by caregivers.

(c) You must notify all parents of children in the child-care home within 48 hours when any child in your care, a caregiver, or a household member has contracted a communicable disease that is required to be reported to the Texas Department of Health as specified in 25 TAC 97, Subchapter A (relating to Control of Communicable Disease).

(d) You must notify parents within 48 hours when there is an outbreak of lice or other infestation in the child-care home.

Communication between the caregiver and parents is essential to both the safe and healthy operation of the child-care home and to the parent's ability to assess the care their children are receiving.

Required Postings

§747.401 What items must I post at my child-care home during hours of operation?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 3, Required Postings

09/01/03

You must post the following in a prominent and publicly accessible place where parents and others may easily view them during all hours of operation:

(1) The child-care home's license or registration certificate;

(2) The letter or form from the most recent Licensing inspection or investigation;

(3) The Licensing notice Keeping Children Safe;

(4) Telephone numbers specified in this division; and

(5) Any other Licensing notices requiring posting.

Posting this information is an important part of communication with parents. It provides parents the opportunity to monitor the care they have selected for their child and to make informed decisions as consumers of child care.

§747.403 What telephone numbers must I post and where must I post them?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 3, Required Postings

09/01/03

(a) You must post the following telephone numbers:

(1) 911 or, if 911 is not available in your area, you must post the numbers for:

(A) Emergency medical services;

(B) Law enforcement; and

(C) Fire department;

(2) Poison control;

(3) PRS child abuse hotline;

(4) Nearest Licensing office telephone number and address; and

(5) Your name, home address, and telephone number.

(b) You must post the telephone numbers next to each telephone in the child-care home. If you use a cordless or cellular phone, you must post these same numbers in a prominent place on the wall near the base of the phone or on the handset.

Readily available phone numbers help to ensure prompt response/action in an emergency.

Operational Policies

§747.501 Must I have written operational policies?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 4, Operational Policies

09/01/03

Yes. You must develop written policies on at least the following:

(1) Procedure for release of children;

(2) Illness and exclusion criteria;

(3) Procedures for dispensing medications, or a statement that medication is not given;

(4) Procedures for handling medical emergencies;

(5) Discipline and guidance practices;

(6) Animals, if applicable;

(7) The procedures for parents to visit the child-care home any time during your hours of operation to observe their child or the child-care home's operation and program activities, without having to secure prior approval;

(8) The procedures for parents to review a copy of the minimum standards and the child-care home's most recent Licensing inspection report; and

(9) Instructions on how a parent may contact the local Licensing office, PRS child abuse hotline, and PRS website.

§747.503 Must I provide parents with a copy of my operational polices?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 4, Operational Policies

09/01/03

Yes. Parents must sign a child-care enrollment agreement or other similar document that includes at least the operational policies listed in this division, before the date of the child's admission. You must keep a copy of this signed document in the child's record or at least one for each family, if siblings are enrolled at the same time.

Sharing clearly written policies about your child-care home's day- to-day operation will help parents understand what type of service their children will receive, and may help to avoid later misunderstandings and complaints. Operational policies may go beyond minimum standards, but may not conflict.

§747.505 What must I do when I change an operational policy or an item in the enrollment agreement?

Subchapter B, Administration and Communication

Division 4, Operational Policies

09/01/03

You must notify parents in writing of any changes to your policies and enrollment agreement. Parents must sign and date the updated information. You must keep the updated information in the child's record or at least one for each family, if siblings are enrolled at the same time.

Record Keeping

Records of Children

§747.601 Who has the right to access children's records?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) All children's records must be immediately accessible to caregivers during hours of operation for use in an emergency.

(b) Parents have the right to access their own child's record during a scheduled parent conference with the primary caregiver.

(c) All children's records are subject to review and/or reproduction by Licensing upon request during hours of operation.

During the time children are being cared for, events may occur that require access to information about a child in order to protect the child and/or others in care.

§747.603 What records must I have for the children in my care and how long must I keep them?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) You must maintain the following records for each child enrolled in your child-care home:

(1) Child-care enrollment agreement specified in §747.503 of this title (relating to Must I provide parents with a copy of my operational policies?);

(2) Admission information;

(3) Statement of the child's health from a health-care professional;

(4) Immunization records;

(5) Tuberculin testing information, if applicable;

(6) Hearing and vision screening results, if applicable; and

(7) Licensing Incident/Illness Report form.

(b) These records must be kept at the child-care home and available for review during operating hours and for at least three months after the child's last day in care.

Information on children no longer in care may be needed to support compliance with minimum standards or health and safety issues.

§747.605 What admission information must I obtain on each child?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

You must obtain at least the following information before admitting a child to care:

(1) The child's name and birth date;

(2) The child's home address and telephone number;

(3) Date of the child's admission to the child-care home;

(4) Name and address of parent(s);

(5) Telephone numbers at which parent(s) can be reached while the child is in care;

(6) Name, address, and telephone number of another responsible individual (friend or relative) who should be contacted in an emergency when the parent cannot be reached;

(7) Names and telephone numbers of persons other than a parent to whom the child may be released;

(8) Permission for transportation, if provided;

(9) Permission for field trips, if provided;

(10) Permission for participation in water activities, if provided;

(11) Name, address, and telephone number of the child's physician or an emergency-care facility;

(12) Authorization to obtain emergency medical care and to transport the child for emergency medical treatment;

(13) A statement of the child's special problems or special care needs. This includes, but is not limited to, allergies, existing illness, previous serious illness and injuries, hospitalizations during the past 12 months, and any medications prescribed for continuous, long-term use;

(14) The name and telephone number of the school a school-age child attends; and

(15) Permission for a school-age child to ride a bus or walk to or from school or home, or to be released to the care of a sibling younger than 18 years, if applicable.

§747.607 Must the child's parent sign the admission information?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Yes. The parent must sign the admission information before you admit the child to your care. If admission information is on several forms, a parent must sign each form

§747.609 Must I update the admission information?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must develop a procedure for regularly updating the admission information, including information on special care needs.

(b) The parent must sign and date the updated information. You may use a new form or have the parent initial and date amendments to a previously signed form. You must keep the updated information in the child's record.

The child-care home needs to know where to contact parents and needs to be aware of any changes in care required by the child. Routine updating of records facilitates communication between the parent and the primary caregiver. It also ensures that accurate information is available during an emergency so that the child's needs can be met.

§747.611 Must I have a health statement for children in my care?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) A health statement is:

(1) A written statement, from a licensed health-care professional who has examined the child within the past year, indicating the child is able to take part in the child-care home's program;

(2) A signed affidavit from the parent stating that medical diagnosis and treatment conflict with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious organization of which the parent is an adherent or a member; or

(3) A signed statement from the parent giving the name and address of a health-care professional who has examined the child within the past year stating that the child is able to participate in the program. This must be followed by a signed statement from a health-care professional as specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection within 12 months of the date of admission.

(b) You must have a health statement at your child-care home, within one week after the date of admission, for each child who does not attend pre-kindergarten or school away from the child-care home.

Health status information is critical to ensuring that the individual needs of children are met, while protecting the health and safety of all children in care.

§747.613 What immunizations are children in my care required to have?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Each child enrolled or admitted to a child-care home must meet applicable immunization requirements specified by the Texas Department of Health Immunization Requirements in Texas Elementary and Secondary Schools and Institutions of Higher Education. This requirement applies to all children in the child-care home from birth through 17 years.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children require frequent boosters and immunizations in early childhood. Although they may be current with required immunizations when they enroll, they can miss future required immunizations. Since the risk of vaccine preventable disease is increased in group-settings, ensuring appropriate immunization is an essential responsibility in child care.

§747.615 Are there exemptions for these immunization requirements?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Yes; however, exemptions for immunization must meet criteria specified by the Texas Department of Health rules in 25 TAC §97.62 (relating to Exclusions from Compliance).

§747.617 Where can I find more information on immunizations?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

You can find this information in the Texas Department of Health's rules at 25 TAC Chapter 97, Subchapter B (relating to Immunization Requirements in Texas Elementary and Secondary Schools and Institutions of Higher Education). You can access it on the Texas Department of Health Internet website at: www.tdh.state.tx.us/immunize, or you may obtain a copy from Licensing or your local or state health department.

§747.619 When must I have the child's immunization record on file?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Except as otherwise provided in this division, you must have a copy of the child's completed immunization record on the date of admission.

§747.621 May I admit a child who is not current on immunizations?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

You may enroll a child provisionally and allow the child to attend the child-care home for up to 30 days if the parent can provide written documentation from a health-care professional that the child has received at least one immunization in each series, required for that age child, and a statement of when the remaining required immunizations will be completed.

§747.623 What documentation is acceptable for immunization records?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) Documentation acceptable for immunization records must have been validated by a physician or other health-care professional with a signature or rubber stamp and include:

(1) The child's name and birth date;

(2) The number of doses and vaccine type; and

(3) The month, day, and year the child received each vaccination.

(b) Documentation may be the original record, a photocopy, or a handwritten copy that you have signed and dated.

§747.625 If a child's immunization record is already on file at a pre-kindergarten program or school away from my child-care home, must I also have a copy of the child's immunization record in my files?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

For each child attending a pre-kindergarten program or school, you must have either:

(1) A copy of the current immunization record that is on file at the pre-kindergarten program or school the child attends; or

(2) A signed statement from the child's parent that the child's immunization record is current and on file at the pre-kindergarten program or school that the child attends. The statement must be dated and include the name, address, and telephone number of the pre-kindergarten program or school listed in the statement.

§747.627 Must I maintain immunization and health records on children in my care that are related to me?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Yes. Any child in care during hours of operation, whether the child is related to you or not, must have these records at your child-care home.

§747.629 Must children in my care have a tuberculosis (TB) examination?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

Requirements for tuberculosis screening and testing vary across the state. If your regional Texas Department of Health (TDH) or local health authority requires tuberculosis testing for children in your area, then you must have documentation to indicate that each child in your care is free of active tuberculosis. Documentation of a TB screening is not required to be on file. If you are unsure of the requirements for your area, contact the TB program manager at the TDH regional office nearest you.

§747.631 Must children in my registered child-care home have vision and hearing screening?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

No. The Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36, does not require a screening or a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems for a child enrolled in a child-care home that we register.

§747.633 Must children in my licensed child-care home have vision and hearing screening?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) The Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36, requires a screening or a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems for the following children who are enrolled in a licensed child-care home:

(1) First time enrollees who are four years of age and older and all children enrolled in programs who are four years of age by September 1 of each year will be screened for possible vision and hearing problems prior to completion of the first semester of enrollment or within 120 calendar days of enrollment, whichever is longest, or present evidence of screening conducted one year prior to enrollment; and

(2) Each child who is in the first, third, fifth, or seventh-grade must complete a screening or examination within the school year.

(b) A licensed or certified screener or a health-care professional must conduct the screening. Refer to Texas Health and Safety Code, §36.011, for specifics on vision and hearing screening. This information may be accessed on the Internet at: www.tdh.state.tx.us/vhs/.

(c) You must keep one of the following at the child-care home for each child required to be screened:

(1) The individual vision and hearing screening; or

(2) A signed statement from the child's parent that the child's screening records are current and on file at the pre-kindergarten program or school the child attends away from the child-care home. The statement must be dated and include the name, address, and telephone number of the pre-kindergarten program or school.

§747.635 Must I keep attendance records or a sign-in and sign-out log for children in my care?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 1, Records of Children

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must maintain a record of attendance for each child in your care. You may use a sign-in and sign-out log or other attendance chart.

(b) You must keep attendance records for the previous three months and make them available to Licensing for review upon request.

Records of Accidents and Incidents

§747.701 Must I keep a written record of accidents and injuries that occur at my child-care home?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 2, Records of Accidents and Incidents

09/01/03

Yes. You must use a Licensing Incident/Illness Report form, or other form containing at least the same information, to record information regarding:

(1) Injuries that required medical attention by a health-care professional; and

(2) Any other situation that placed a child at risk, such as forgetting a child in a vehicle or not preventing a child from wandering away from the child-care home.

§747.703 Where can I get a copy of Licensing's Incident/Illness Report form?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 2, Records of Accidents and Incidents

09/01/03

You may obtain a copy of the form from Licensing staff or the PRS website at: www.tdprs.state.tx.us/child_care.

§747.705 Must someone from my child-care home sign the Incident/Illness Report form?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 2, Records of Accidents and Incidents

09/01/03

Yes. You or your substitute caregiver must sign and date the completed report.

§747.707 Must I share a copy of the Incident/Illness Report form with the child's parent?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 2, Records of Accidents and Incidents

09/01/03

Yes. You must share a copy of the report with the child's parent and obtain the parent's signature on the report indicating the parent has reviewed it or received a copy of the report within 48 hours of when the incident occurred.

Requiring a parent to sign the report verifies the parent was informed of serious situations, which affect the health or safety of their child.

§747.709 Where must I file the Incident/Illness Report form and how long must I keep it?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 2, Records of Accidents and Incidents

09/01/03

You must keep the form with the child's record at the child-care home while the child is in care and for at least three months after the child's last day in care.

Records that Must be Kept on File at the Child-Care Home

§747.801 What records must I keep at my child-care home?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 3, Records that Must be Kept on File at the Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You must maintain and make the following records available for our review upon request during hours of operation. Paragraphs (10), (11), and (12) are optional, but if provided, will allow Licensing to avoid duplicating the evaluation of standards which have been evaluated by another state agency within the past year:

(1) Children's records, as specified in Division 1 of this subchapter (relating to Records of Children);

(2) Infant feeding instructions, as required in §747.2321 of this title (relating to Must I obtain written feeding instructions for children not ready for table food?), if applicable;

(3) Personnel and training records, as required in §747.901 of this title (relating to What information must I maintain in my personnel records?), and in §747.1327 of this title (relating to What documentation must I provide to Licensing to verify that training requirements have been met?);

(4) Proof of request for PRS background checks, as required in §747.901 of this title;

(5) Menus, as required in §747.3113 of this title (relating to Must I post and maintain daily menus?);

(6) Medication records, as required in §747.3605 of this title (relating to What records must I keep when I administer medication to a child in my care?);

(7) Pet vaccination records, as required in §747.3703 of this title (relating to Must I keep documentation of vaccinations for the animals?), if applicable;

(8) Fire safety documentation for emergency drills, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and emergency evacuation and relocation diagram, as required in §747.5005 of this title (relating to How often must I practice my emergency evacuation and relocation plans?), §747.5007 of this title (relating to Must I have an emergency evacuation and relation diagram?), §747.5107 of this title (relating to How often must I inspect and service the fire extinguisher?), §747.5115 of this title (relating to How often must the smoke detectors at my child-care home be tested?), and §747.5117 of this title (relating to How often must I have an electronic smoke alarm system tested?);

(9) Most recent Licensing inspection report, letter, or notice;

(10) Most recent Texas Department of Health immunization compliance review form, if applicable;

(11) Most recent Texas Department of Human Services Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) report, if applicable;

(12) Most recent local workforce board Child-Care Services Contractor inspection report, if applicable; and

(13) Written approval from the fire marshal to provide care above or below ground level, if applicable.

§747.803 How long must I keep these records at my child-care home?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 3, Records that Must be Kept on File at the Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) You must keep these records at your child-care home for at least three months from the date the record was created, unless otherwise stated in these minimum standards.

(b) You must keep training records for at least the current and last full training year.

Records on Caregivers and Household Members

§747.901 What information must I maintain in my personnel records?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

You must keep at least the following at the child-care home for each assistant caregiver and substitute, as specified in this chapter:

(1) Documentation showing the dates of the first and last day on the job;

(2) Documentation showing how the caregiver meets the minimum age and education qualifications, if applicable;

(3) A copy of a health card or physician's statement verifying the caregiver is free of active tuberculosis, if required by the regional Texas Department of Health TB program or local health authority;

(4) A notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form as specified in Human Resources Code, §42.059;

(5) A record of training hours;

(6) Proof of request for PRS Background Check; and

(7) A copy of a current driver's license if the caregiver transports children.

§747.903 Must I keep records for my household members who are counted in the child/caregiver ratio?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

Yes. You must keep the same personnel records specified in §747.901 of this title (relating to What information must I maintain in my personnel records?) for all household members who are used as assistant or substitute caregivers as defined in Subchapter D, Division 3 of this chapter (relating to Assistant and Substitute Caregivers), whether they are paid or unpaid.

§747.905 What records must I keep for my household members who are not counted in the child/caregiver ratio?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

You must keep at least the following at the child-care home for each household member who is 14 years old or older, and who is regularly or frequently present while children are in care:

(1) A copy of a health card or physician's statement verifying the household member is free of active tuberculosis, if required by the regional Texas Department of Health TB program or local health authority;

(2) Documentation verifying orientation to the child-care home was completed; and

(3) Proof of request for a PRS Background Check.

§747.907 Where can I obtain a copy of the Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

You may request a copy from us or you may obtain a copy from our PRS website at: www.tdprs.state.tx.us/Child_Care

§747.909 What records must I maintain on myself?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

You must have the following records available for review during hours of operation:

(1) A notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form, as specified in Human Resources Code, §42.059;

(2) A copy of a health card or physician's statement verifying you are free of active tuberculosis, if required by the regional Texas Department of Health TB program or local health authority;

(3) A record of your training hours; and

(4) A copy of a current driver's license if you transport children.

§747.911 Must I maintain attendance records or time sheets on caregivers that assist me?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

We do not require you to maintain attendance records or time sheets for yourself or any other person you count in the child/caregiver ratio.

§747.913 How long must I keep the required records on caregivers and household members?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

You must keep records for at least three months after a caregiver's last day on the job or after the household member is no longer living in your home.

§747.915 May Licensing access my records?

Subchapter C, Record Keeping

Division 4, Records on Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

All records required to be maintained under this division are subject to our immediate review and reproduction, upon our request, during all hours of operation.

Personnel

Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

§747.1001 Who is required to meet the qualifications specified in this division?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

The primary caregiver of a registered child-care home, as defined in §747.201 of this title (relating to Who is a primary caregiver?) must meet the qualifications specified in this division.

§747.1003 When must I meet qualifications to be a primary caregiver?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You must meet the qualifications before we register your child-care home.

§747.1005 May I have more than one primary caregiver for my child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

No. A registered child-care home may have only one primary caregiver.

§747.1007 What qualifications must I meet to be the primary caregiver of a registered child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Except as otherwise provided in this division, you must:

(1) Be at least 21 years old;

(2) Have a:

(A) High school diploma; or

(B) High school equivalent;

(3) Have a certificate of completion of the Licensing orientation within one year prior to your application date;

(4) Have current certification in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking; and

(5) Be free of active tuberculosis, if required by the regional Texas Department of Health TB program or local health authority.

§747.1009 Are there exemptions to any of the qualifications specified in this division?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

A primary caregiver who registered before July 1,1990, and who was still registered on September 1, 2003, is not required to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent or to attend Licensing orientation.

§747.1013 What if I am younger than 21 years old but I want to be registered?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You may be a registered caregiver if you are 18 through 20 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and one of the following:

(1) A Child Development Associate or Certified Child-Care Professional credential;

(2) An associate's of applied science degree in child care;

(3) A community college certificate in child care;

(4) A day-care administrator's credential approved by Licensing; or

(5) Six college credit hours in child development and nine months' experience in a licensed child-care center or in a licensed or registered child-care home, as specified in §747.1113 of this title (relating to What constitutes experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home?).

§747.1015 Does education received outside of the United States count toward primary caregiver qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 1, Primary Caregiver of a Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Yes, however you must provide supporting information such as a copy of the diploma or letter from the school district to indicate that the education is equivalent to a high school diploma program in the United States. Documentation written in a foreign language must be translated into English.

Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

§747.1101 Who is required to meet the qualifications specified in this division?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

The primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home, as defined in §747.201 of this title (relating to Who is a primary caregiver?) must meet the qualifications specified in this division.

§747.1103 When must I meet qualifications to be a primary caregiver?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You must meet the qualifications before we license your child-care home.

§747.1105 May I have more than one primary caregiver for my licensed child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

No. A licensed child-care home may have only one primary caregiver.

§747.1107 What qualifications must I meet to be the primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, a primary caregiver for a licensed child-care home must:

(1) Be at least 21 years of age;

(2) Have a high school diploma or its equivalent;

(3) Have a certificate of completion of the Licensing orientation within one year prior to your application date;

(4) Have current certification in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking; and

(5) Have one of the following combinations of education and experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home, as defined in §747.1113 of this title (relating to What constitutes experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home?):

Education
Experience

(A) A bachelor's degree with 12 college credit hours in child development and three college credit hours in business management,
and at least one year of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home;

(B) An associate's of applied science degree in child development or a closely related field with six college credit hours in child development and three college credit hours in business management. A "closely related field" is any educational instruction pertaining to the growth, development, physical or mental care, or education of children ages birth through 13 years,
and at least one year of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home;

(C) Sixty college credit hours with six college credit hours in child development and three college credit hours in business management,
and at least one year of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home;

(D) A Child Development Associate credential or Certified Child-Care Professional credential with three college credit hours in business management,
and at least one year of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home;

(E) A child-care administrator's certificate from a community college with at least 15 college credit hours in child development and three college credit hours in business management,
and at least two years of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home;

(F) A day-care administrator's credential issued by a professional organization or an educational institution and approved by Licensing based on criteria specified in Subchapter P of Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Day-Care Administrator's Credential Program),
and at least two years of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home; or

(G) Seventy-two clock hours of training in child development and 30 clock hours in business management,
and at least three years of experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home.

(b) Options (D) and (F) of subsection (a) of this section require periodic renewal.

A primary caregiver caring for more than six children and employing one or more assistants functions as a "facility director." She plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth day-to-day operation of the child-care home and serves two important functions: To balance business concerns with what's good for children and to provide leadership and direction to the assistant/substitute caregivers responsible for providing safe and healthy care for the children.

§747.1109 Are there exemptions from the qualifications listed in this division?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) A primary caregiver who was director of a licensed group day-care home before May 1, 1985, is exempt from the requirements specified in this division.

(b) The primary caregiver or director of a child-care home licensed after May 1, 1985, but before September 1, 2003, has three years from September 1, 2003, to comply if the caregiver remains in the same position.

§747.1113 What constitutes experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) Only the following types of experience may be counted as experience in a licensed child-care center:

(1) Experience as a director, assistant director, or as a caregiver working directly with children, obtained in any PRS licensed child-care center, whether paid or unpaid;

(2) Experience as a director, assistant director or caregiver working directly with children, whether paid or unpaid, in a PRS licensed day-care center, group day-care home, kindergarten and nursery school, school: grades kindergarten and above, drop-in care center, or in a PRS alternatively accredited program; and

(3) Experience as a director, assistant director, or caregiver working directly with children in a licensed or certified child-care center in another state.

(b) Only the following types of experience may be counted as experience in a licensed or registered child-care home:

(1) Experience as a primary caregiver or assistant caregiver working directly with children, whether paid or unpaid, in a PRS licensed or registered child-care home;

(2) Experience as a director, assistant director, or caregiver working directly with children, whether paid or unpaid in a PRS licensed group day-care home; or

(3) Experience as a primary caregiver of a PRS registered family home.

(c) You must have obtained all work experience in a full-time capacity or its equivalent in a part-time capacity. Full-time is defined as 40 hours per week.

§747.1115 May other types of experience be substituted for the required experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

The following types of experience may be substituted for one year of the required experience:

(1) One year of full-time classroom teaching in a public or private accredited school setting in grades kindergarten through third, during a customary school year;

(2) Substitute or part-time classroom teaching in a public or private accredited school setting in grades kindergarten through third, if the total length of time adds up to one year of full-time teaching during a customary school year; and

(3) One-year of postgraduate study in child development, early childhood education, or a related field.

§747.1117 Can Licensing verify whether someone has sufficient experience in a licensed child-care center, or in a licensed or registered child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Yes. To determine whether a person has sufficient experience to qualify as a primary caregiver, we may, at our own discretion, verify child-care experience and substitute child-care experience via the Internet, telephone, or mail contact with previous employer(s), or through our records.

§747.1119 What credit courses does Licensing recognize as child development?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Due to a large variation in credit course titles and content, it is impossible to list all courses that may be counted toward the child development requirement. Courses in early childhood education, child growth and development, psychology, sociology, classroom management, child psychology, health and safety, elementary education related to kindergarten through third grade, and other similar courses may be counted if they are related to child development. Abnormal psychology and secondary education courses are not recognized as child development.

§747.1121 What credit courses does Licensing recognize as business management?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Due to a large variation in credit course titles and content, it is impossible to list all courses that may be counted toward the business management requirement. Business management courses may include administration of a child-care facility, accounting, goal and objective setting, performance planning and evaluation, risk management and other administrative, management, or supervisory-related courses. Courses in office machines or computer training are not recognized as business management.

§747.1123 What are clock hours?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Clock hours may consist of documented attendance at:

(1) Seminars, workshops, conferences, and early childhood classes;

(2) Self-instructional programs; or

(3) Planned learning opportunities provided by consultants, a qualified director or primary caregiver, or by a child-care association.

§747.1125 Must the trainer or provider of clock hours meet specific criteria?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

We do not have any specific criteria for whether someone may be a trainer or provider of child-care training.

§747.1127 What are CEUs?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

CEUs (continuing education units) provide a standard unit of measure for adult education and training activities. One CEU equals ten clock hours of participation in an organized, continuing-education experience, under responsible, qualified direction and instruction. Although you may obtain a CEU in many of the same settings as clock hours, the CEU provider must meet the criteria established by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training to be able to offer the CEU.

§747.1129 May I substitute clock hours or CEUs for any of the educational requirements in any of the options in this division?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You may only substitute clock hours or CEUs for required college credit hours in child development and business management. You may substitute 50 clock hours or five CEUs for each three college credit hours required in child development and business management.

§747.1131 What kind of documentation must I submit to show I am qualified to be a primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) You must submit the following to Licensing staff:

(1) A completed Licensing Personal History Statement form specifying your education and experience;

(2) An original college transcript or original training certificates which verify the educational requirements; and

(3) Complete dates, names, addresses, and telephone numbers which support the required experience.

(b) You must submit the information to us as a part of a new application for a permit.

§747.1133 What documentation must I provide to Licensing to show I have acceptable child development and business management education?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If requested by Licensing, you must provide original transcripts, supporting documentation such as credit course catalog descriptions, or a course syllabus or outline to determine whether the course is recognized as child development or business management.

§747.1135 What documentation must I have to prove that I received the clock hours or CEUs?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

You must have documentation specified in §747.1327 of this title (relating to What documentation must I provide to Licensing to verify that training requirements have been met?).

§747.1137 Does education received outside of the United States substitute for primary caregiver qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Yes, provided you submit to us information that we can use to interpret and evaluate educational qualifications. Documentation written in a foreign language must be translated into English.

§747.1139 Will Licensing keep the original training certificates and college transcripts I submit to obtain a Licensing Child-Care Director's Certificate?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

No. After we evaluate this information and issue a Child-Care Director's Certificate, we will return the original documents to you along with the certificate or if a certificate is not issued, along with a letter notifying you of the decision.

§747.1141 What if Licensing determines I do not meet minimum standard qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

We will notify you that you do not meet minimum standard qualifications. We will give you a deadline to submit additional paperwork, or ask you to withdraw your application and re-apply after you have obtained the necessary training and experience.

§747.1143 Will I receive a certificate verifying that I meet qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Yes. After we determine that you meet minimum standard qualifications for a licensed primary caregiver we will issue a Licensing Child-Care Director's Certificate. The certificate verifies only that you meet minimum standard qualifications specified in §747.1107 of this title (relating to What qualifications must I meet to be the primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home?).

§747.1145 Will the Child-Care Director's Certificate expire?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

The Licensing Child-Care Director's Certificate will have an expiration date if you qualified under subsection (a), options (D) or (F) in §747.1107 of this title (relating to What qualifications must I meet to be the primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home?). Otherwise, the certificate will not expire.

§747.1147 How often must an expiring Child-Care Director's Certificate be renewed?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If you qualify under subsection (a), options (D) or (F) of §747.1107 of this title (relating to What qualifications must I meet to be the primary caregiver of a licensed child-care home?), you must maintain your credential according to the organization's requirements. You must submit to us a copy of a letter or other documentation confirming the credential is current before we can renew your Child-Care Director's Certificate.

§747.1149 What happens if I do not submit the documentation confirming the credential is current?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

We will give you a deadline to submit the required documentation. If you allow the certificate to expire without submitting the required documentation, and you no longer meet primary caregiver qualifications, you violate minimum standards.

§747.1151 Does Licensing charge a fee for issuing the director's certificate?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

No. We do not charge a fee for processing a Licensing Child-Care Director's Certificate.

§747.1153 Can I get a replacement Child-Care Director's Certificate?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 2, Primary Caregiver of a Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

Yes. We will issue a replacement Child-Care Director's Certificate if you submit your request to us in writing, specifying your name and address, the date when we issued the original certificate, and the reason a replacement certificate is needed.

Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

§747.1201 What types of caregivers may I use in my child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

There are two kinds of caregivers: assistant caregivers and substitute caregivers.

§747.1203 What is the difference between an assistant caregiver and a substitute caregiver?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

(a) An assistant caregiver is counted in the child/caregiver ratio and assists in the care and supervision of children. An assistant caregiver may not be left to supervise and care for children without the primary caregiver or a substitute caregiver being present in the child-care home at the same time.

(b) A substitute caregiver is the caregiver you leave in charge of your child-care home in your absence. You must give the substitute caregiver the authority to administer your child-care home in compliance with the minimum standards and the Licensing law in your absence. Your substitute caregiver may also be counted in the child/caregiver ratio.

§747.1205 Are there different qualifications for assistant and substitute caregivers?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

Yes. Caregiver qualifications are different for assistant and substitute caregivers. The qualifications for assistant and substitute caregivers are outlined in the following chart:

A substitute caregiver is...
An assistant caregiver is...

18 years old;
18 years old;

Qualified as a caregiver with

A high school diploma; or

A high school equivalent;
Qualified as a caregiver with

A high school diploma; or

A high school equivalent;

Required to complete orientation to your home;
Required to complete orientation to your home;

Required to meet the requirements in Subchapter F of Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Background Checks);
Required to meet the requirements in Subchapter F of Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Background Checks);

Required to be free of active tuberculosis;
Required to be free of active tuberculosis; and

Required to complete a notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form as specified in Human Resources Code, §42.059; and
Required to complete a notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form as specified in Human Resources Code, §42.059.

Trained in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking.

§747.1207 What minimum qualifications must an assistant caregiver meet?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

Except as otherwise provided in this division, an assistant caregiver counted in the child/caregiver ratio must:

(1) Be 18 years old;

(2) Have a:

(A) High school diploma; or

(B) High school equivalent;

(3) Have completed orientation to your child-care home;

(4) Meet the requirements in Subchapter F of Chapter 745 (relating to Background Checks);

(5) Be free of active tuberculosis; and

(6) Complete a notarized Licensing Affidavit for Applicants for Employment form as specified in Human Resources Code, §42.059.

Background checks ensure children are not cared for by persons with a history of criminal activity, abuse or neglect.

§747.1209 What qualifications must a substitute caregiver meet?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

A substitute caregiver must comply with all minimum standards for assistant caregivers and must have current certification in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking.

Substitute caregivers who are in charge of children during the primary caregiver's absence, must know basic information regarding PRS minimum standard rules, understand the principles of child development, growth, discipline, guidance, and emergency practices, including CPR and First Aid, in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for children in care.

§747.1211 Are there circumstances when I may employ a person under the age of 18 or a person who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent as a caregiver?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

(a) You may employ a 16 or 17 year old who has a high school diploma or its equivalent and count the person in the child/caregiver ratio, provided that:

(1) You don't leave the person alone with or responsible for a child or as the substitute caregiver in your absence;

(2) The person works close by and is supervised by you or a qualified caregiver; and

(3) The person has completed a child-care-related career program, which the Texas Education Agency or another state or federal agency approves.

(b) You may employ a 16,17, or 18 year old who attends high school but has not graduated and count the person in the child/caregiver ratio, provided that:

(1) You don't leave the person alone with or responsible for a child or as the substitute caregiver in your absence;

(2) The person works close by and is supervised by you or a qualified caregiver;

(3) The person is currently enrolled in or has completed a child-care-related career program which the Texas Education Agency or another state or federal agency approves; and

(4) The person is expected to obtain a high school diploma.

Age 18 is the minimal age a caregiver can be expected to make independent decisions and respond appropriately to the needs of children.

A high school diploma or its equivalency is a recognized indicator of basic literacy in our society.

§747.1213 Does education received outside of the United States count toward caregiver qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

Yes, however, you must provide supporting information such as a copy of the diploma or letter from the school district to indicate that the education is equivalent to a high school diploma program in the United States. Documents written in a foreign language must be translated into English.

§747.1215 Do the qualifications specified in this division apply to an assistant caregiver that was employed before May 1, 1985?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

An assistant caregiver who worked in a licensed child-care home before May 1, 1985, is exempt from the qualifications for assistant caregivers specified in this division.

§747.1217 Do the qualifications specified in this division apply to a substitute caregiver that I employed before May 1, 1985?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

Yes. The substitute caregiver that has the authority to operate the child-care home in your absence must meet the current qualifications for a substitute caregiver.

§747.1219 What does Licensing mean by the term "high school equivalent"?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 3, Assistant and Substitute Caregivers

09/01/03

(a) A high school equivalent is a program recognized by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or other educational entity outside of Texas, which offers training similar to reading, writing, and problem-solving skills taught at the high school level, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

(b) Original documentation must be provided to Licensing to verify completion of any high school equivalency program.

Professional Development

§747.1301 What training must I ensure that my caregivers have?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

You must make sure that each caregiver has the following training:

(1) Orientation to your child-care home as specified in §747.1305 of this title (relating to What should orientation to my child-care home include?);

(2) 15 clock hours of annual training as specified in §747.1307 of this title (relating to What topics must the 15 clock hours of annual training for caregivers include?); and

(3) CPR and first-aid training as specified in §747.1313 of this title (relating to Who must have first-aid and CPR training?).

§747.1303 What training must I have?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

You must have the following training:

(1) Licensing pre-application interview, before being issued a permit;

(2) 20 clock hours of annual training; and

(3) CPR and first-aid training.

§747.1305 What should orientation to my child-care home include?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

Orientation to your child-care home must include at least the following:

(1) An overview of the minimum standards found in this chapter;

(2) Your home's child-care policies including discipline, guidance, and the release of children;

(3) An overview of symptoms of child abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse and the responsibility for reporting these;

(4) The procedures to follow in handling emergencies. Emergencies include, but are not limited to, fire, explosion, tornado, toxic fumes, volatile individuals, and severe injury or illness of a child or adult; and

(5) The use and location of fire extinguishers and first-aid equipment.

Children are at risk when adults responsible for them don't know what they are doing, as a result of inadequate training, preparation or orientation. Orientation programs for assistant and substitute caregivers are specific to the child-care home as the layout of homes, emergency procedures, and the needs of children vary. Orientation, which addresses caregiver responsibilities, is different from training, which addresses issues general to the care of children.

§747.1307 What topics must the 15 clock hours of annual training for caregivers include?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) Each caregiver counted in the child/caregiver ratio on more than ten separate occasions in one training year, as specified in §747.1311 of this title (relating to When must the annual training be obtained?) must obtain at least 15 clock hours of training annually. The 15 clock hours are exclusive of CPR, first aid, orientation, and any training received through a high school child-care work-study program;

(b) At least six clock hours of annual training must be in one or more of the following topics:

(1) Child growth and development;

(2) Guidance and discipline;

(3) Age-appropriate curriculum; and

(4) Teacher-child interaction;

(c) The remaining clock hours of annual training must be in one or more of the following topics:

(1) Care of children with special needs;

(2) Adult and child health;

(3) Safety;

(4) Risk management;

(5) Identification and care of ill children;

(6) Cultural diversity of children and families;

(7) Professional development (for example, effective communication, time and stress management);

(8) Preventing the spread of communicable diseases;

(9) Topics relevant to the particular ages of children in care (for example, caregivers working with infants or toddlers should receive training on biting and toilet training);

(10) Planning developmentally appropriate learning activities;

(11) Minimum standards and how they apply to the caregiver; and

(d) If the home provides care for a child younger than 24 months, one hour of annual training must cover the following topics:

(1) Recognizing and preventing shaken baby syndrome;

(2) Preventing sudden infant death syndrome; and

(3) Understanding early childhood brain development.

§747.1309 What training topics must be included in my annual training as the primary caregiver?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) You must obtain at least 20 clock hours of training annually.

(1) The 20 clock hours of annual training are exclusive of the Licensing pre-application interview and CPR and first-aid training; and

(2) Training hours may not be earned for presenting training to others.

(b) At least six clock hours of annual training must be in one or more of the following topics:

(1) Child growth and development;

(2) Guidance and discipline;

(3) Age-appropriate curriculum; and

(4) Teacher-child interaction.

(c) A primary caregiver with five or fewer years of experience as a primary caregiver in a licensed or registered child-care home must complete at least six of the 20 clock hours in management techniques, leadership, or staff supervision.

(d) A primary caregiver with more than five years of experience as a primary caregiver in a licensed or registered child-care home must complete at least three of the 20 clock hours in management techniques, leadership, or staff supervision.

(e) If the home provides care for children younger than 24 months, one hour of annual training must cover the following topics:

(1) Recognizing and preventing shaken baby syndrome;

(2) Preventing sudden infant death syndrome; and

(3) Understanding early childhood brain development.

(f) The remainder of annual training hours must be selected from the training topics specified in §747.1307(c) of this title (relating to What topics must the 15 clock hours of annual training for caregivers include?).

Research has shown that caregivers who are better trained are better able to prevent, recognize, and correct health and safety problems. Promoting learning and development in children, whose needs and abilities change at a rapid rate, requires skill. Annual ongoing training provides caregivers an opportunity to learn the newest techniques for addressing children's behaviors, to discover the latest findings on what children need as they develop, and to refresh and re-energize their skills. Some re-training on previously studied topics is necessary to keep skills and knowledge up-to-date.

§747.1311 When must the annual training be obtained?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) Your annual training must be obtained within 12 months from the date you are registered or licensed with us and during each subsequent 12-month period. If you obtain more than the minimum number of annual training clock hours required, you may not carry the additional hours over to the next year.

(b) Annual training for each caregiver must be obtained within 12 months from the date of the caregiver's employment and during each subsequent 12-month period. If a caregiver obtains more than the minimum number of annual training clock hours required, this caregiver may not carry the additional hours over to the next year.

§747.1313 Who must have first-aid and CPR training?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) The primary caregiver and any substitute caregiver must have current training in first aid with rescue breathing and choking. Pediatric first aid is preferred, but not required.

(b) The primary caregiver and any substitute caregiver, and one assistant caregiver for each group of children in care away from the child-care home, must have current training in CPR for infants, children, and adults issued by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or by a training program that has been approved by the local Emergency Medical Services Authority, or is offered through the local hospital.

(c) CPR and first-aid training must not be obtained through self-instructional training.

According to the AAP, knowledge of pediatric first aid, including management of a blocked airway and rescue breathing and the confidence to use these skills, are critically important to the outcome of an emergency situation. CPR and first-aid training obtained from the listed sources ensures that the techniques and information the caregiver receives is up to date.

§747.1315 Must child-care training meet certain criteria?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) Training may include clock hours or CEUs obtained through:

(1) Workshops offered by local school districts, colleges or universities, or Licensing;

(2) Conferences on early childhood or early child development;

(3) Self-instructional materials, excluding CPR and first aid;

(4) Planned learning opportunities provided by child-care associations or Licensing; or

(5) Planned learning opportunities provided by community resources, professional consultants, or a primary caregiver who meets minimum standard qualifications.

(b) All training must include:

(1) Specifically stated learning objectives;

(2) A curriculum, which includes experiential or applied activities;

(3) An evaluation/assessment tool to determine whether the person has obtained the information necessary to meet the stated objectives; and

(4) A certificate of successful completion from the training source.

§747.1317 Does Licensing approve training resources or trainers for training clock hours?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

No. We do not approve or endorse training resources or trainers for training clock hours. You should, however, ensure you and your caregivers receive relevant training from reliable resources, in topics specified in this division, and that participants receive original documentation of completion, as specified in this division.

Recommendation: Since the Department does not approve training sources, it is very important that your training and the training for your assistant and substitute caregivers come from a reliable source that has experience in the topic that they are presenting. We recommend you ask the trainer to provide you with a résumé or vita showing relevant experience and education, or be certain you are obtaining training through reliable sources in the community who have verified the presenter's qualifications for you. Also, ask to see a copy of the certificate you will receive and to preview the materials, before entering into an agreement to purchase any training.

§747.1319 If I am attending, or I have a caregiver who is attending, a college or Child Development Associate/Certified Child-Care Professional credential program, may I count these clock hours toward the annual training requirement?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

Yes. If the training is in a topic specified in this division and you can provide documentation of completion as specified in this division, then you may count this training toward the annual training requirement.

§747.1321 If I hire a caregiver that received training at another child-care home or center, may these hours count towards the annual training requirement at my child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

If the caregiver can provide documentation of training obtained within two months before coming to work at your child-care home, this training may apply toward the annual training requirement. If you apply this training to the annual requirement, you must adjust the annual training due dates accordingly.

§747.1323 What is self-instructional training?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

Self-instructional material, such as on-line training, written, or video-based material is designed to be used by one individual and must include:

(1) Specifically stated objectives;

(2) A curriculum that includes experiential or applied activities;

(3) An evaluation/assessment tool to determine whether the person has obtained the information necessary to meet the stated objectives; and

(4) A certificate of successful completion from the training source, as specified in this subchapter.

§747.1325 How many annual training clock hours may be obtained from self-instructional materials?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) An assistant or substitute caregiver may obtain no more than 12 of the required 15 clock hours of annual training from self-instructional materials.

(b) The primary caregiver may obtain no more than 16 of the required 20 clock hours of annual training from self-instructional materials.

(c) We may ask to review self-instructional materials to ensure training criteria are met.

Obtaining training in a group setting provides caregivers a break from the isolation of their work and promotes networking and support. It also provides an opportunity for caregivers to share knowledge about child-care practices and to gain exposure to different views and ideas about the best practices in child care.

§747.1327 What documentation must I provide to Licensing to verify that training requirements have been met?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 4, Professional Development

09/01/03

(a) You must maintain original certificates documenting training in each caregiver's personnel record at your child-care home. To be counted toward compliance with the minimum standards, the trainer or training source must provide the participant with an original certificate or letter showing:

(1) The participant's name;

(2) Date of the training;

(3) Title/subject of the training;

(4) The trainer's name, or the source of the training for self-instructional training;

(5) Length of the training specified in clock hours or CEUs; and

(6) The expiration date for CPR and first-aid training, as determined by the organization providing the training.

(b) You may obtain a signed statement stating the caregiver has received the orientation or you may use original certificates, as specified in this division.

Original certificates help to verify the person who actually received the training. A permit holder has the discretion to release training records to a caregiver upon leaving their employment.

Household Members, Volunteers, and People who Offer Contracted Services

§747.1401 Must members of my household meet specific qualifications?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 5, Household Members, Volunteers, and People who Offer Contracted Services

09/01/03

(a) All household members who are 14 years old or older, who will regularly or frequently be present at your operation while children are in care, must meet the requirements in Subchapter F of Chapter 745 of this title (relating to Background Checks).

(b) All household members who are 14 years old or older and who are regularly or frequently present while children are in care must also:

(1) Provide a copy of a health card or physician's statement verifying they are free of active tuberculosis if required by the regional Texas Department of Health TB program or local health authority; and

(2) Complete orientation to your child-care home.

(c) Any household member who is counted in the child/caregiver ratio on more than ten separate occasions in one training year, whether paid or unpaid, must meet the minimum qualifications and training requirements for assistant caregivers specified in this subchapter.

(d) Any household member who is left in charge of the child-care home in the absence of the primary caregiver, whether paid or unpaid, must meet minimum qualifications and training requirements for substitute caregivers specified in this subchapter.

(e) A household member who is 14 years old or older, but is not regularly or frequently at the child-care home while children are in care, is not required to meet the qualifications or training requirements for caregivers specified in this subchapter, but must never be left alone with a child in care.

Training prepares caregivers routinely counted in the child/caregiver ratio with the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure the health and safety of the children in their care.

§747.1403 What must orientation to my child-care home for household members include?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 5, Household Members, Volunteers, and People who Offer Contracted Services

09/01/03

The orientation must include the topics specified in §747.1305 of this title (relating to What should orientation to my child-care home include?).

§747.1405 What are the minimum qualifications and training requirements for volunteers and contractors?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 5, Household Members, Volunteers, and People who Offer Contracted Services

09/01/03

The minimum qualifications and training requirements for volunteers and contractors are the same as those specified in this division for household members.

Volunteers and/or parents who supplement the ratios for swimming, wading and field trip activities on an incremental or irregular basis do not require training.

General Responsibilities for Caregivers and Household Members

§747.1501 What general responsibilities do caregivers have in my child-care home?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 6, General Responsibilities for Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

(a) You and all other caregivers are responsible for seeing that children are:

(1) Treated with courtesy, respect, acceptance, and patience;

(2) Recognized and respected for their uniqueness as an individual;

(3) Not abused, neglected, or exploited; and

(4) Released only to a parent or a person designated by a parent.

(b) You and all other caregivers must report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation to PRS or law enforcement.

(c) You and all other caregivers must also:

(1) Demonstrate competency, good judgment, and self-control in the presence of children;

(2) Know and comply with the minimum standards specified in this chapter;

(3) Know each child's name and have information showing the child's age;

(4) Supervise children at all times, adjusting appropriately for different ages and abilities of children;

(5) Ensure the children are not out of control;

(6) Be free from other duties not directly involving the teaching, care, and supervision of children, such as:

(A) Administrative and clerical duties that take the caregiver away from the children except for brief periods, such as for necessary phone calls, as long as appropriate supervision is maintained; and

(B) Janitorial duties, such as mopping, vacuuming, and cleansing bathrooms. Sweeping up after an activity or mopping up spills may be necessary for the children's safety and are not considered janitorial duties; and

(7) Interact with children in a positive manner.

§747.1503 What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?

Subchapter D, Personnel

Division 6, General Responsibilities for Caregivers and Household Members

09/01/03

Supervising children at all times means the primary caregiver or substitute caregiver and assistant caregivers are accountable for each child's care. This includes responsibility for the ongoing activity of each child, appropriate visual and/or auditory awareness, physical proximity, and knowledge of activity requirements and each child's needs. The caregiver must intervene when necessary to ensure children's safety. In deciding how closely to supervise children, the caregiver must take into account:

(1) Ages of the children;

(2) Individual differences and abilities;

(3) Layout of the home and play area; and

(4) Neighborhood circumstances, hazards, and risks.

Supervision is basic to the prevention of harm. Parents have an understanding that caregivers will supervise their children in their absence. Adults who are attentive and understand young children's behaviors are in the best position to safeguard their well-being.

A primary caregiver can also establish an understanding with parents regarding who (when the parent and when the caregiver) is responsible for the child while the parent and the child are both on the premises. These understandings could be laid out in the enrollment agreement.

Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

§747.1601 What is child/caregiver ratio?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 1, Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

09/01/03

The child/caregiver ratio is the maximum number of children one caregiver may be responsible for.

§747.1603 How do I determine child/caregiver ratio?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 1, Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

09/01/03

In determining child/caregiver ratio, the following apply:

(1) The total number of children you may supervise is determined by the ages of the children in the child-care home.

(2) You may use the developmental or emotional age, rather than the chronological age, of a child with special care needs, if this is recommended by a health-care professional or a qualified professional and is documented in the child's record.

(3) All children present, including children related to you, assistant and substitute caregiver's children, and drop-in and part-time children must be counted in the child/caregiver ratio, by age of the child, regardless of the length of time they are present.

(4) You must also count neighborhood children visiting your child-care home, if you are responsible for their care and supervision in the absence of the parent.

Research has shown that when caregivers have fewer children to supervise and the group size is limited it reduces the likelihood of injuries and illness in children and increases opportunities for positive interaction with children. Excessive numbers of young children may also increase the danger of high caregiver stress and loss of control.

§747.1605 May I ever care for more than 12 children in my registered or licensed child-care home?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 1, Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

09/01/03

No. The total number of children in care must never exceed 12, and may be fewer than 12 depending on the ages of the children in the child-care home. This number includes all children present in the child-care home and any children in your care away from the child-care home, such as those on a field trip or being transported.

§747.1607 May I reduce the number of caregivers supervising children during naptime?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 1, Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

09/01/03

No. You may not reduce the number of caregivers while children are napping.

§747.1609 May I adjust the child/caregiver ratio when I am opening and closing my child-care home?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 1, Determining Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

09/01/03

No. You may not reduce the number of caregivers supervising the children during opening and closing times.

Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Registered Child-Care Home

§747.1701 How many children may I care for in my registered child-care home?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 2, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

There must not be more children in your registered child-care home at the same time than is shown in the following chart:

Number of Children One Caregiver May Care for in a Registered Child-Care Home

Number of children birth through 17 months old
Number of children 18 months and older
Number of children five years old and older after school hours
Maximum number of children allowed in the child-care home at any one time, including children related to the caregiver

0
6
6
12

0
5
7
12

0
4
8
12

0
3
9
12

0
2
10 12


0
1
11 12


0
0
12 12


1
5
4
10

1
4
5
10

1
3
6
10

1
2
7
10

1
1
8
10

1
0
9
10

2
4
2
8

2
3
3
8

2
2
4
8

2
1
5
8

2
0
6
8

3
3
1
7

3
2
2
7

3
1
3
7

3
0
4
7

4
2
0
6

4
1
1
6

4
0
2
6

§747.1703 If I have an additional caregiver present to supervise children in my registered child-care home, may I care for more children?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 2, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Registered Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If your child-care home is registered, you may not increase the number of children in care if two or more caregivers are caring for the children.

Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home

§747.1801 How many children may I care for in my licensed child-care home?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 3, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

There must not be more children in your licensed child-care home at the same time than is shown in the following chart:

Number of Children One Caregiver May Care for in a Licensed Child-Care Home

Number of children birth through 17 months old
Number of children 18 months through three years old
Number of children four years old and older
Maximum number of children one caregiver may supervise

0
8
4
12

0
7
5
12

0
6
6
12

0
5
7
12

0
4
8
12

0
3
9
12

0
2
10
12

0
1
11
11

0
0
12
12

1
6
4
11

1
5
5
11

1
4
6
11

1
3
7
11

1
2
8
11

1
1
9
11

1
0
10
11

2
5
3
10

2
4
4
10

2
3
5
10

2
2
6
10

2
1
7
10

2
0
8
10

3
2
1
6

3
1
2
6

4
0
0
4

§747.1803 If I have an additional caregiver present to supervise children in my licensed child-care home, may I care for more children?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 3, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If your child-care home is licensed, then the following child/caregiver ratio and maximum group size applies when two caregivers are caring for the children:

Number of Children Two Caregivers May Care for in a Licensed Child-Care Home

Number of children

0 - 17 months old
Number of children

18 months old and older
Maximum group size and number of children two caregivers may supervise

0
12
12

1
11
12

2
10
12

3
9
12

4
8
12

5
7
12

6
6
12

7
5
12

8
4
12

9
3
12

10
0
10

§747.1805 Must I limit the ages of children in care if there are three or more caregivers present?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 3, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If your child-care home is licensed and more than two caregivers are present caring for the children, then you may care for 12 children of any age from birth through 13 years.

§747.1807 Will I be given an opportunity to comply, if my child-care home was licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 3, Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) If your child-care home was licensed as a group day care home before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to comply with regular ratios and group sizes for licensed child-care homes as specified in this division, unless stated otherwise. You must maintain at least one of the following combinations during the one-year period beginning September 1, 2003.

(1) The following chart applies when one person is caring for children.

One Person Caring for Children

Infants

0 - 17 mos.
Preschoolers

18 mos. - 3 years
School-Age

4 - 13 years

0
8
4

1
6
4

2
5
3

3
2
1

4
0
0

(2) The following chart applies when two people are caring for children.

Two People Caring For Children

Infants

0 -17 mos.
Older Children

18 mos. and older

10
0

9
3

8
4

7
5

6
6

5
7

4
8

3
9

2
10

1
11

0
12

(b) A child-care home licensed before September 1, 2003, must comply with the child/caregiver ratios in this division when your existing permit is no longer valid.

Ratios for Field Trips

§747.1901 Do I need additional caregivers when I take children away from my licensed or registered child-care home for field trips or walks?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 4, Ratios for Field Trips

09/01/03

(a) When children are on a field trip and are mixing with children and adults who are not from your child-care home, including but not limited to, trips to the skating rink, shopping, public park, or amusement park, you must meet the following child/caregiver ratio:

Ratios for Field Trips

Mixing with Other Children or Adults Away from the Child-Care Home

If the age of the youngest child in the group is...
Then you must have (Number) adults to supervise...
Every (Number) children

0 through 23 months
1
3

2 years
1
6

3 years
1
6

4 years
1
9

5 years
1
11

6 years and older
1
12

(b) The child/caregiver ratio for field trips may include adult volunteers or household members who are not qualified as caregivers only for trips when children are mixing with children and adults who are not from your child-care home, as long as you maintain at least the regular ratio for your registered or licensed child-care home, as applicable, with qualified caregivers.

(c) You must maintain the regular child/caregiver ratio specified in this subchapter for registered and licensed child-care homes, as applicable, when children are on a field trip in an enclosed controlled area, including but not limited to, events planned only for your group such as library story time, tours of the fire department, or on a walk in the neighborhood.

Field trips involve higher risk to children and require increased supervision by adults. The AAP indicates that injuries and serious incidents are more likely to occur when a child's surroundings change or when there is a change in routine. When children are excited or busy playing in unfamiliar areas, they are likely to forget safety measures unless they are closely supervised.

§747.1903 If I provide transportation, how many caregivers must I have in the vehicle to supervise the children?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 4, Ratios for Field Trips

09/01/03

(a) You must have one caregiver in addition to the driver if you transport more than four children who are younger than 24 months.

(b) When you transport children two years and older, you must comply with the regular child/caregiver ratio. The driver may be counted in this ratio if the driver meets the caregiver qualifications.

Research indicates motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children in the United States. Additional adults are needed when transporting younger children to free the driver from the distraction of supervising children while driving, and to assist in the evacuation and supervision of children in case of an accident or breakdown.

Ratios for Water Activities

§747.2001 Must I have additional caregivers for wading/splashing activities?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

(a) Whenever children use a wading or splashing pool (two feet of water or less), you must use the child/caregiver ratio for wading/splashing activities for all children in care.

(b) If there is more than one child under 24 months in care, a second adult must be present.

(c) The maximum number of children one caregiver can supervise while children use a splashing or wading pool (two feet of water or less) is based on the age of the youngest child in the group and is specified in the following chart:

Ratio for Splashing or Wading Pools (Less Than Two Feet Deep)

If the age of the

youngest child is...
Then you must have (number) adults to supervise...
A maximum of (number) children.

0 through 23 months
1
1

0 through 23 months
2
6

2 years
1
5

2 years
2
11

3 years
1
6

4 years
1
12

5 years
1
12

6 years and older
1
12

§747.2003 Will I be given an opportunity to comply with the minimum standards for splashing/wading activities, if my child-care home was registered before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

(a) If your child-care home was registered as a family home before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to comply with child/caregiver ratios for splashing/wading activities as specified in this division, unless stated otherwise. You must maintain at least the following ratios when children use a splashing/wading pool (two feet of water or less) at or away from your child-care home during the one-year period beginning September 1, 2003:

If the age of the youngest child in the group is...
Then you must have (number of adults) adults to supervise...
Every (number of children) children

6 months - 23 months
1
1

6 months - 23 months
2
6

2 years
1
6

3 years
1
6

4 years and older
1
12

(b) A child-care home registered before September 1, 2003, must comply with the child/caregiver ratios in this division when your existing permit is no longer valid.

§747.2005 What are the child/caregiver ratios for swimming activities?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

(a) When your child-care home uses a swimming pool (more than two feet of water) and four or more children are swimming, there must be at least two caregivers present supervising the children who are swimming.

(b) The maximum number of children one caregiver can supervise while children are swimming is based on the age of the youngest child in the group. You must use the following child/caregiver ratio for swimming activities:

Ratio for Swimming Pools (More Than Two Feet Deep)

If the age of the youngest child in the group is...
Then you must have (number) adults to supervise...
Every (number) children.

0 through 23 months
1
1

2 years
1
2

3 years
1
6

4 years
1
8

5 years
1
10

6 years and older
1
12

According to the AAP, varying levels of children's comfort and skill in the water combined with the increased difficulty of seeing children in the water requires closer supervision to reduce the risk of drowning.

§747.2007 Will I be given an opportunity to comply with the child/caregiver ratios, if my child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

(a) If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to comply with child/caregiver ratios for swimming activities as specified in this division, unless stated otherwise. You must maintain at least the following ratios when children use a swimming pool (more than two feet of water) at or away from your child-care home during the one-year period beginning September 1, 2003.

(1) When four or more children are swimming, two adults must be present.

(2) If your child-care home was licensed as a group day care home, the following ratio applies:

If the age of youngest child in the group is...
Then the maximum number of children to be supervised by one adult is...

6 months - 23 months
1

2 years
6

3 years
8

4 years and older
12

(3) If your child-care home was registered, the following ratio applies:

If the age of youngest child in the group is...
Then you must have (number of adults) adults to supervise...
Every (number of children) children.

6 months - 23 months
1
1

2 years or older
1
3

2
4 or more

(b) A child-care home registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, must comply with the child/caregiver ratios in this division when your existing permit is no longer valid.

§747.2009 Must I have a certified lifeguard on duty when children are swimming in more than two feet of water?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

Yes. When children are swimming in more than two feet of water, a certified lifeguard must be on duty at all times.

§747.2011 May I count the certified lifeguard in the child/caregiver ratio?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

(a) You must not count the certified lifeguard in the child/caregiver ratio when people other than the children from your child-care home are swimming.

(b) If only children from your child-care home are swimming, you may count the certified lifeguard in the child/caregiver ratio, although the lifeguard must never be left alone with any of the children unless the lifeguard is also a qualified caregiver for your child care home.

The lifeguard has the necessary skills to rescue a child in distress; however, being responsible for assisting and supervising children who are in the water at the same time may take away from their ability to react quickly in an emergency.

§747.2013 Must persons who are counted in the child/caregiver ratio during swimming know how to swim?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

Yes. Each person included in the child/caregiver ratio for swimming in two feet of water or more must be able to swim and must be prepared to do so in an emergency.

The ability to swim is crucial to adequate supervision and safety of children and allows a caregiver to intervene when necessary to protect the child.

§747.2015 May I include volunteers or household members who do not meet minimum qualifications for caregivers in the child/caregiver ratio for water activities?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

Yes. To meet the child/caregiver ratio for splashing/wading and swimming activities, you may include adult volunteers and adult household members who do not meet the minimum qualifications for caregivers specified in Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Personnel), provided that:

(1) You maintain at least the child/caregiver ratios required in Division 2 of this subchapter (relating to Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Registered Child-Care Home), or Division 3 of this subchapter (relating to Regular Ratios and Group Sizes in the Licensed Child-Care Home), as applicable, with caregivers who do meet the minimum qualifications for caregivers;

(2) All persons included in the ratios for water activities must be able to swim and must be prepared to do so in an emergency; and

(3) You ensure compliance with all other minimum standards, including, but not limited to, standards relating to supervision, discipline, and guidance.

§747.2017 Must I have additional caregivers for sprinkler play?

Subchapter E, Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes

Division 5, Ratios for Water Activities

09/01/03

We do not require additional caregivers for sprinkler play; however, you must not leave a child alone with the sprinkler equipment.

Developmental Activities and Activity Plan

§747.2101 Must I provide planned activities for the children in my child-care home?

Subchapter F, Developmental Activities and Activity Plan

09/01/03

Yes. You must provide a planned program of activities designed to meet the individual needs and developmental levels of the children in the group.

Research has shown that learning in young children is the result of interaction between the child's thoughts and their experiences with materials, ideas and people. The quality of these interactions is enhanced by providing structure and a variety of opportunities to practice and explore new skills. While planning children's activities, keep in mind the diverse and ever-changing developmental needs of children, the abilities and interests of the children in the group and the importance of children's play in developing physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially.

§747.2103 What should the activity plan include?

Subchapter F, Developmental Activities and Activity Plan

09/01/03

Your activity plan must include at least the following:

(1) A variety of creative activities;

(2) Indoor and outdoor play in which the children make use of both small and large muscles;

(3) A balance of active and quiet play, including group and individual activities both indoors and outdoors;

(4) Regular meal and snack times;

(5) Supervised naptimes or a period of rest for those children too old to nap;

(6) A variety of child-initiated and caregiver-initiated activities;

(7) Sufficient time for activities and routines so that children can progress at their own developmental rate; and

(8) No long waiting periods between activities or prolonged periods during which children stand or sit.

Research indicates children receive the greatest developmental benefits from attending child care which offers a variety of activities addressing emotional, social, intellectual and physical development. A planned but flexible program that allows children to make decisions about their activities fosters independence and creative expression.

§747.2105 May I use TV/video and video games for activities with children?

Subchapter F, Developmental Activities and Activity Plan

09/01/03

TV/video and video games may be used to supplement, but may not be used to replace, the activities for children described in §747.2317 of this title (relating to What activities must I provide for infants?), §747.2407 of this title (relating to What activities must I provide for toddlers?), §747.2507 of this title (relating to What activities must I provide for pre-kindergarten age children?), and §747.2607 of this title (relating to What activities must I provide for school-age children?). If you use TV/video and video games as an activity for children, they must be age appropriate.

§747.2107 Am I required to have a written activity plan?

Subchapter F, Developmental Activities and Activity Plan

09/01/03

No. You are not required to have a written plan of activities, although you may find this helpful in planning for the various age groups in your care.

Basic Care Requirements for Children with Special Care Needs

§747.2201 Are there basic care requirements for children with special care needs?

Subchapter G, Basic Care Requirements for Children with Special Care Needs

09/01/03

You must ensure that children who need special care due to disabling or limiting conditions receive the care recommended by a health-care professional or other qualified professionals affiliated with the local school district or early childhood intervention program. These basic care requirements must be documented and kept at your child-care home for review during operating hours. Activities must integrate all children with or without special care needs. You may need to adapt equipment and vary methods to ensure that you care for children with special needs in a natural environment.

Basic Care Requirements for Infants

§747.2301 What are the basic care requirements for infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Basic care for infants must include:

(1) Individual attention given to each child including playing, talking, cuddling, and holding;

(2) Holding and comforting a child who is upset;

(3) Prompt attention given to physical needs, such as feeding and diapering;

(4) Talking to children as they are fed, changed, and held, such as naming objects, singing, or saying rhymes; and

(5) Ensuring objects less than 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter are kept out of the reach of children younger than three years.

Objects, materials and toys less than 1 and inches in diameter can be stored in places where children of certain age groups may not have access to them.

The AAP recommends that the wishes of children, regardless of their ages, should always be respected with regard to physical contact and their comfort/discomfort with it. If a child indicates that he or she does not wish to be held or comforted, even "friendly contact" with a child should be avoided.

§747.2303 How must I arrange the space where I care for infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

The room arrangement of the infant care area must:

(1) Make it possible for caregivers to see and/or hear infants and be able to intervene when necessary;

(2) Include safe, open, floor space for floor time play;

(3) Have cribs far enough apart so that one infant may not reach into another crib; and

(4) Provide caregivers enough space to walk and work between cribs, cots, and mats.

Infants need calm environments away from the stimulation of older children. This also reduces the risk of infectious respiratory diseases. Placing cribs far enough apart to prevent one child from reaching into the crib of another child protects the safety of the infants.

§747.2305 What furnishings and equipment must I have available for the infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Furnishings and equipment for infants must include at least the following:

(1) An individual crib for each non-walking infant;

(2) An individual crib, cot, bed, or mat that is waterproof or washable for each walking infant;

(3) A sufficient number of toys to keep the children engaged in activities.

Recommendation: A chair or rocker allows the caregiver to hold, rock, comfort, talk, sing, and read to infants in an intimate, nurturing manner.

§747.2307 Must the equipment I use for infants be equipped with safety straps?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

If you use high chairs, swings, strollers, infant carriers, rockers, and bouncer seats or similar types of equipment, they must be equipped with safety straps that must be fastened whenever a child is using the equipment.

§747.2309 What specific safety requirements must my cribs meet?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

(a) All cribs must have:

(1) A firm, flat mattress that snugly fits the sides of the crib. The mattress must not be supplemented with additional foam material or pads;

(2) Sheets that fit snugly and do not present an entanglement hazard;

(3) A mattress that is waterproof or washable;

(4) Secure mattress support hangers, and no loose hardware, or improperly installed or damaged parts;

(5) A maximum of 2 3/8 inches between crib slats or poles;

(6) No corner posts over 1/16 inch above the end panels;

(7) No cutout areas in the headboard or footboard that would entrap a child's head or body; and

(8) Drop rails, if present, which fasten securely and cannot be opened by a child.

(b) You must sanitize each crib when soiled and before another child uses the crib.

(c) You must never leave a child in a crib with the side down.

Research shows more babies die in incidents involving cribs than with any other piece of nursery equipment. If a soda can fits easily between the slats on a crib, the slats are too wide.

A mattress is too loose if there are more than two finger widths between the edge of the mattress and the crib side.

Not all cribs meet the current safety standards established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM), especially those made before these standards were set. Be aware of safe construction when purchasing new or used cribs to avoid injury and/or entrapment hazards for children.

§747.2311 Are mesh cribs or port-a-cribs allowed?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Yes. Non-full-size, portable, or mesh-side cribs are allowed, but some additional safety requirements must be followed:

(1) You must use non-full-size, portable, or mesh-side cribs according to the manufacturer's recommendations. These cribs must also have:

(A) A minimum height of 22 inches from the top of the railing to the mattress support at its lowest level;

(B) Mesh openings that are 1/4 inch or less;

(C) Mesh which is securely attached to top rail, side rail, and floor plate; and

(D) Folded sides that securely latch in place when raised;

(2) You must never leave a child in a mesh-sided crib with a side folded down.

§747.2313 Are stacking wall cribs allowed?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Yes. Stacking wall cribs must meet the requirements specified in § 747.2309 of this title (relating to What specific safety requirements must my cribs meet?) and:

(1) Are limited to two stacked cribs;

(2) Must be used according to manufacturer's directions; and

(3) Doors/gates must be securely latched anytime a child is in the crib.

§747.2315 Are specific types of equipment prohibited for use with infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Yes. The following list of equipment, identified as unsafe for infants by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics, must not be used in your child-care home:

(1) Baby walkers;

(2) Baby bungee jumpers;

(3) Accordion safety gates;

(4) Bean bags, waterbeds, and foam pads used as sleeping equipment; and

(5) Soft bedding, such as stuffed toys, quilts, pillows, bumper pads, and comforters, must not be used in cribs for children six months old and younger.

Baby walkers present a hazard due to risk of falls down stairs, steps, and tipping over thresholds or carpet edges. They provide infants accessibility to potentially hot surfaces such as oven doors, heaters and fireplaces; containers of hot liquids such as coffee, soup or cooking oils; dangling appliance cords; poisonous plants or hazardous substances and buckets, toilets or other containers of water.

Baby bungee jumpers are not appropriate for use in a group setting. A caregiver, alone with children of mixed ages to supervise, would not be able to provide the one-on-one supervision this type of equipment requires, if they are to be used safely.

Accordion gates with large V-shaped openings along the top edge and diamond shaped openings between the slats present entrapment and entanglement hazards resulting in strangulation, choking or pinching to children who try to crawl through or over the gate.

Examples of items that present a choking hazard for infants and toddlers include coins, balloons, safety pins, marbles, Styrofoam © and similar products, and sponge, rubber or soft plastic toys.

Studies on SIDS support eliminating soft bedding materials and stuffed toys used for children under six months.

§747.2317 What activities must I provide for infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Activities for infants must include at least the following:

(1) Daily opportunities for outdoor play as weather permits;

(2) Opportunities to explore outside the crib or other confining equipment multiple times during each day;

(3) Opportunities for reaching, grasping, pulling up, creeping, crawling, and walking in a safe, clean, uncluttered area;

(4) Opportunities for visual stimulation through nonverbal communication. Examples of age-appropriate equipment include large pictures of faces and familiar objects, simple, soft, washable books and toys, unbreakable mirrors or mobiles attached to cribs visible from the baby's position, and brightly patterned crib sheets;

(5) Opportunities for auditory stimulation. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include verbal communication, soothing music, and musical or sounding toys;

(6) Opportunities for sensory stimulation. Examples of age-appropriate equipment include surfaces, fabrics, textured toys, or washable dolls, and toy animals;

(7) Opportunities for small-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include busy boxes, rattles, teethers, grasping toys, shaking or squeezing toys, or cloth toys; and

(8) Opportunities for large-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include blankets or quilts for floor time, crib and play gyms, variety of light-weight balls, or pillows or supportive equipment for those learning to sit up.

A chance to play outdoors every day helps keep children healthy. Fresh air in a large space contains fewer germs. Outdoor play also provides a wider variety of opportunities for sensory stimulation through sounds, smells and textures and is supported by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

§747.2319 Are there specific requirements for feeding infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Yes. You must:

(1) Hold infants who are unable to sit unassisted in a high chair or other seating equipment while feeding them;

(2) Not prop bottles. The child or an adult must hold the bottle;

(3) Provide regular snack and meal times for infants who eat table food;

(4) Ensure children no longer being held for feeding are fed in a safe manner;

(5) Label, color-code or otherwise distinguish among bottles and training cups used by different children;

(6) Not allow children to walk around with or sleep with a bottle or training cup;

(7) Not use the bathroom sink or diaper-changing surface for food preparation, or for washing food service/preparation equipment, bottles, pacifiers, or toys; and

(8) Sanitize high chair trays before each use.

Research has shown that propping bottles can cause choking, aspiration, and increased risk for development of ear infections, tooth decay, and injuries to the teeth, as well as depriving infants of much-needed face-to-face interaction.

Using diaper changing surfaces and hand-washing sinks for food preparation or for washing items used for food service, increases the spread of germs from cross contamination.

§747.2321 Must I obtain written, feeding instructions for children not ready for table food?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

(a) Yes. For children not ready for table food, you must obtain and follow written feeding instructions that are signed and dated by the child's parent or physician.

(b) You must review and update the feeding instructions with the parent every 30 days until the child is able to eat table food.

(c) If your child-care home is participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) administered by the Texas Department of Human Services, you may elect to meet those requirements rather than those specified in this section.

"Table food" refers to regular meals/snacks provided by the caregiver for all children.

Recommendation: Written feeding instructions ensure that all caregivers, including substitutes, have clear instructions for feeding infants. Each child's needs vary greatly during this critical time of growth and development. Reviewing and updating feeding instructions every 30 days ensures that caregivers are following parent instructions as the nutritional needs of the infants change.

§747.2323 Must I provide a regularly scheduled naptime for infants?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Yes. Each infant must have a nap period that:

(1) Allows the infant to maintain his or her own pattern of sleeping and waking periods; and

(2) Allows the caregiver to supervise the infant according to §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean be "supervise children at all times"?).

§747.2325 How long are infants allowed to remain in their cribs after awakening?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

An infant may remain in the crib or other confining equipment for up to 30 minutes after awakening, as long as the infant is content and responsive.

Exploring outside of the crib gives infants freedom of movement, which cannot be met in swings, infant carriers, strollers or otherwise physically limiting equipment.

§747.2327 Are infants required to sleep on their backs?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

Infants not yet able to turn over on their own must be placed in a face-up sleeping position, unless the child's parent presents written documentation from a health-care professional stating that a different sleeping position is allowed or will not harm the infant.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the sudden and unexplained death of an infant, is the major cause of death in babies between 1 and 4 months old. After 30 years of research, scientists still cannot find a cause for SIDS; however, research has found the risk of SIDS may be reduced by placing a healthy infant on his or her back to sleep. If the infant was born with a birth defect, often spits up after eating, or has a breathing, lung or heart problem, a doctor or nurse may recommend a different sleep position to use. Some `tummy time" during awake hours is good for the baby.

§747.2329 If an infant has difficulty falling asleep, may I cover the infant's head or crib?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

No. Infants must not have their heads, faces, or cribs covered by items such as blankets, linens, or clothing at any time.

§747.2331 Must I share a daily report with parents for each infant in my care?

Subchapter H, Basic Care Requirements for Infants

09/01/03

No, you are not required to provide a daily written report to the child's parent.

Recommendation: Although a written report is not required, children benefit when caregivers share any significant information with the child's parents.

Basic Care Requirements for Toddlers

§747.2401 What are the basic care requirements for toddlers?

Subchapter I, Basic Care Requirements for Toddlers

09/01/03

Basic care for toddlers must include:

(1) Routines such as diapering, feeding, sleeping, and indoor and outdoor activity times maintained as closely as possible;

(2) Individual attention given to each child including playing, talking, and cuddling;

(3) Holding and comforting a child that is upset; and

(4) Ensuring objects less than 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter be kept out of the reach of children younger than three years.

A commercial choke tube or empty toilet paper roll can be used to test toys and objects in the room that a child may easily choke on. Try to place the toy or object into the tube. If the object easily passes through the tube, a child may choke on it and it should be removed from the children's access. If the object does not fit through the tube, the child is not likely to choke on it.

§747.2403 How must I arrange the space where I care for toddlers?

Subchapter I, Basic Care Requirements for Toddlers

09/01/03

The toddler care area must include:

(1) Spaces in the child-care home that allow both individual and group time; and

(2) A play environment that allows the caregiver to supervise all children as defined in §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?).

§747.2405 What furnishings and equipment must I provide for toddlers?

Subchapter I, Basic Care Requirements for Toddlers

09/01/03

Furnishings and equipment for toddlers must include at least the following:

(1) Age-appropriate nap or rest equipment;

(2) Enough popular items are available so that toddlers are routinely engaged in either solitary or parallel play; and

(3) Containers or low shelving so items children can safely use without direct supervision are accessible to children during the activity.

§747.2407 What activities must I provide for toddlers?

Subchapter I, Basic Care Requirements for Toddlers

09/01/03

Activities for toddlers must include at least the following:

(1) Daily opportunities for outdoor play when weather permits;

(2) Opportunities for thinking skills and sensory development. Examples of age- appropriate equipment or activities include shape/item sorting toys, stacking or nesting toys, puzzles with less than six pieces, washable board books, washable blocks, snapping and take apart toys;

(3) Opportunities for small-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include large-size washable crayons and markers, variety of paper and art materials, table or easel for art, large paintbrushes, non-toxic play-dough, toddler-sized washable cars and trucks, toy animals, and toy people;

(4) Opportunities for large-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include low climbing structures, small riding toys, toys for pushing or pulling, variety of light-weight balls for indoors and outdoors play, and rhythm instruments;

(5) Opportunities for language development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include washable, soft animals or puppets, simple picture books, and pictures of familiar items and places;

(6) Opportunities for social/emotional development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include dress up clothes and accessories, housekeeping equipment, unbreakable mirrors, washable dolls with accessories, items for practicing buttoning, zipping, lacing and snapping, tubs and tote bags (not plastic bags), and baskets for carrying and toting;

(7) Opportunities to develop self-help skills such as toileting, hand washing, and feeding themselves;

(8) Regular meal and snack times; and

(9) Naptimes, during which children should be supervised according to §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?).

Outdoor play enhances fitness and general health and supports creativity, learning and development. Outdoor play also provides a wider variety of opportunities for sensory stimulation through sounds, smells and textures and is supported by NAEYC. You may accommodate weather, air quality, and seasonal changes by adjusting the scheduled outdoor time, the length of time outdoors, and children's clothing.

Some children may require additional rest time before or after the noon meal outside of the scheduled rest period.

Basic Care Requirements for Pre-Kindergarten Age Children

§747.2501 What are the basic care requirements for pre-kindergarten age children?

Subchapter J, Basic Care Requirements for Pre-Kindergarten Age Children

09/01/03

Caregivers must provide pre-kindergarten age children individual attention and encourage children to communicate and express feelings in appropriate ways.

The AAP offers these examples for encouraging children to communicate, "Ask Johnny if he will share the book." "Tell him you don't like being hit." "Tell Sarah what you saw at the store yesterday." "Tell mommy about what you built in the block center this morning." Follow these encouraging statements with respectful listening, without pressuring the child to speak.

§747.2503 How must I arrange the space used by pre-kindergarten age children?

Subchapter J, Basic Care Requirements for Pre-Kindergarten Age Children

09/01/03

The pre-kindergarten age care area(s) must include:

(1) Space to set up interest centers or focused play areas during the activity, such as arts and crafts, music and movement, blocks and construction, drama and theater, math and reasoning activities, science and nature, language and reading activities, such as books, story tapes and language games, stories read or told on a weekly basis, and cultural awareness, which are:

(A) Organized for independent use by children; and

(B) Arranged so the children's activities are visible to the supervising caregiver;

(2) Space for furnishings and activities without limiting children's movement; and

(3) Space that children are allowed to find or create individual activities, but which still permits the caregiver to easily supervise.

NAEYC recommends that a learning environment that supports child initiated activities and individual learning styles fosters confidence and curiosity in the child.

§747.2505 What furnishings and equipment must I provide for pre-kindergarten age children?

Subchapter J, Basic Care Requirements for Pre-Kindergarten Age Children

09/01/03

Furnishings and equipment for pre-kindergarten age children must include at least the following:

(1) Age-appropriate nap or rest equipment;

(2) Enough popular items are available so that pre-kindergarten age children are routinely engaged in either solitary, parallel, or group play;

(3) Containers or low shelving so items children can safely use without direct supervision are accessible to children.

First-hand experiences encourage children to talk to each other and to adults, to seek increasingly more complex vocabulary and to use language to express thinking, feeling, and curiosity. Bored or frustrated children may be indicators of inappropriate or insufficient equipment and materials.

§747.2507 What activities must I provide for pre-kindergarten age children?

Subchapter J, Basic Care Requirements for Pre-Kindergarten Age Children

09/01/03

Activities for pre-kindergarten age children must include at least the following:

(1) Daily opportunities for outdoor play when weather permits;

(2) Opportunities for thinking skills and sensory development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include sand/water play, blocks, framed puzzles with up to 30 pieces, variety of large, stringing beads, and simple board games;

(3) Opportunities for small-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include large non-toxic crayons, markers, paint, water colors and various size brushes, adjustable easels, collage materials, chalkboard and chalk, clay/dough and tools, workbench and accessories, round-end scissors, glue and paste, different types of music and videos, rhythm instruments, and finger plays;

(4) Opportunities for large-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include small wagons, light-weight balls of all sizes, small wheelbarrows, tricycles, push toys, swings, slides, climbing equipment, balance beam, hanging bars, and outdoor building materials;

(5) Opportunities for language development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include flannel board stories, puppets, and variety of storybooks, writing materials, and stories on tape;

(6) Opportunities for social/emotional development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include dress up clothes and accessories, mirrors, dolls, simple props for different themes, puppets, transportation toys, toy animals, and table games;

(7) Opportunities to develop self-help skills such as toileting, hand washing, returning equipment to storage area or containers, and serving and feeding themselves;

(8) Regular meal and snack times; and

(9) Naptimes, or a period of rest for those children too old to nap, during which children should be supervised according to §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?).

Outdoor play provides for greater freedom and flexibility, fuller expression through loud talk and a greater range of active movement. Outdoor play also extends opportunities for large muscle development, social-emotional development and small muscle development by offering variety, challenge and complexity in ways that are not attainable in a confined indoor space.

See §§747.2801-747.2811 for additional minimum standards on naptime.

Basic Care Requirements for School-age Children

§747.2601 What basic care requirements must I provide for school-age children?

Subchapter K, Basic Care Requirements for School-age Children

09/01/03

Basic care requirements for school-age children must include:

(1) Individual attention and conversation with adults; and

(2) Physical care routines appropriate to each child's developmental needs.

A school-age child develops a strong secure sense of identity through positive experiences with adults and peers. The AAP affirms that although school-age children require more independent experiences, they continue to need the guidance and support of adults.

§747.2603 How must I arrange the space used by school-age children?

Subchapter K, Basic Care Requirements for School-age Children

09/01/03

The school-age care area must include:

(1) Space to set up interest centers or focused play areas during the activity, such as arts and crafts; music and movement; blocks and construction; drama and theater; math and reasoning activities; science and nature; language and reading activities, such as books, story tapes and language games, stories read or told on a weekly basis, and cultural awareness, which are:

(A) Organized for independent use by children; and

(B) Arranged so that the caregiver can supervise the children according to §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?);

(2) Space where children can have individual activities yet be supervised; and

(3) Space for quiet time to do homework.

§747.2605 What furnishings and equipment must I provide for school-age children?

Subchapter K, Basic Care Requirements for School-age Children

09/01/03

Furnishings and equipment for school-age children must include:

(1) Workspace to do homework and table-top activities;

(2) Age-appropriate nap or rest equipment;

(3) Containers or shelving so items children can safely use without direct supervision are accessible to children during the activity.

§747.2607 What activities must I provide for school-age children?

Subchapter K, Basic Care Requirements for School-age Children

09/01/03

Activities for school-age children must include at least the following:

(1) Study time for those who choose to do homework;

(2) Daily opportunities for outdoor play when weather permits;

(3) Opportunities for thinking skills and sensory development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include sand and water play; construction materials/ blocks; puzzles with 50 or more pieces; pattern-making materials, such as wood, paper, plastic, beads, ceramic tiles, cloth, or cardboard; games that contain rules and require some skill or strategy; specific skill development materials such as rulers, tape measures, telescopes, weather observation equipment, models of the solar system, and microscopes; books; and magazines;

(4) Opportunities for small-muscle development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include art and craft materials, such as paints, markers, colored pencils, crayons, clay, weaving, or braiding materials; music and musical instruments of all types; and tape/CD recorders and players;

(5) Opportunities for large-muscle development through balls and sports equipment, such as kick balls, baseballs, soccer balls, basketballs, skates, and horseshoes; riding equipment, such as kick scooters, skate boards, with knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets; and outdoor and gym equipment, such as slides, swings, climbing apparatus, and upper-body equipment;

(6) Opportunities for social/emotional development. Examples of age-appropriate equipment or activities include dolls with detailed, realistic accessories; role-play materials, including real equipment for library, hospital, post office, costumes, makeup and disguise materials; puppets and puppet show equipment; transportation toys, such as small vehicles or models; play and art materials; nature materials; and human and animal figurines;

(7) Regular meal and snack times; and

(8) Naptimes, or a period of rest for those children too old to nap, during which children should be supervised according to §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?).

Naps and rest time for school-age children will vary with each child's individual needs. Children in full-day care benefit from resting or napping during their long day. A rest period may be reading books, listening to soft music or books on tape.

See §§747.2801-747.2811 for additional minimum standards on naptime.

Discipline

§747.2701 To what extent may I discipline the children in my care?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

Discipline must be:

(1) Individualized and consistent for each child;

(2) Appropriate to the child's level of understanding; and

(3) Directed toward teaching the child acceptable behavior and self-control.

§747.2703 What methods of discipline and guidance may I use?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

You may only use positive methods of discipline and guidance that encourage self-esteem, self-control, and self-direction, and include at least the following:

(1) Using praise and encouragement of good behavior instead of focusing only upon unacceptable behavior;

(2) Reminding the children of behavior expectations daily by using clear, positive statements;

(3) Redirecting behavior using positive statements; and

(4) Using brief supervised separation or time out from the group, when appropriate for the child's age and development, that is limited to no more than one minute per year of the child's age.

Research has shown that positive guidance teaches children skills, which help them get along in their physical and social environment. The aim is to develop personal standards in self-discipline, not to enforce a set of inflexible rules. Giving children understandable guidelines and re-directing their behavior helps them to develop internal control of their actions and encourages acceptable behavior.

§747.2705 What types of discipline and guidance or punishment are prohibited?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

There must be no harsh, cruel, or unusual treatment of any child. The following types of discipline and guidance are prohibited:

(1) Corporal punishment or threats of corporal punishment;

(2) Punishment associated with food, naps, or toilet training;

(3) Pinching, shaking, or biting a child;

(4) Hitting a child with a hand or instrument;

(5) Putting anything in or on a child's mouth;

(6) Humiliating, ridiculing, rejecting, or yelling at a child;

(7) Subjecting a child to harsh, abusive, or profane language;

(8) Placing a child in a locked or dark room, bathroom, or closet with the door closed; and

(9) Requiring a child to remain silent or inactive for inappropriately long periods of time for the child's age.

Child development research supports that physical punishment such as pinching, shaking, or hitting children teaches them that hitting or hurting others is an acceptable way to control unwanted behavior or get what they want. Children will also mimic adults who demonstrate loud or violent behavior.

Rapping, thumping, popping, and flicking are only examples of various terms used for inflicting corporal punishment on a child.

§747.2711 Must I have a written discipline and guidance policy?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

No. You are not required to have a written discipline and guidance policy if you provide parents with a copy of this subchapter. If you have a written policy, it must comply with the rules in this subchapter.

§747.2713 Must I give a copy of my written discipline and guidance policy to parents, my caregivers, and household members?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

(a) You must give a copy of your written discipline and guidance policy or a copy of this subchapter to parents.

(b) You must share your written discipline and guidance policy or a copy of this subchapter with caregivers and household members as required in §747.1305 of this title (relating to What should orientation to my child-care home include?).

§747.2715 How often must I update my written discipline and guidance policy?

Subchapter L, Discipline

09/01/03

You must update your written discipline and guidance policy each time you make changes. You must keep documentation at your child-care home showing that parents, caregivers, and household members have received a copy of your revised discipline and guidance policy.

Naptime

§747.2801 Must children have a naptime every day?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

You must provide a supervised sleep or rest period for all children 18 months or older who are in care for five or more consecutive hours, according to the child's individual physical needs. You may provide sleep or rest for each child who attends the child-care home for fewer than five hours and whose individual physical needs call for a rest period while the child is in care.

§747.2803 How long may the nap and rest time last each day?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

The planned sleep or rest period must not exceed three hours.

§747.2805 Are children required to sleep during this time?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

No. You must not force a child to sleep, or put anything in or on a child's head or body to force the child to rest or sleep.

§747.2807 Must I provide an alternative activity for those children who cannot sleep?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must allow each child who is awake after resting or sleeping for one hour to participate in an alternative, quiet activity until the nap/rest time is over for the other children.

(b) You must take a toddler who sleeps or rests in a crib out of the crib for other activities when he awakens.

§747.2809 Must I arrange the napping equipment in a specific manner?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

Napping equipment must:

(1) Not block entrances or exits to the area;

(2) Not be set up during other activities or left in place to interfere with children's useable activity space;

(3) Be arranged to provide a sufficient walk and work space for caregivers between each cot or mat; and

(4) Be arranged so that each child and caregiver has access to a walkway without having to walk on or over the cots or mats of other children.

§747.2811 May I darken the room while children are sleeping?

Subchapter M, Naptime

09/01/03

Yes, you may lower the lights, provided there is adequate lighting to allow visual supervision of all children in the group at all times.

Field Trips

§747.2901 May I take children away from my child-care home for field trips?

Subchapter N, Field Trips

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must ensure the children's safety on field trips and excursions and during any transportation provided by the child-care home. Anytime you take a child away from the child-care home for a field trip you must comply with each of the following requirements:

(1) You must have signed permission from the parent to take a child away from your child-care home, including permission to transport the child, if applicable;

(2) You must carry emergency medical consent forms and emergency contact information for each child on the field trip;

(3) You must have a written list of all children on the field trip and must check the list frequently to account for the presence of all children on the field trip;

(4) You must have a first-aid kit immediately available on all field trips;

(5) Each child must wear a shirt, name tag, or other identification listing the name and telephone number of the child-care home;

(6) Each caregiver must be easily identifiable by all children on the field trip, by wearing a hat, tee-shirt, brightly colored clothes, or other easily spotted identification;

(7) Each caregiver supervising a field trip must have transportation available, or a communication device such as a cellular phone, message pager, or two-way radio available or an alternate plan for transportation at the field trip location in case of emergency; and

(8) You must ensure that a caregiver trained in CPR and first aid with rescue breathing and choking is present on the field trip.

(b) A walk around the caregiver's neighborhood must comply only with paragraphs (2) and (8) of subsection (a) of this section.

§747.2903 Must I notify parents before I take a child away from my child-care home on a field trip?

Subchapter N, Field Trips

09/01/03

Yes. You must notify the parent of each child who will be on the field trip, indicating when and where the child will be going, and when the child is expected to return to your child-care home.

§747.2907 Must I have additional caregivers present to take children on a field trip?

Subchapter N, Field Trips

09/01/03

Refer to Subchapter E of this chapter (relating to Child/Caregiver Ratios and Group Sizes) for child/caregiver ratios relating to field trips.

Nighttime Care

§747.3001 What is nighttime care?

Subchapter P, Nighttime Care

09/01/03

(a) Nighttime care is care given on a regular or frequent basis to children who are starting or continuing their night sleep, or to children who spend the night or part of the night at the child-care home between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

(b) Nighttime care does not include the occasional sleep-over program offered at infrequent intervals.

§747.3003 May I provide nighttime care to children at my child-care home?

Subchapter P, Nighttime Care

09/01/03

(a) Yes, you may care for children both during the day and night if we approve it. Even then, a child may only be in care for:

(1) No more than 16 hours within a 24-hour period on a daily basis; or

(2) No more than three consecutive 24-hour periods with a maximum of six 24-hour periods per month, as specified in §745.383 of this title (relating to Can a licensed child day care operation offer 24-hour care?).

(b) You cannot exceed these limits without getting a license for a residential child-care operation.

§747.3005 Must I stay awake while supervising children during nighttime care?

Subchapter P, Nighttime Care

09/01/03

No. Caregivers supervising children during nighttime care in your child-care home do not have to be awake to supervise the children if:

(1) The children are asleep before the caregivers;

(2) The caregivers are on the same floor as the sleeping children; and

(3) The caregivers are close enough to the children to respond or intervene if a child awakens for feeding, becomes ill, is afraid of the dark, or in the event of an emergency.

§747.3007 What are the building, furnishing, physical space, and equipment requirements for nighttime care?

Subchapter P, Nighttime Care

09/01/03

In addition to all other building, furnishing, physical space, and equipment requirements specified in this chapter:

(1) All exits must be visible. This may be provided by lighted exit signs or by lighted exits (such as a hall light or lamp that lights the exit path and door);

(2) You cannot count a window as one of the child-care home's required fire exits;

(3) Each child 18 months old or older must be provided a cot, bed, or mattress that is waterproof or washable, and developmentally appropriate;

(4) Children younger than the age of 18 months must be provided with a crib for nighttime sleeping; and

(5) Boys and girls six years old or older must have separate sleeping and dressing areas.

Additional safety precautions must be in place to protect sleeping children and to allow for timely evacuation in case of emergency.

§747.3009 Must I provide activities for children in nighttime care?

Subchapter P, Nighttime Care

09/01/03

Activities and routines must meet the unique needs of children in night care. These may include quiet activities, such as homework, reading, puzzles, or board games; time for personal care routines and preparation for sleep, such as brushing teeth, washing hands and face, toileting, and changing clothes; and an evening meal and/or snack as specified in Subchapter Q of this chapter (relating to Nutrition and Food Service).

Nutrition and Food Service

§747.3101 What are the basic requirements for snack and mealtimes?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) You must serve all children ready for table food regular meals and morning and afternoon snacks as specified in this subchapter.

(1) If breakfast is served, a morning snack is not required.

(2) A child must not go more than three hours without a meal or snack being offered, unless the child is sleeping.

(3) If your child-care home is participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) administered by the Texas Department of Human Services, you may elect to meet those requirements rather than those specified in this subsection.

(b) You must ensure a supply of drinking water is always available to each child and is served in a safe and sanitary manner.

(c) You must not use food as a reward or punishment.

Research has shown that offering food as reward or punishment places undue importance on food for the child and may have negative effects by promoting responses that lead to obesity or poor eating behavior.

§747.3103 How often must I feed children in my care?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) You must offer each child in care for less than four hours at least one snack as specified in §747.3107 of this title (relating to What kind of foods must I serve for snacks?).

(b) You must offer each child in care for four to seven hours at least one meal, or one meal and one snack, equal to 1/3 of their daily food needs.

(c) You must offer each child in care for more than seven hours at least two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, equal to1/2 of their daily food needs.

(d) You must offer an evening meal and/or bedtime snack and breakfast to each child who receives nighttime care. The amount you offer will vary with the time the child arrives and leaves.

(e) If your home is participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Texas Department of Human Services, you may elect to meet those requirements rather than those specified in this section.

Well-balanced meals provide the food children need to grow, think, fight infection and fuel their bodies.

§747.3105 How do I know what a child's daily food needs are?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) The daily food needs for children 12 months through 23 months are included in the following chart:

Food Groups
Number of Servings To Meet 1/3 Daily Needs
Number of Servings To Meet 1/2 Daily Needs
Serving Size

Milk
1 and 1/3
2
4 oz. Milk or

1/2 oz. Cheese or

4 oz. Yogurt

Meat/ Meat Alternative
1
1 and 1/2
1/2 to 1 oz. Cooked meat or

1/2 to 1 Egg or

1/2 c. cooked beans

Vegetables and Fruit
1 and 1/3 +
2 +
2 to 3 Tb. Cooked vegetables or

2 to 3 Tb. Canned fruit or

1/4 to 1/2 Small fresh fruit or

1/4 to 1/2 c. Juice

Grains
1 and 1/3 +
2 +
1/2 Slice Bread or

1/4 to 1/2 c. Cooked Cereal or

4 oz. to 1/3 c. Pasta or Rice or

1 or 2 Crackers

(b) The daily food needs for children two years through five years are included in the following chart:

Food Groups
Number of Servings To Meet 1/3 Daily Requirement
Number of Servings To Meet 1/2 Daily Requirement
Serving Size

Milk
2/3 of One Serving
1
1 c. Milk or

2 oz. Cheese or

1 c. Yogurt

Meat/ Meat Alternative
2/3 of One Serving
1
2 & 1/2 oz. Cooked meat or

1 Egg or

1/2 c. Cooked beans

Vegetable
1
1 and 1/2
1/2 c. Raw or cooked vegetable or

1c. Raw leafy vegetable

Fruit
2/3 of One Serving
1
1/2 c. Canned or chopped fruit or

1 Piece fruit or melon wedge or

1/4 c. Dried fruit or

3/4 c. Juice

Grains
2
3
1 Slice Bread or

1/2 c. Cooked cereal

1 oz. Ready to eat cereal or

1/2 c. Cooked pasta or rice or

3 to 5 Crackers

(c) The daily food needs for children six years and older are included in the following chart:

Food Groups
Number of Servings To Meet 1/3 Daily Requirement
Number of Servings To Meet 1/2 Daily Requirement
Serving size

Milk
2/3 to 1
1 to 1 and 1/2
1c. Milk or

1& 1/2 oz. Natural cheese or

2 oz. Processed cheese or

1 c. Yogurt

Meat/ Meat Alternative
2/3 to 1
1
3 oz. Cooked meat, poultry, or fish or

1/2 c. Cooked beans or

1/2 c. Tofu or

2 Tb. Peanut butter

Vegetables
1 to 1 and 2/3
2
1/2 c. Raw or cooked vegetables or

1 c. Raw leafy vegetable

Fruit
2/3 to 1 and 1/3
1 to 2
1/2 c. Canned or chopped fruit or

1 medium piece fruit or

1/4 c. Dried fruit or

3/4 c. Juice

Grains
2 to 3 and 2/3
3 to 5+
1 slice bread or

1/2 c. Cooked cereal or

1 oz. Ready to eat cereal or

1/2 c. Cooked pasta or rice or

4-6 crackers

(d) You must serve enough food to allow children second servings from the vegetable, fruit, grain, and milk groups.

(e) If your home is participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program administered by the Texas Department of Human Services, you may elect to meet those requirements rather than those specified in this section.

A significant number of a child's waking hours may be spent in child care; therefore, the child's parent and the child-care home can work together to provide food that is adequate in amount and type to meet each child's individual metabolic, growth, and energy needs. Having food available to provide a second serving to a child who requests it, helps to ensure the child's daily nutritional needs are met.

§747.3107 What kind of foods must I serve for snacks?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

Morning, afternoon, and nighttime snacks must be nutritious and include at least one of the following, which may be included in the child's daily food needs:

(1) One serving from the fruit or vegetable group;

(2) One serving from the milk group;

(3) One serving from the grain group; or

(4) One serving from the meat or meat alternative group.

The AAP affirms that since young children eat in small feedings and a child's appetite and interest in food may vary from one meal or snack to the next, children need to be fed often. Snacks often become a significant part of a child's daily food intake as a result of this.

§747.3109 May parents provide meals and/or snacks for their children instead of my child-care home providing them?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) Yes; however, your enrollment agreement signed by the parent must include a statement that the parent is choosing to provide the child's meals and/or snacks from home and the parent understands the child-care home is not responsible for its nutritional value or for meeting the child's daily food needs;

(b) If the parent provides a meal but not a snack, you are responsible for providing a snack as specified in §747.3107 of this title (relating to What kind of foods must I serve for snacks?);

(c) You must provide safe and proper storage and service of the individual meals and snacks provided by parents; and

(d) You must ensure meals and snacks provided by the parent are not shared with other children.

Children with food allergies are at risk when they eat foods, which have not been prepared or served by their own parent or the primary caregiver who has knowledge of the food ingredients and individual children's needs.

§747.3111 How do I meet the needs of children who require special diets or do not want to eat foods I serve?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) You must have written approval from a physician or a registered or licensed dietician in the child's records to serve a child a therapeutic or special diet.

(b) You must discuss recurring eating problems with the child's parent.

(c) You may encourage, but not force children to eat.

(d) You must not serve nutrient concentrates and supplements such as protein powders, liquid protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nonfood substances without written instructions from a health-care professional.

§747.3113 Must I post and maintain daily menus?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

No, however you must:

(1) Maintain menus showing all meals and snacks prepared and served at your child-care home for the previous three months.

(2) Keep a record of any substitutions made. Substitutions must be of comparable food value.

(3) Date the menus. If you rotate menus, there must be a record of which menu was used for each date.

(4) Make menus available to Licensing and parents for review upon request.

Planning menus in advance helps to ensure that adequate food will be on hand. Posting menus helps to inform parents about food served in the child-care home and enables the parent to balance it with the food they serve at home.

§747.3115 May I serve powdered milk and vegetable or fruit juices?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

Yes, you may serve powdered milk and vegetable or fruit juices if you:

(1) Mix powdered milk according to label directions, and prepare, store, and serve the milk in a safe and sanitary manner; and

(2) Serve 100% fruit or vegetable juice, when it is used to meet a fruit or vegetable group serving requirement.

§747.3117 What general requirements apply to food service and preparation?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

All food and drinks must be of safe quality and stored, prepared, distributed, and served under sanitary and safe conditions, including at least the following:

(1) You must sanitize food service equipment, dishes, and utensils after each use;

(2) If your child-care home lacks adequate facilities for sanitizing dishes and utensils, you must use only disposable, single-use items;

(3) You must wash re-useable napkins, bibs, and tablecloths after each use;

(4) You must discard single-service napkins, bibs, dishes, and utensils after use;

(5) You must serve children's food on plates, napkins, or other sanitary holders, such as a high chair tray, and you must not place them on a bare table or eating surface, which includes the floor;

(6) You must not serve foods that present a risk of choking for infants and toddlers;

(7) You must cover all food stored in the refrigerator; and

(8) You must not store poisonous or toxic materials and cleaning supplies with food.

Research has shown that 90% of fatal choking occur in children younger than four years of age. Examples of foods that present a risk of choking include hot dogs sliced into rounds, whole grapes, hard candy, nuts, seeds, raw peas, dried fruit, pretzels, chips, peanuts, popcorn, marshmallows, spoonfuls of peanut butter, and chunks of meat larger than can be swallowed whole.

Tables are often used for many purposes in child care. Although the tables should be washed before mealtime, they will still bear a heavier load of infecting organisms than plates or sanitized food holders.

§747.3119 Must I serve meals family style?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) No, you do not have to use family style meal service, although all meals and snack times must include adult supervision of children.

(b) If meals and snacks are served family style, you must supervise children to prevent cross-contamination of the food.

Child development specialists agree that eating should be an enjoyable experience and mealtime is a great opportunity for children to learn about new food, develop new motor skills, increase their dexterity, and develop language and social skills through conversation. They also learn about counting, colors, shapes, amounts, smells, temperatures and tastes. While feeding themselves, children use fine motor skills and learn self-help skills that build a child's self-esteem.

The presence of adult caregivers during mealtime will help prevent behaviors that increase risk such as fighting, feeding each other, stuffing food in to the mouth and so forth. Supervised eating also ensures that the child does not eat while talking, crying, laughing, or playing and thus helps to prevent choking.

Mealtimes are also a good time to model table manners and correct negative behaviors.

§747.3121 Are children allowed to use toothbrushes after meal and snack times?

Subchapter Q, Nutrition and Food Service

09/01/03

(a) Yes, although toothbrushes and tooth powders or pastes provided for each child's individual use must be:

(1) Labeled with the child's full name;

(2) Stored out of children's reach when not in use; and

(3) Stored in a manner that prevents the toothbrushes from touching each other during storage.

(b) Children must have adult supervision during tooth brushing activities.

Health Practices

Environmental Health

§747.3201 Must my child-care home have an annual sanitation inspection?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

No. We do not require you to have an annual sanitation inspection, although your local ordinances may require this.

§747.3203 What steps must I take to ensure a healthy environment for children at my child-care home?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

You must clean, repair, and maintain your child-care home, grounds, and equipment to protect the health of the children. This includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Setting aside toys and equipment that are placed in children's mouths or are otherwise contaminated by body secretion or excrement to be sanitized daily or before handling by another child;

(2) Machine washing cloth toys, if used, at least weekly and when contaminated;

(3) Machine washing all linens at least weekly and when soiled and before another child uses them;

(4) Sanitizing sleeping equipment before a different child uses it and when soiled;

(5) Sanitizing potty chairs after each child's use;

(6) Emptying water play tables and toys used in water play tables daily and sanitizing;

(7) Maintaining sand boxes and sand tables in a sanitary manner;

(8) Making all garbage inaccessible to children, and managing it to keep the child-care home, inside and outside, free of insects, rodents, and offensive odors;

(9) Keeping all floors, ceilings, and walls in good repair and clean. Paints used at the child-care home must be lead-free;

(10) Keeping all parts of the child-care home used by children well heated, lighted, and ventilated;

(11) Sanitizing table tops, furniture, and other similar equipment used by children when soiled or contaminated with matter such as food, body secretions, or excrement; and

(12) Clearly marking cleaning supplies and other toxic materials and keeping them separate from food and inaccessible to children.

Research supports that preventive steps such as regular and proper hand washing, ventilating rooms regularly with lots of fresh air, and establishing cleaning routines helps to limit the spread of infections. Germs have difficulty growing in clean, dry and well-ventilated environments.

Contamination of toys and other objects in the room contributes to the transmission of diseases and germs in child-care homes. Providing enough toys to rotate through the cleaning process allows children to stay in active play while maintaining a healthy environment.

§747.3205 What does Licensing mean when it refers to "sanitizing"?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Sanitizing requires a four-step process. For the sanitizing process to be effective, you must follow these steps in order:

(1) Washing with water and soap;

(2) Rinsing with clear water;

(3) Soaking in or spraying on a disinfecting solution (at least 10 minutes). Rinsing with cool water only those items that children are likely to place in their mouths; and

(4) Allowing the surface or article to air-dry.

According to the AAP, when diapers are being changed on consecutive children, allowing the bleach (disinfecting) solution to contact the surface at least 2 minutes before wiping dry for the next diaper change kills most disease causing organisms on the surface. After the last diaper change in the cycle, allow the disinfecting solution to contact the diapering surface for 10 minutes and air dry. Air-drying is fine, since chlorine evaporates when the solution dries.

§747.3207 What is a disinfecting solution?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

A disinfecting solution may be:

(1) A self-made solution, prepared as follows:

(A) One tablespoon of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water used for sanitizing such items as, toys and eating utensils; or

(B) One-fourth cup of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water used for sanitizing surfaces such as bathrooms, crib rails, and diaper-changing tables; and

(C) You must prepare each solution daily and place it in a closed and labeled container; or

(2) A commercial product that meets the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) standards for hospital grade germicides (solutions that kill germs) that you must use according to label directions. Commercial products must not be toxic on surfaces likely to be mouthed by children, like crib rails and toys.

§747.3209 May I use a dishwasher or washing machine to sanitize items at my child-care home?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Items that can be washed in a dishwasher or hot cycle of a washing machine which runs at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for five or more minutes do not need additional disinfecting because these machines use water that is hot enough, for long enough, to kill most germs.

§747.3211 When must caregivers wash their hands?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Caregivers must wash their hands:

(1) Before eating or handling food or medication;

(2) Before feeding a child;

(3) After arriving at the child-care home;

(4) After diapering a child;

(5) After assisting a child with toileting;

(6) After personal toileting;

(7) After handling or cleaning body fluids, such as after wiping noses, mouths, or bottoms, and tending sores;

(8) After handling or feeding animals;

(9) After outdoor activities;

(10) After handling raw food products;

(11) After eating, drinking, or smoking; and

(12) After using any cleaners or chemicals.

When hand washing and cleaning routines are modeled, the children learn good health and safety practices.

§747.3213 When must children wash their hands?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Children must wash their hands:

(1) Before eating;

(2) Before playing in a water play table or other water activities;

(3) After toileting or having a diaper changed;

(4) After outdoor activities;

(5) After playing in sand;

(6) After feeding or touching animals; and

(7) Any other time that the caregiver has reason to believe the child has come in contact with substances that could be harmful to the child.

§747.3215 How must children and caregivers wash their hands?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Children 18 months and older and caregivers must wash their hands with soap and running water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used by caregivers on visibly clean hands when soap and running water are not readily accessible, except before handling food. You must follow label directions when using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Research has shown, the single most effective practice that prevents the spread of germs in the child-care setting is good hand washing by caregivers and children. Rubbing hands together under running water is the most important part of washing away infectious germs. Deficiencies in hand washing, including sharing basins of water, have contributed to many outbreaks of diarrhea among children and caregivers in child-care settings.

§747.3217 How must I wash an infant's hands?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

(a) Until the infant is old enough to be raised to the faucet and reach for the water, you must wash the infant's hands using an individual cloth or disposable towel with soap, followed by a cloth or disposable towel used to rinse with clear water and dry.

(b) Use soap and running water as specified in this division when infants are old enough to be raised to the faucet and reach for the water and any other time that the caregiver has reason to believe the child has come in contact with substances that could be harmful to the child.

§747.3219 Must I have hot water for hand washing?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

No. We do not require you to have hot water for hand washing. However, if hot water is accessible to the children, a thermostat must control it so that the water temperature is no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although hot water is not required, adults and children are more likely to wash their hands when the running water can be adjusted to a comfortable temperature. Many local health departments require hot water.

When children have access to a hand-washing sink, it is important to protect them from being scalded. Research indicates tap water burns are a leading cause of non-fatal burns and children under five are the most frequent victims. If a local health department requires water hotter than 120 degrees F for other uses in the child-care home, several measures are available to adjust water temperature at a hand-washing sink.

§747.3221 Must I wear gloves when handling blood or body fluids containing blood?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Yes, caregivers must:

(1) Use disposable, nonporous gloves when handling blood or blood-containing body fluids or discharge from injured tissue;

(2) Discard the gloves immediately after one use; and

(3) Wash your hands after using and disposing of the gloves.

§747.3223 Must I use a licensed exterminator to treat my child-care home for insects, rodents, or other pests?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

No, although you must keep your child-care home and yard free of insects, rodents, or pests.

§747.3225 Are there general precautions I must take when my child-care home is being treated for insects, rodents, or other pests?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Yes. You must do the following when your child-care home is being treated for insects, rodents, or other pests:

(1) Ensure children are not present in an area being treated with chemicals as required by label directions;

(2) Apply over-the counter products used for insects, rodent, and pest control only by following label directions;

(3) Minimize children's exposure to chemical residue that may be harmful to them, including odors;

(4) Store all pest control products according to label directions;

(5) Immediately dispose of dead insects and rodents in a safe and sanitary manner.

§747.3227 May I use water from a private water supply instead of a public water supply for my child-care home?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Yes, you may use water from a private water supply, although you must:

(1) Maintain the water supply in a safe and sanitary manner.

(2) Maintain written records indicating that the private water supply meets the requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, if applicable.

§747.3229 May I use a septic system for sewage disposal?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 1, Environmental Health

09/01/03

Yes, if the septic system is sanitary and meets the standards of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including any routine inspections required by law.

Diaper Changing

§747.3301 What steps must I follow for diaper changing?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 2, Diaper Changing

09/01/03

Caregivers must:

(1) Promptly change soiled or wet diapers or clothing;

(2) Thoroughly cleanse the child with an individual cloth or disposable towel. You must discard the disposable towel after use and launder any cloth before using it again;

(3) Ensure that the children are dry before placing a new diaper on the child. If the child must be dried, you must use a clean, individual cloth or disposable towel to dry the child. You must discard the disposable towel after use and launder any cloth before using it again;

(4) Not apply powders, creams, ointments, or lotions without the parent's written permission. If the parent supplies these items, permission is implicit and you do not need to obtain permission for each use;

(5) Label powders, creams, ointments, or lotions with the individual child's name; and

(6) Keep all diaper-changing supplies out of children's reach.

A pleasant attitude while changing a child's diaper, even if a child has had a loose stool, helps to develop a child's positive sense of self. Towelettes are helpful in removing residue, such as food off a baby's face or feces from a baby's bottom during diaper changing.

Parents need to give permission before over-the-counter creams or powders are used. A parent can address whether the child has a skin allergy or if a child's pediatrician does not recommend use of topical products when diapering. Caregivers may seek written permission to use these products before the need arises.

§747.3303 What equipment must I have for diaper changing?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 2, Diaper Changing

09/01/03

(a) You must have a diaper-changing table or surface that is:

(1) Smooth, non-absorbent and easy to clean; and

(2) Located so that the caregiver using the diapering surface can supervise children at all times, as specified in §747.1503 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by "supervise children at all times"?).

(b) You must not use areas for diaper changing that children come in close contact with during play or eating, such as dining tables, sofas, or floor play areas.

(c) You must sanitize the diapering surface after each use, as specified in §747.3205 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean when it refers to "sanitizing"?) or use a clean, disposable covering on the diapering surface that must be changed after each use.

(d) A diapering surface above floor level must have a safety mechanism that prevents the child from falling from the surface and that is used at all times when a child is on the surface. A crib with the sides up is considered safe.

A separate area used for diaper changing and/or changing of soiled under-wear reduces contamination of other parts of the child-care environment.

§747.3307 What must I do to prevent the spread of germs when diapering children?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 2, Diaper Changing

09/01/03

(a) You must wash your hands after each diaper change. Refer to §747.3215 of this title (relating to How must children and caregivers wash their hands?).

(b) You must wash the infant's hands or see that the child's hands are washed after each diaper change.

(c) If you use disposable gloves, you must discard them after each diaper change and wash your hands as specified in §747.3215 of this title.

(d) You must cover containers used for soiled diapers or keep them in a sanitary manner, such as placing soiled diapers in sealed bags.

Recommendation: Assembling all of the supplies necessary for a diaper change before bringing the child to the changing table ensures the protection of the child. If the hand-washing sink is not adjacent to the diapering area, wipes may be used, as a temporary measure only, to clean the caregiver's and child's hands while supervising the child on the changing table.

During diaper changing, a child's hands often stray into the area of the child's body covered by the diaper. Germs are contained in human waste and body fluids and are present on the skin and the diaper even if they cannot be seen. Washing an infant's hands after each diaper change helps reduce the spread of germs.

Because of the risk of splashing, and gross contamination of hands, sinks, and bathroom surfaces, rinsing diapers or clothes soiled with fecal material in the child-care setting increases the risk that you, other caregivers, and the children would be exposed to germs that cause infection.

Illness and Injury

§747.3401 What type of illness would prohibit a child from being admitted for care?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 3, Illness and Injury

09/01/03

You must not admit an ill child for care if one or more of the following exists:

(1) The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in child-care activities, including outdoor play;

(2) The illness results in a greater need for care than caregivers can provide without compromising the health, safety, and supervision of the other children in care;

(3) The child has one of the following, unless medical evaluation by a health-care professional indicates that you can include the child in the child-care activities:

(A) Oral temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness;

(B) Rectal temperature of 101.4 degrees or greater, accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness;

(C) Armpit temperature of 99.4 degrees or greater, accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness;

(D) Symptoms and signs of possible severe illness, such as lethargy, abnormal breathing, uncontrolled diarrhea, two or more vomiting episodes in 24 hours, rash with fever, mouth sores with drooling, wheezing, behavior changes, or other signs that the child may be severely ill; and

(4) A health-care professional has diagnosed the child with a communicable disease, and the child does not have medical documentation to indicate that the child is no longer contagious.

§747.3403 What communicable diseases would exclude a child from attending my child-care home?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 3, Illness and Injury

09/01/03

Communicable diseases that exclude a child from care are defined by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) in 25 TAC §97.7 (relating to Diseases Requiring Exclusion from Child-Care Facilities and Schools). You can access this information from the Texas Department of Health or Licensing staff.

§747.3405 What if a child becomes ill while in care?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 3, Illness and Injury

09/01/03

If a child becomes ill while in your care, you must:

(1) Contact the parent to pick up the child;

(2) Care for the child apart from other children;

(3) Give appropriate attention and supervision until the parent picks the child up; and

(4) Give extra attention to hand washing and sanitation if the child has diarrhea or vomiting.

§747.3407 How should I respond to critical illness?

Subchapter R, Health Practices

Division 3, Illness and Injury

09/01/03

If critical illness or injury requires immediate attention of a physician, you must:

(1) Contact emergency medical services or take the child to the nearest emergency room;

(2) Give the child first-aid treatment or CPR when needed;

(3) Contact the physician identified in the child's record;

(4) Contact the child's parent; and

(5) Ensure supervision of other children in the group.

Safety Practices

Safety Precautions

§747.3501 What safety precautions must I take to protect children in my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 1, Safety Precautions

09/01/03

All areas accessible to a child must be free from hazards including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Electrical outlets accessible to a child younger than five years must have child-proof covers or safety outlets;

(2) 220-volt electrical connections within any child's reach must be covered with a screen or guard;

(3) Air conditioners, electric fans, and heaters must be mounted out of all children's reach or have safeguards that keep any child from being injured;

(4) Glass in sliding doors must be clearly marked with decals or other materials placed at children's eye level;

(5) Play materials and equipment must be safe and free from sharp or rough edges and toxic paints;

(6) Poisonous or potentially harmful plants must be inaccessible to children;

(7) All storage chests, boxes, trunks, or similar items with hinged lids must be equipped with a lid support designed to hold the lid open in any position, be equipped with ventilation holes, and must not have a latch that might close and trap a child inside; and

(8) All bodies of water, such as, pools, hot tubs, ponds, creeks, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, and rain barrels, must be inaccessible to children.

The environment must be free of health and safety hazards to reduce risks to children. Additional examples of hazards to children include: sharp scissors, plastic bags, knives, cigarettes, matches, lighters, flammable liquids, drugs/medications, sharp instruments such as an ice pick, power tools, cleaning supplies, chemicals and other items labeled keep out of the reach of children.

Buildings, grounds and equipment in a state of disrepair threaten the health and safety of children.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), any body of water including bathtubs, pails and toilets presents a drowning risk to young children. An estimated 50 infants and toddlers drown each year in buckets containing liquid used for mopping floors and other household chores. The 5-gallon bucket presents the greatest hazard to young children because of its tall straight sides and its weight with even a small amount of liquid. It is nearly impossible for top-heavy infants and toddlers to free themselves when they fall into a 5-gallon bucket head first.

§747.3503 How may I ensure the safety of the children from other persons?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 1, Safety Precautions

09/01/03

(a) People whose behavior and/or health status appears to endanger the health or safety of the children must not be present when children are in care.

(b) People must not consume alcohol or controlled substances without a prescription in the child-care home, during transportation, or on field trips.

(c) People must not be under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or controlled substances in the child-care home, during transportation, or on field trips.

(d) People must not smoke or use tobacco products during operating hours in the child-care home, garage, on the playground, in transportation vehicles, or during field trips.

According to the AAP, scientific evidence has linked respiratory health risks to secondhand smoke. Infants and young children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of developing respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and middle ear infections. Separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space does not eliminate or minimize exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.

§747.3505 Are firearms or other weapons allowed at my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 1, Safety Precautions

09/01/03

(a) Firearms, hunting knives, bows and arrows, or other weapons kept on the premises of a child-care home must remain in a locked cabinet inaccessible to children during all hours of operation, with the exception of law enforcement officials who are trained and certified to carry a firearm and ammunition.

(b) You must keep ammunition in a separate locked cabinet and inaccessible to children during all hours of operation.

§747.3507 May I have toys or equipment that explodes or shoots things?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 1, Safety Precautions

09/01/03

No. Toys that explode or that shoot things, such as caps, BB guns, darts, or fireworks, are prohibited for children's use and must remain in a locked cabinet, inaccessible to children during all hours of operation.

Medication

§747.3601 May I administer medications to children at my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

Yes, but you must ensure the following:

(1) Parents must sign an authorization and include times for caregivers to administer each medication according to label directions;

(2) The medication must be in the original container labeled with the child's full name, and the date brought to your child-care home;

(3) You must administer the medication in amounts according to the label directions or as amended by a physician;

(4) You must administer the medication only to the child for whom it is intended; and

(5) You must not administer the medication after its expiration date.

§747.3603 If a child has a recurring medical problem, may the parent sign an authorization to administer the medication as needed?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

(a) Yes. If a child has a periodic and recurring medical problem, such as headaches, asthma attacks, or allergic reactions, the parent or the child's health-care professional may sign a medication authorization allowing you to administer the medication for up to a six-month period. The authorization must include symptoms to watch for.

(b) You must notify parents immediately after administering the medication and document this in the child's record as specified in this division.

§747.3605 What records must I keep when I administer medication to a child in my care?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

(a) When you administer medication to a child in your care, you must make a record of the following:

(1) Full name of the child to whom the medication was given;

(2) Name of the medication;

(3) Date, time, and amount of medication given; and

(4) Full name of the caregiver administering the medication, if it is not the primary caregiver.

(b) You must keep all medication records for three months after administering the medication.

§747.3607 How must I store medication that I administer to a child?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

You must store medication as follows:

(1) Keep it out of the reach of children or in locked storage;

(2) Store it in a manner that does not contaminate food; and

(3) Refrigerate it, if refrigeration is required, and keep it separate from food.

§747.3609 How long may I keep the medication that I administer to a child?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

You must dispose of the medication, or return it to the parent, when the child withdraws from the child-care home, or when the medication is out-of-date, or is no longer required for the child.

§747.3611 Do I have to notify parents if I do not want to administer medications?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 2, Medication

09/01/03

Yes. If you choose not to administer medication to children, you must inform the parents of this policy in writing, prior to the child's enrollment.

Animals at My Child-Care Home

§747.3701 What steps must I take to have animals at my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 3, Animals at My Child-Care Home

09/01/03

If you choose to have animals on the premises while children are in care, you must:

(1) Notify parents in writing when animals are or will be present;

(2) Ensure the animals do not create unsafe or unsanitary conditions;

(3) Ensure that children do not handle any animal that shows signs of illness, such as lethargy or diarrhea; and

(4) Ensure that caregivers and children practice good hygiene and hand washing after handling or coming into contact with an animal and items used by an animal, such as water bowls, food bowls, and cages.

Informing parents in writing when animals are or will be present in the child-care home allows parents to decide whether to enroll their child and whether to prohibit or allow their child to have contact with the animals.

§747.3703 Must I keep documentation of vaccinations for the animals?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 3, Animals at My Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must have documentation at your child-care home showing dogs, cats, and ferrets have been vaccinated as required by Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 826.

(b) You must have a statement of health from a local veterinarian at your child-care home for all animals, such as dogs, cats, and ferrets, with the exception of small rodents, such as guinea pigs, mice, and hamsters.

A statement of health from a local veterinarian, trained to assess the health of animals and the spread of disease through direct or indirect means, is important to decrease the health risk to children who are more vulnerable to disease.

§747.3705 Must I prevent children from having contact with certain animals while at my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 3, Animals at My Child-Care Home

09/01/03

(a) Yes. Children must not have contact with chickens, ducks, and reptiles, such as snakes, turtles, lizards, iguanas, and amphibians, such as frogs and toads.

(b) You must keep the child-care home and playground free of animals unfamiliar to you.

(c) In addition to the animals specified in subsection (a) of this section, you must not allow children to play with:

(1) animals unfamiliar to you;

(2) animals familiar to you but showing behavioral changes that could be perceived as dangerous; and

(3) animals that could be dangerous, such as lions, monkeys, and tigers.

Research has shown there is a high risk of contracting and spreading salmonellosis by either direct contact or indirect contact with chickens, ducks, and reptiles, such as snakes, turtles, lizards, iguanas, and amphibians, such as frogs and toads.

First-Aid Kits

§747.3801 Must I have a first-aid kit at my child-care home?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 4, First-Aid Kits

09/01/03

Yes. You must have a first-aid kit available in the child-care home and on all field trips that is:

(1) Clearly labeled;

(2) Kept in a clean and sanitary manner;

(3) Easily accessible to all caregivers and household members;

(4) In a designated location; and

(5) Kept out of the reach of children.

§747.3803 What items must each first-aid kit contain?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 4, First-Aid Kits

09/01/03

(a) Each first-aid kit must contain the following supplies:

(1) A guide to first aid and emergency care;

(2) Adhesive tape;

(3) Antiseptic solutions or wipes;

(4) Cotton balls;

(5) Multi-size adhesive bandages;

(6) Scissors;

(7) Sterile gauze pads;

(8) Syrup of ipecac;

(9) Thermometer;

(10) Tweezers; and

(11) Waterproof, disposable gloves.

(b) The first-aid supplies must not have expired.

§747.3805 When may I use the syrup of ipecac?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 4, First-Aid Kits

09/01/03

You must only use syrup of ipecac when directed to by a health-care professional or a Poison Control Center, who will instruct when to make the child vomit.

Release of Children

§747.3901 Who may I release children to?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 5, Release of Children

09/01/03

You may release children only to a parent or a person designated by the parent.

If you suspect the person picking up a child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may call local police and request their assistance. You may not legally prevent the child from being picked up by a parent or person designated by the parent, however, you may address this issue at enrollment by asking parents what they would like for you to do if you do not feel comfortable releasing the child to one of the parents and signing an agreement to this effect. Law enforcement officers and PRS Child Protective Services staff have the authority by law to remove a child without a parent's permission. Always ask to see identification of persons you do not know.

§747.3903 How do I, or someone assisting me in my child-care home, verify the identity of a parent or a person a parent has designated to pick up the child?

Subchapter S, Safety Practices

Division 5, Release of Children

09/01/03

(a) You must develop policies for release of children, including a plan to verify the identity of a person authorized to pick up a child, but whom the caregiver does not know. If your child-care home transports children, the plan must include verifying the identity of a person to whom you release a child from a child-care home transportation vehicle.

(b) Your policies must include a reasonable means to record the identity of the individual, such as recording the driver's license number or car tag numbers, or making a copy of a valid photo identification or instant photograph of the individual. You must retain this information in the child's record for at least three months.

(c) You must instruct all caregivers and household members who are 14 years old and older who are regularly or frequently present while children are in care in your policies for the release of children, including the verification plan. Caregivers must handle the release of children in care.

Physical Facilities

Indoor Space Requirements

§747.4001 How many square feet of indoor useable activity space must I have for each child?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Your registered or licensed child-care home must have at least 30 square feet of indoor useable activity space for each child in care.

Space in which children can freely move for exercise and development of physical skills is necessary to the well-being of children and ensures protection against overcrowding.

Conflict between children and behavior problems are more likely to occur in crowded environments and children confined to crowded spaces are more likely to spread germs.

§747.4003 May I care for 12 children if I do not have 30 square feet of indoor useable activity space?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

No. We will limit the number of children you may care for based on the indoor useable activity space in the child-care home.

§747.4005 What does Licensing mean by "indoor useable activity space"?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Indoor useable activity space is space that may be used by a child in the child-care home for a variety of activities specified in this chapter. You must demonstrate to us how the space will be used for at least the following activities:

(1) Use of cribs and space to explore outside of the crib;

(2) Use of interest centers or activity stations;

(3) Space for meals and snack time;

(4) Space for individual and group activities; and

(5) Space for nap or rest time.

§747.4007 Am I required to care for children younger than 18 months separately from older children?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

No, but you must be close enough to the younger children to interact with them and to intervene, if needed to protect them.

§747.4009 Do the indoor useable activity space requirements in §747.4001 of this title (relating to How many square feet of indoor useable activity space must I have for each child?) apply to my home if it was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

If you were registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you are exempt from this requirement until your permit to operate is no longer valid.

§747.4011 How does Licensing determine the indoor useable activity space?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

(a) We determine the useable activity space by:

(1) Measuring all useable activity space at floor level;

(2) Rounding all measurements to the nearest inch;

(3) Excluding single-use areas. See §747.105(42) of this title (relating to What do certain words and terms mean when used in this chapter?) for more information on single-use areas; and

(4) Excluding floor space occupied by permanent and stationary fixtures, such as built-in bookcases, shelving, and storage/counter space that is not intended for use by children.

(b) We use the sum of the measurements to calculate the useable activity space and to determine the maximum number of children you may care for.

Local ordinances or fire marshals may have additional restrictions or limitations on the numbers of children the indoor activity space will accommodate.

§747.4013 May other programs use my indoor usable activity space at the same time I have children in care?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

No. You must not share the indoor useable activity space with other programs at the same time you have children in care.

Programs such as girl scouts, cub scouts, or other club or organizational activities conducted during operating hours in the activity space used for child care results in overcrowding and may place all of the children in the child-care home at risk, unless the only children attending these programs are the children in child care.

§747.4015 May I care for children above or below ground level?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 1, Indoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

You must not care for children on any level above or below ground level without written approval from the state or local fire marshal. If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to obtain written approval or relocate all care to the ground level.

Care for children above or below ground level entails different safety measures that must be considered to ensure safe evacuation of children in an emergency.

Outdoor Space Requirements

§747.4101 How many square feet of outdoor activity space must I have?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Your registered or licensed child-care home must have 80 square feet of outdoor activity space for each child using the outdoor area at one time.

NAEYC affirms that adequate outdoor space for play is necessary for the development of gross motor (large muscle) skills and to provide children with fresh air and sunshine.

§747.4103 Do the outdoor activity space requirements apply to my home if it was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

If your child-care home was licensed or registered before September 1, 2003, you are exempt from the requirements in §747.4101 of this title (relating to How many square feet of outdoor activity space must I have?) until your permit to operate is no longer valid.

§747.4105 Must I fence the outdoor activity space area?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

You must enclose your outdoor activity space area with a fence at least four feet high, unless the only children using the outdoor area are five years old and older. The wall of a building may serve as part of the enclosure, provided it is at least four feet tall.

Enclosed outdoor areas keep pre-kindergarten age and younger children in a controlled area for their safety and ease of supervision.

§747.4107 Does the fence requirement apply to my home if it was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to enclose your outdoor activity space area.

§747.4109 How many exits must I have from my fenced outdoor activity space area?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Each fenced yard must have at least two exits. An entrance to your child-care home may count as one exit, but one exit must be away from the child-care home.

§747.4111 May I keep the gates leading into my outdoor activity area locked while children are in care?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Yes, but caregivers must be able to open the gates immediately in an emergency. For example, all caregivers would carry a key with them to open the locked exits. Caregivers must be able to demonstrate to Licensing staff that they can open the gate immediately.

§747.4113 Must the outdoor activity area be connected to the child-care home?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

We must approve a plan to use an outdoor activity area that is not connected to your child-care home, such as a near-by park, schoolyard, or other alternative. All outdoor activity areas used by children must be accessible by a safe route. We will consider the following criteria before approving the plan:

(1) Traffic patterns of vehicles and people in the area;

(2) Ages of children in your care;

(3) Availability of appropriate equipment;

(4) Usage of the location by other groups when the children would be most likely to use it;

(5) Safety hazards related to the crime rate for the area;

(6) Accessibility to children and caregivers by foot or the availability of push carts or other means of transporting infants and toddlers;

(7) Reasonable accessibility of restroom facilities; and

(8) Ability to obtain assistance, if needed, when injury or illness occurs.

§747.4115 Must I comply with additional requirements if my plan to use an outdoor activity area not connected to my child-care home is approved by Licensing?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

Yes. If we approve an outdoor activity area not connected to your child-care home, you must:

(1) Give parents written notification of the location of the outdoor activity area, upon children's enrollment;

(2) Supervise children both during play and while traveling to and from the activity area; and

(3) Meet other conditions we specify, if applicable.

§747.4117 May other programs use the outdoor activity space at my child-care home at the same time I have children in care?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 2, Outdoor Space Requirements

09/01/03

No. You must not share the outdoor activity space at your child-care home with other programs at the same time children are in care.

Toilets and Sinks

§747.4201 How many sinks and toilets must I have for children's use?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

You must have at least one sink and one flush toilet available for children's use. A urinal may not substitute for a toilet.

§747.4203 Where must the sink and toilet be located for children's use?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

(a) Sinks and toilets must be located inside the child-care home and allow supervision by caregivers as needed.

(b) Children must be able to safely and independently access the toilet.

(c) Children must be able to safely and independently access the sink for hand washing. For further information on hand washing, refer to §747. 3215 of this title (relating to How must children and caregivers wash their hands?).

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) affirms that hand washing is the number one way to control the spread of disease and germs in the child care setting. Caregivers are less likely to wash hands before and after each diaper change if the sink is not accessible in the room. Infants are more likely to be left unsupervised if the caregiver must leave the room to wash her hands.

§747.4205 Must I supply soap and disposable towels for children's use?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

You must equip sinks children use for hand washing with soap and running water. Single-use disposable towels or an individual towel labeled with the child's name may be provided for children to dry their hands.

§747.4207 May potty-chairs be used?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

Yes. You may use potty-chairs, but a potty chair is not a substitute for a flush toilet required under §747.4201 of this title (relating to How many sinks and toilets must I have for children's use?).

§747.4209 Do I have to use toilets and sinks that are sized for children?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

No, but you must equip a sink, urinal, or toilet that is too high for children to use safely and independently with anchored steps or a broad-based platform with a non-slip surface.

§747.4211 May the doors to the restrooms have locks on them?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 3, Toilets and Sinks

09/01/03

Yes. Doors on restrooms and toilets used by children may have locks, although:

(1) Locks must be out of children's reach; or

(2) If locks are within children's reach, there must be a way to immediately open the door from the outside in an emergency, and:

(A) The unlocking mechanism must be accessible to all caregivers at all times and must be demonstrated satisfactorily to Licensing staff upon request; and

(B) A caregiver must be present in or near the restroom when children younger than five years are using restrooms with door locks within children's reach.

Caregivers need immediate access to young children to assist with toileting or to provide supervision, while older children may need privacy.

Furniture and Equipment

§747.4301 Must I use child-sized tables and chairs for children?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

No; however, you must ensure that any table or chair used by a child is safe, easy to clean, and of a height and size that the child can use it safely and easily.

§747.4303 Must I provide a cot or mat for each child to sleep or rest on?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

(a) Yes. You must provide the following:

(1) An individual crib meeting requirements specified in Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Basic Care Requirements for Infants) for each non-walking child younger than 18 months to sleep or rest in;

(2) An individual cot, bed, or mat that is waterproof or washable for each walking child through four years old to sleep or rest on;

(3) Individual arrangements for sleep or rest for children five years and older who are in care for more than five hours per day, or whose individual care needs require a nap or rest time.

(b) Cots, beds, or mats must be labeled with the child's name. Labeling cots, beds, or mats with a number related to a number assignment map may be used as an alternative.

(c) Floor mats used for napping must be marked or colored so that the sleeping side can be distinguished from the floor side.

Marking mats helps to ensure the sleeping side is always used for sleeping and protects the health of children.

§747.4305 Must I have storage for each child's individual belongings?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

Yes. You must have individual lockers, cubicles, baskets, separate hooks and shelves, or other adequate storage space for each child's personal belongings. You must clearly label the storage space with the child's name, a photograph of the child, or other symbol he recognizes as his own.

Labeling individual storage space for children teaches them independence, develops self-help skills, and ensures parents and children know which space holds the child's belongings.

§747.4307 Must I have a telephone at my child-care home?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

Yes. You must have a working telephone or cellular phone at your child-care home with a listed telephone number. The telephone must not be a coin-operated pay phone.

A working telephone is necessary for routine and emergency outgoing and incoming calls. A listed telephone number ensures parents and others may contact the caregiver when necessary.

§747.4309 May I have indoor climbing equipment, such as slides or lofts?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

Yes. You may have indoor climbing equipment, although you must comply with the following safety standards:

(1) Hard floor surfaces, such as linoleum, wood, concrete, asphalt, or tile under indoor climbing equipment and platforms must have a unitary shock-absorbing surface that will effectively cushion the fall of a child. The surface must be installed in the use zone and maintained according to the manufacturer's directions. See §747.4601 of this title (relating to What does Licensing mean by the term "use zone"?).

(2) Platforms over 20 inches in height must be equipped with protective barriers that prevent children from crawling over or falling through the barrier, or becoming entrapped.

(3) Stairs and steps on indoor climbing equipment, regardless of height, must have handrails the children can reach. Rung ladders do not require handrails.

Research indicates that shock absorbing surfaces can help disperse the momentum of a falling body or head, thus reducing the risk of life threatening injuries.

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) recognizes that the behavior of children does not change when they are on elevated play platforms. Touching and/or pushing is a common communication method among children. It is important then, to have protective barriers on play platforms to prevent falls.

§747.4311 If my child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, will I be given an opportunity to comply?

Subchapter T, Physical Facilities

Division 4, Furniture and Equipment

09/01/03

If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you have five years from September 1, 2003, to comply with the requirements specified in §747.4309(1) of this title (relating to May I have indoor climbing equipment, such as slides or lofts?).

Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Minimum Safety Requirements

§747.4401 What minimum safety requirements must my outdoor equipment meet?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 1, Minimum Safety Requirements

09/01/03

Outdoor equipment and supplies used both at and away from the child-care home must be safe for the children as follows:

(1) The outdoor activity area must be arranged so that caregivers can adequately supervise children at all times;

(2) The design, scale, and location of the equipment must be appropriate for the body size and ability of the children using the equipment;

(3) Equipment must not have openings or angles that can entrap a child's body or body part that has penetrated the opening;

(4) Equipment must not have protrusions or openings that can entangle something around a child's neck or a child's clothing;

(5) Equipment must be securely anchored according to manufacturer's specifications to prevent collapsing, tipping, sliding, moving, or overturning;

(6) All anchoring devices must be placed below the level of the playing surface to prevent tripping or injury resulting from a fall;

(7) Equipment must not have exposed pinch, crush, or shear points on or underneath it;

(8) Climbing equipment or swings must not be installed over asphalt or concrete, unless the asphalt or concrete is covered with properly installed unitary surfacing material as specified in §747.4707 of this title (relating to What are unitary surfacing materials?) and §747.4709 of this title (relating to How should unitary surfacing materials be installed?); and

(9) Outdoor porches or platforms more than 20 inches in height for pre-kindergarten and younger children, and more than 30 inches in height for school-age children, must be equipped with protective barriers that surround the elevated surface, except for entrances and exits and that prevent children from crawling over or falling through the barrier, or becoming entrapped.

Head entrapment by head-first entry generally occurs when children place their heads through an opening in one orientation, turn their heads to a different orientation, then are unable to withdraw from the opening.

Head entrapment by feet-first entry involves children who generally sit or lie down and slide their feet into an opening that is large enough to permit passage of their bodies - greater than 3 " - but is not large enough to permit passage of their heads - less than 9".

§747.4403 Are there some types of equipment that children must not use?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 1, Minimum Safety Requirements

09/01/03

Yes. Children must not use the following types of equipment at or away from the child-care home:

(1) Animal figure swings made of metal or that have metal components;

(2) Equipment that allows children to fall inside the structure and onto other parts of the structure, such as certain styles of monkey bars or jungle gyms;

(3) Trampolines, except those less than four feet in diameter that are no higher than 12 inches above a properly installed and maintained resilient surface;

(4) Bounce houses used by more than one child at a time; or

(5) Swinging exercise rings and trapeze bars, rope swings, and multiple occupancy swings, such as teeter-totters, gliders, or chair swings.

Bounce houses or "moonwalks" are not standard playground equipment and, according to the CPSC, have led to serious injuries when more than one child is inside the bounce house.

§747.4405 Are there additional equipment restrictions for children ages two through five years?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 1, Minimum Safety Requirements

09/01/03

Yes. Children ages two through five years must not be allowed to use the following pieces of equipment at or away from the child-care home:

(1) Chain or cable walks;

(2) Free standing arch climbers;

(3) Free standing climbing pieces with flexible parts;

(4) Fulcrum seesaws;

(5) Log rolls;

(6) Spiral slides with more that one turn;

(7) Over-head rings;

(8) Parallel bars;

(9) Swinging gates;

(10) Track rides; or

(11) Vertical slide poles.

Swinging gates have a metal post with vertical bars. Children place their feet between the bars and push the gate as they pivot around the post. Children can create a great deal of speed while playing and can be thrown from this piece of equipment resulting in serious injury.

Children ages 2 through 5 years have not developed the upper body strength, balance, postural control, and coordination required to successfully and safely play on equipment such as over head rings and vertical slide poles.

§747.4407 What special maintenance procedures must I follow for my playground?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 1, Minimum Safety Requirements

09/01/03

(a) You or someone you designate must inspect the playground daily before children go out to play to ensure there are no hazards present.

(b) You must ensure hazards or defects identified during the daily playground inspections are repaired promptly, and must arrange for protection of the children, or you must prohibit use of the hazardous equipment, until repairs can be made.

Studies have linked inadequate maintenance of outdoor equipment to injuries on playgrounds. Consider the age and type of equipment, climate, number of children and how they use the equipment, and number and type of persons outside operating hours who access the equipment.

Swings

§747.4501 What are the safety requirements for swings?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 2, Swings

09/01/03

(a) All swing seats must be constructed of durable, lightweight, rubber or plastic material.

(b) Edges of all swing seats must be smooth or rounded and have no protrusions.

(c) Swings must not be attached to a composite play structure, unless they are on a swing set designed for residential use.

A composite play structure refers to playscapes, or structures containing equipment for a variety of activities, such as slides, climbing apparatus, bridges and platforms.

§747.4503 Are there additional safety requirements for bucket swings designed for tots?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 2, Swings

09/01/03

Yes. Bucket swings are intended for use by children under four years of age with an adult present to lift and secure the child into the swing. Therefore, the distance between the surface under the swing and the bottom of a bucket swing must be at least 24 inches. This will minimize the likelihood of unsupervised young children climbing into the swing.

§747.4505 Are there additional safety requirements for tire swings (multi-axis swings)?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 2, Swings

09/01/03

Yes. Tire swings must also:

(1) Not be made from heavy truck tires, or tires with exposed steel-belted radials;

(2) Not be suspended from a composite structure or with other swings in the same bay;

(3) Have drainage holes drilled in the underside of the tire and maintained to facilitate water drainage; and

(4) Have a minimum clearance between the seating surface of a tire swing, and the uprights of the supporting structure must be 30 inches or more when the tire is in a position closest to the support structure.

Playground Use Zones

§747.4601 What does Licensing mean by the term "use zone"?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

The use zone is the surface area under and around a piece of equipment onto which a child falling from or exiting from the equipment would be expected to land. Other than the equipment itself, the use zone must be free of obstacles that a child could run into or fall on top of and be injured.

§747.4603 How do I measure the use zone for stationary equipment?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

The use zone for stationary equipment, excluding slides, must extend a minimum of six feet in all directions from the perimeter of the equipment. Use zones for stationary equipment must not overlap other use zones.

§747.4605 How do I measure the use zone for slides?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) The use zone in front of the access and to the sides of a slide must extend a minimum of six feet from the perimeter of the equipment.

(b) The use zone in front of the exit of a slide must be equal to the distance from the slide platform to the protective surfacing plus at least four feet (but not less than six feet).

(c) The use zone in front of the slide exit must not overlap the use zone of any other equipment.

§747.4607 How do I measure the use zone for to-fro swings?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) The use zone to the front and rear of a to-fro swing (single-axis swing) must extend twice the height of the vertical distance from the swing beam to the surface below.

(b) The use zone to the front and rear of the to-fro swing must not overlap any other use zone.

(c) The use zone around the sides of the to-fro swing structure (frame which supports the swings) must be at least six feet and may overlap the use zone of an adjacent swing structure.

§747.4609 How do I measure the use zone for tire swings?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) The use zone for tire swings or other multi-axis swings must extend in all directions for a distance equal to a distance from the swing beam to the top of the sitting surface of the tire, plus six feet.

(b) The use zone specified in subsection (a) of this section must not overlap any other use zone.

(c) The use zone on the sides of the tire swing structure must be at least six feet, and may overlap the use zone on the sides of an adjacent swing support structure.

§747.4611 How do I measure the use zone for bucket swings?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) The use zone to the front and rear of the bucket swing for tots must be at least two times the vertical distance from the swing beam to the top of the swing-sitting surface.

(b) The use zone specified in subsection (a) of this section must not overlap any other use zone.

(c) The use zone on the sides of the bucket swing structure must be at least six feet and may overlap the use zone on the sides of an adjacent swing support structure

§747.4613 How do I measure the use zone for rotating or rocking equipment?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) The use zone for rotating or rocking equipment on which the child sits must be at least six feet from the perimeter when not in use.

(b) The use zone for rotating or rocking equipment or track rides on which the child stands or rides must be at least seven feet from the perimeter of the equipment when not in use.

(c) The use zone for rocking or rotating equipment must not overlap any other use zone.

§747.4615 Do these use zone requirements apply to my child-care home if it was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 3, Playground Use Zones

09/01/03

(a) If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you must at least maintain the following use zones until you meet one of the conditions specified in subsection (b) of this section:

(1) Four feet from climbing structures;

(2) Five feet from the bottom of a slide. The other parts of the slide are considered a climbing structure;

(3) Seven feet plus the length of a swing's chain from the point of suspension; and

(4) Seven feet from a merry-go-round or other revolving devices.

(b) A child-care home registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, must comply with the use zone requirements specified in this division, under the following circumstances:

(1) A child-care home re-designs the existing playground or adds new playground equipment. The permit holder must meet use zone requirements specified in this division as the changes are made. You must submit a written plan for compliance to us upon request.

(2) Your permit to operate is no longer valid.

Playground Surfacing

§747.4707 What are unitary surfacing materials?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 4, Playground Surfacing

09/01/03

Unitary surfacing materials are manufactured materials including rubber tiles, mats, or poured in place materials cured to form a unitary shock-absorbing surface.

Studies have shown that falls to the surface are the leading cause of playground injuries in children. Shock-absorbing surfaces can help disperse the momentum of a falling body or head, thus, reducing the risk of life threatening injuries.

Equipment heights can double the probability of a child getting injured from a fall. Equipment over 8 feet has close to three times the injury rate of equipment under that height. Considering the ceiling height in the average home is eight to ten feet, a four-foot child falling from a platform more than eight feet high is the equivalent of a child falling from a second-story window.

§747.4709 How should unitary surfacing materials be installed?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 4, Playground Surfacing

09/01/03

(a) If you use unitary materials, they must be installed and maintained according to manufacturer's specifications.

(b) Unitary materials may be installed over concrete or asphalt, only if recommended by the manufacturer.

§747.4711 What documentation must I keep at my child-care home if I use unitary surfacing materials?

Subchapter U, Outdoor Safety and Play Equipment

Division 4, Playground Surfacing

09/01/03

If you use unitary surfacing materials, you must have test data from the manufacturer showing the impact rating of the material (the maximum height of equipment that may be installed over the surfacing material), and installation and maintenance requirements. This documentation must be at your child-care home and made available for review by parents and Licensing staff upon request during hours of operation.

Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

§747.4801 What safety precautions must I follow when children in my care use a swimming pool?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

In addition to complying with the child/caregiver ratios specified in §747.2005 of this title (relating to What are the child/caregiver ratios for swimming activities?) and other safety requirements specified in §747.2009 and §747.2013 of this title (relating to Must I have a certified lifeguard on duty when children are swimming in more than two feet of water? and Must persons who are counted in the child/caregiver ratio during swimming know how to swim?), you must comply with the following safety precautions when any child uses a swimming pool (more than two feet of water) both at and away from your child-care home:

(1) A minimum of two life-saving devices must be available;

(2) One additional life-saving device must be available for each 2,000 square feet of water surface;

(3) Drain grates must be in place, in good repair, and must not be able to be removed without using tools;

(4) Pool chemicals and pumps must be inaccessible to any child;

(5) Machinery rooms must be locked when a child is present;

(6) Caregivers must be able to clearly see all parts of the swimming area;

(7) The bottom of the pool must be visible at all times; and

(8) An adult must be present who is able to immediately turn off the pump and filtering system when a child is in a pool.

The power of suction of a pool drain often requires that the pump be turned off before a child can be removed, therefore immediate unobstructed access is necessary.

§747.4803 How should the swimming pool be built and maintained?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

Swimming pools at the child-care home must be maintained according to the standards of the Texas Department of Health, and any other state or local regulations.

§747.4805 Do the same safety precautions apply for above-ground pools?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

Yes. Above-ground pools must meet all pool safety requirements specified in this subchapter and must have a barrier that prevents a child's access to the pool.

§747.4807 How must I prevent children's unsupervised access to a swimming pool at my child-care home?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

(a) You must prevent children from entering the pool area by a wall, fence, or other durable impenetrable barrier at least four feet high.

(b) Fence gates leading to the pool area must have self-closing and self-latching hardware out of children's reach. Gates must be locked when the pool is not in use.

(c) Doors from the child-care home leading to the pool area must have a lock out of children's reach that can only be opened by an adult.

(d) These doors and gates must not be designated as fire and emergency evacuation exits.

The AAP recognizes an effective barrier as one that prevents a child from getting over, under, or through it and keeps the children from gaining access to the pool or body of water.

§747.4809 Does having a fence relieve me of the duty to supervise children's access to the pool?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

No. Although a fence and locked access provides a layer of protection for a child who strays from supervision and may deter some children from entering the pool area, these do not replace the need for constant adult supervision and monitoring of safety features to protect children from unsupervised access to the pool.

The Centers for Disease Control-National Center for Injury Prevention and Control recommends that whenever young children are swimming, playing or bathing in water, an adult should be watching them constantly, and should not read, play cards, talk on the telephone, mow the lawn, or do any other distracting activity while watching children in or near a body of water. Child drowning is a silent death; splashing may not occur to alert someone that the child is in trouble.

§747.4811 If I do not have a fence around the pool at my child-care home before September 1, 2003, will I have an opportunity to comply?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

Yes. If your child-care home was registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you have one year from September 1, 2003, to comply with this requirement. You must continue to prevent children's unsupervised access to the pool.

§747.4813 What are the safety requirements for wading pools?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

(a) Wading/splashing pools (two feet of water or less) used at your child-care home must be:

(1) Stored out children's reach when not in use;

(2) Drained and sanitized at least daily; and

(3) Stored so they cannot hold water.

(b) You must comply with the safety precautions specified in §747.4801 of this title (relating to What safety precautions must I follow when children in my care use a swimming pool?) when using wading/splashing pools away from your child-care home.

Wading/splashing pools with no filtering system are meant to be drained, sanitized and stored out of children's reach after each use.

§747.4815 Are there specific safety requirements for sprinkler play?

Subchapter V, Swimming Pools and Wading/Splashing Pools

09/01/03

You must not allow sprinkler equipment to be used by children on or near a hard, slippery surface, such as a driveway, sidewalk, or patio. You must store sprinkler equipment and water hoses so that they do not present a hazard to children.

Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Fire Inspection

§747.4901 Must I have a fire inspection of my child-care home?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 1, Fire Inspection

09/01/03

We do not regulate fire inspections and do not require that you have a fire inspection as part of these minimum standards; however your local ordinances may require one. If you want to care for children above or below the ground floor of your child-care home, you must obtain written approval from the state or local fire marshal as specified in §747.4015 of this title (relating to May I care for children above or below ground level?).

Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

§747.5001 What is an emergency evacuation and relocation plan?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

An emergency evacuation and relocation plan is designed to ensure the safety of children during a fire, weather, or other emergency requiring evacuation or relocation of the children. It must be routinely practiced at different times during hours of operation.

§747.5003 What steps must my emergency evacuation and relocation plan include?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

(a) In an emergency, your first responsibility is to move the children to a designated safe area known to all household members, caregivers, and volunteers.

(b) You must designate an adult to call, or you must call the fire department in case of fire or danger of fire, explosion, toxic fumes, or other chemical release. Evacuate the children and make the call from another location in the event of toxic fumes or other chemical release inside the child-care home.

(c) You must designate an adult to be responsible or you must be responsible for securing emergency numbers and emergency medical authorization for the children in care during the emergency.

(d) You must ensure all children in attendance at the time of the emergency are accounted for at the designated safe area.

§747.5005 How often must I practice my emergency evacuation and relocation plans?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

(a) You must practice a fire drill every month. The children must be able to safely exit the child-care home within three minutes.

(b) You must practice a severe weather drill at least once every six months.

Recommendation: Practice your drills at different times of the day to include various children and/or caregivers engaged in different activities.

§747.5007 Must I have an emergency evacuation and relocation diagram?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

Your emergency evacuation and relocation diagram must be on file at your child-care home and must show the following:

(1) A floor plan of your child-care home;

(2) Two exit paths from each room, unless a room opens directly to the outdoors at ground level;

(3) The designated location outside the child-care home where all adults and children meet to ensure everyone has exited the home safely; and

(4) The designated location inside the home where all adults and children take shelter from threatening weather.

When planning for evacuation, consider during an emergency caregivers and children may become excited and an ordinarily safe route such as crossing a street at a cross walk may become dangerous and chaotic. According to the AAP, a thorough and safe evacuation plan includes a designated location that allows the children to get at least 50 feet away from the building, does not require the children or caregivers to cross the street, and provides shelter if the children cannot return to the building.

§747.5009 Must I post an emergency evacuation and relocation diagram?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

No. You are not required to post an emergency evacuation and relocation diagram, however, if you leave a substitute in charge of your child-care home, a copy of the diagram must be readily accessible to the substitute caregiver.

§747.5011 How many exits must my child-care home have?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

(a) Your child-care home must have at least two exits to the outside, located in distant parts of the home.

(b) You must be able to immediately open any locked doors used as exits.

(c) You must not count doors that are blocked as exits.

(d) An exit through a kitchen or other hazardous area may not be one of the required exits.

Two exits located in different parts of the home are required to ensure an alternative exit exists if fire or other hazards blocks one exit.

§747.5013 May I count a window as one of the designated exits for my child-care home?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

Yes. You may count a window as an exit if all children in care and caregivers are physically able to get through the window to the ground outside the child-care home safely and quickly.

§747.5015 Must I have emergency lighting in case of an emergency evacuation?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 2, Emergency Evacuation and Relocation

09/01/03

Yes. You must have a battery-powered source of emergency lighting readily accessible in case of electrical failure.

Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

§747.5101 Must my child-care home have a fire-extinguishing system?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

Yes. Your child-care home must have a fire-extinguishing system. This may be a sprinkler system and/or fire extinguishers. The local or state fire marshal must approve a sprinkler system.

§747.5103 What type of fire extinguisher am I required to have?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

(a) You must have at least one 3A-40BC dry chemical fire extinguisher, or one approved by a local or state fire marshal.

(b) If you were registered or licensed before September 1, 2003, you may use at least one 40BC rated fire extinguisher until your fire extinguisher is due to be serviced or your permit to operate is no longer valid.

§747.5105 Where must I mount the fire extinguisher?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

You must mount the fire extinguisher on the wall by a hanger or bracket. The top of the extinguisher must be no higher than five feet above the floor and the bottom at least four inches above the floor or any other surface. The fire extinguisher must be readily available for immediate use by household members and caregivers. If a state or local fire marshal has different mounting instructions, you may follow those instructions.

The first priority for caregivers is to remove the children from the home safely and quickly. Fighting a fire is secondary to the safe exit of the children and caregivers.

Mounting the extinguisher ensures easy access for swift use and prevents accidental discharge that may result from tipping or being knocked over.

§747.5107 How often must I inspect and service the fire extinguisher?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

(a) You must inspect the fire extinguisher monthly. You must record the date of the fire extinguisher inspection and keep this at your child-care home.

(b) You must service the fire extinguisher as required by the manufacturer's instructions, or as required by the state or local fire marshal.

§747.5109 How often must I inspect my sprinkler system?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

If you use a sprinkler system, the system monitoring company or a local or state fire marshal must test the system at least annually. Document the date of the inspection, and the name and telephone number of the inspector. Keep the most recent inspection report at your child-care home.

§747.5111 Must my child-care home have a smoke-detection system?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

Yes. Your child-care home must have a working smoke-detection system. This may be an electronic alarm and smoke detection system or individual electric or battery-operated smoke detectors located in each room used by children.

§747.5113 How must smoke detectors be installed at my child-care home?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

Smoke detectors must be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions, or in compliance with the state or local fire marshal's instructions.

§747.5115 How often must the smoke detectors at my child-care home be tested?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

You must test all smoke detectors monthly, record the date of the inspection, and keep this record at your child-care home for review by Licensing during hours of operation.

The primary caregiver can easily handle a monthly test of the smoke detector(s). Monthly testing ensures the smoke detector(s) are working properly and helps ensure the safety of the children and caregivers in case of fire.

§747.5117 How often must I have an electronic smoke alarm system tested?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 3, Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detection System

09/01/03

If you use an electronic smoke alarm system, the monitoring company, or state or local fire marshal must test the system at least annually. You must keep documentation of the inspection at the child-care home that indicates the date of the inspection and the inspector's name and telephone number.

Gas and Propane Tanks

§747.5201 Must I have my child-care home inspected for gas leaks?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 4, Gas and Propane Tanks

09/01/03

We do not require that your home have a gas leak inspection as a part of these minimum standards; however, your local ordinances may require one.

Heating Devices

§747.5301 What steps must I take to ensure that heating devices used at my child-care home do not present hazards to children?

Subchapter W, Fire Safety and Emergency Practices

Division 5, Heating Devices

09/01/03

(a) Gas appliances must have metal tubing and connections, be in good repair and free from leaks.

(b) Open flame heaters (heaters where the flame can be easily touched or accessed) are prohibited.

(c) Space heaters must be enclosed and have the seal of approval of a United States test laboratory, or be approved by the state or local fire marshal.

(d) You must safeguard floor and wall furnace grates, steam and hot water pipes, and electric space heaters so that children do not have access to them.

(e) Liquid fuel heaters are prohibited.

(f) Gas fuel heaters, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves must be properly vented to the outside.

(g) If you use a fireplace, wood-burning stove, or space heater, you must install a screen or guard with sufficient strength to prevent children from falling into the fire or against the stove or heater.

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of ignition in fatal house fires. Heating equipment that is kept in good repair is less likely to cause fires.

Proper venting can prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide gas inside a building. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas formed when heating units that burn fuel with a flame do not have a sufficient source of combustion air. Carbon-containing fuel that is not burned completely can cause asphyxiation.

Transportation

§747.5401 What types of transportation does Licensing regulate?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

We regulate any transportation provided by or for the child-care home including, but not limited to, transportation between the child's home and school, the child's home and your home, your home and school, your home and field trip locations, or other drop-off locations authorized by the parent.

§747.5403 What type of vehicle may I use to transport children?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

We do not regulate the type of vehicle you may use to transport children, although we recommend that you check with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or refer to the federal motor vehicle safety standards regulating transportation to and from school and child-care. Except as otherwise stated in this subchapter, the minimum standards in this subchapter do not apply to a bus with a gross vehicular weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. Vehicles must be maintained in safe operating condition at all times.

§747.5405 What safety precautions must I take when loading and unloading children from the vehicle?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

(a) You must take the following precautions when loading and unloading children from any vehicle, including a bus with a gross vehicular weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more:

(1) You must load and unload children at the curbside of the vehicle or in a protected parking area or driveway.

(2) You must not allow a child to cross a street unless the child is accompanied by an adult anytime before entering or after leaving a vehicle.

(3) You must account for all children exiting the vehicle before leaving the vehicle unattended.

(4) You must not leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

(b) For all vehicles other than a bus with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more, you must ensure all children are secured in the appropriate child passenger safety system or safety belt before starting the vehicle and during all times the vehicle is in motion.

§747.5407 What safety seat system must I use when I transport children?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

For vehicles other than a bus with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more, you must secure each child in an infant safety seat, child booster seat, or a seat belt, as appropriate to the child's age, height, and weight according to manufacturers' instructions before starting the vehicle, and during all times the vehicle is in motion. All child passenger safety seat systems must meet federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and must be properly secured in the vehicle according to manufacturer's instructions. The following restraint devices must be used when transporting all children, including children related to you:

If the child is...
Then the child must be secured in...

(1) Younger than one year and weighs less than 20 pounds
a rear-facing infant safety seat according to the manufacturer's instructions that come with the seat;

(2) At least one year old and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds
a child passenger safety seat according to the manufacturer's instructions that come with the seat;

(3) Younger than four years old and less than 36 inches in height
a child passenger safety seat or booster seat according to manufacturer's instructions, anywhere a child sits in a passenger vehicle;

(4) Younger than four years old and at least 36 inches in height
a booster seat according to manufacturer's instructions or properly fitting safety belt, anywhere the child sits in the vehicle; and

(5) At least four years old, and at least 36 inches, but younger than 17 years old
a safety belt, anywhere the child sits in the vehicle.

§747.5409 Must caregivers and/or the driver wear a seat belt?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

(a) The driver must be properly restrained by a safety belt before starting the vehicle and during all times the vehicle is in motion.

(b) All other adult passengers in a vehicle transporting children, other than a bus with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more, must be properly restrained by safety belts.

Studies indicate the use of restraint devices while riding in a vehicle reduces the likelihood of a passenger's suffering serious injury or death if the vehicle is involved in a crash.

§747.5411 May parents provide the child passenger safety seat equipment required for their child?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

Yes. Parents may provide the child passenger safety seat system for use in transporting their child, if the equipment is appropriate and can be properly secured in the vehicle. You must use the equipment according to manufacturer's instructions.

Safety restraints are effective in reducing death and injury when they are used properly. According to the AAP, the best car safety seat is one that fits in the vehicle being used, fits the child being transported, has never been in a crash, and is used correctly every time.

§747.5413 May I place more than one person in each safety belt?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

No. Only one person may use each safety belt.

§747.5415 May a child ride in a safety belt with a shoulder harness?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

A child may ride in a safety belt with a shoulder harness if the shoulder harness goes across the child's chest and not across the child's face or neck. The lap belt should fit low across the child's thighs or top of the legs and not across the child's stomach area. Never put a shoulder belt under the child's arm or behind the child's back. If the lap belt and shoulder harness do not fit properly, a booster seat must be used.

§747.5417 Must I carry specific equipment in the vehicle I use to transport children in my care?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

You must have the following in each vehicle used to transport children:

(1) A list of the children being transported;

(2) Emergency medical transport and treatment authorization forms for each child being transported; and

(3) Parent's names and telephone numbers and emergency telephone numbers for each child being transported.

Caregivers can respond promptly in emergency situations when they have the proper equipment and necessary telephone numbers in the vehicle.

The contents of first aid kits deteriorate quickly when exposed to long-term high temperatures common in vehicles and we recommend they be checked and updated often.

§747.5419 Must I have a plan to handle transportation emergencies?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

Yes. You must ensure the driver/caregivers have clear instructions on handling emergency breakdowns and accidents, including vehicle evacuation procedures, supervision of the children, and contacting emergency help.

§747.5421 Must I have a communications device in the vehicle?

Subchapter X, Transportation

09/01/03

No, you are not required to have a communications device such as a cellular phone, message pager, or two-way radio in the vehicle unless you are on a field trip.

Appendix I: Definitions from Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745

Texas Administrative Code, Title 40. Social Services and Assistance

Part XIX. Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services

Chapter 745. Licensing, Subchapter A. Precedence and Definitions

Division 3. Definitions for Licensing

Rule §745.21

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Abuse -- As defined in the Texas Family Code, §261.401(1) (relating to Agency Investigation). [See Appendix II]

(2) Affinity -- Related by marriage as set forth in the Government Code, §573.024 (relating to Determination of Affinity). [Reproduced below]

(a) Two individuals are related to each other by affinity if:

(1) they are married to each other; or

(2) the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual.

(b) The ending of a marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives.

(c) Subsection (b) applies to a member of the board of trustees of or an officer of a school district only until the youngest child of the marriage reaches the age of 21 years.

(3) Capacity -- The maximum number of children that a permit holder may care for at one time.

(4) Caregiver -- A person whose duties include the supervision, guidance, and protection of a child or children.

(5) Child -- A person under 18 years old.

(6) Child-care administrator -- As defined in §745.8901 of this title (relating to What is a child-care administrator?). [Reproduced below]

A child-care administrator is a person who:

(1) Supervises and exercises direct control over a residential child-care operation that has a permit to serve seven or more children; and

(2) Is responsible for the operation's program and personnel, regardless of whether he has an ownership interest in the operation or shares his duties with anyone.

(7) Child-care facility -- An establishment subject to regulation by Licensing which provides assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility, for all or part of the 24-hour day, whether or not the establishment operates for profit or charges for its services. A child-care facility includes the people, administration, governing body, activities on or off the premises, operations, buildings, grounds, equipment, furnishings, and materials. A child-care facility does not include child-placing agencies, listed family homes, or maternity homes.

(8) Child day care -- As defined in §745.33 of this title (relating to What is child day care?). [Reproduced below]

Child day care means the care, supervision, training, or education of an unrelated child or children under 14 years old for less than 24 hours per day that occurs in a place other than the child's own home. This definition includes child day care provided to school-age children before and/or after the customary school day.

(9) Child-placing agency (CPA) -- A person, including an organization, other than the parents of a child who plans for the placement of or places a child in a child-care operation or adoptive home.

(10) Children related to the caregiver -- Children who are the children, grandchildren, siblings, great-grandchildren, first cousins, nieces, or nephews of the caregiver, whether by affinity or consanguinity or as the result of a relationship created by court decree.

(11) Consanguinity -- Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if one is a descendant of the other; or they share a common ancestor. An adopted child is considered to be related by consanguinity for this purpose. Consanguinity is defined in the Government Code, §573.022 (relating to Determination of Consanguinity). [Reproduced below]

(a) Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if:

(1) one is a descendant of the other; or

(2) they share a common ancestor.

(b) An adopted child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent for this purpose.

(12) Contiguous operations -- Two or more operations that touch at a point on a common border or located in the same building.

(13) Deficiency -- Any failure to comply with a standard, rule, law, specific term of your permit, or condition of your evaluation, probation, or suspension.

(14) Designated perpetrator -- As defined in §745.731 of this title (relating to What are designated perpetrators and sustained perpetrators of child abuse or neglect?). [See Appendix II]

(15) Division -- The Licensing Division within the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.

(16) Employee -- Any person employed by or that contracts with the permit holder, including but not limited to caregivers, drivers, kitchen personnel, maintenance and administrative personnel, and the center/program director.

(17) Endanger -- To expose a child to a situation where physical or mental injury to a child is likely to occur.

(18) Exploitation -- As defined in the Texas Family Code, §261.401(2) (relating to Agency Investigation). [See Appendix II]

(19) Finding -- The conclusion of an investigation or inspection indicating compliance or deficiency with one or more minimum standards or laws.

(20) Governing body -- The entity with ultimate authority and responsibility for the operation.

(21) Governing body designee -- The person named on the application as the designated representative of a governing body who is officially authorized by the governing body to speak for and act on its behalf in a specified capacity.

(22) Household member -- An individual, other than the caregiver(s), who resides in an operation.

(23) Kindergarten age -- As defined in §745.101(1) of this title (relating to What words must I know to understand this subchapter?). [Reproduced below]

Kindergarten age _ At least five years of age on September 1.

(24) Minimum standards -- The rules contained in Chapters 720 (Standards for 24-Hour Care Facilities), 727 (Licensing of Maternity Facilities), 746 (Minimum Standards for Child-Care Centers), and 747 (Minimum Standards for Child-Care Homes) of this title and Subchapters H (Residential Child-Care Minimum Standards) and I (Maternity Homes Minimum Standards) of this chapter which are minimum requirements for permit holders and which are enforced by PRS to protect the health, safety and well-being of children.

(25) Neglect -- As defined in the Texas Family Code, §261.401(3) (relating to Agency Investigation). [See Appendix II]

(26) Operation -- A person or entity offering a program that may be subject to Licensing regulation. An operation includes the building and grounds where the program is offered, any person involved in providing the program, and any equipment used in providing the program. An operation includes a child-care facility, child-placing agency, listed family home, or maternity home.

(27) Parent _ A person that has legal responsibility for or legal custody of a child, including the managing conservator or legal guardian.

(28) Permit _ A license, certification, registration, listing, or any other written authorization granted by Licensing to operate a child-care facility, child-placing agency, listed family home, or maternity home. This also includes a child-care administrator's license.

(29) Permit holder _ The person or entity granted the permit.

(30) Pre-kindergarten age _ As defined in §745.101(2) of this title (relating to What words must I know to understand this subchapter?). [Reproduced below]

Pre-kindergarten age _ Three and four years of age.

(31) Program _ Activities and services provided by an operation.

(32) Regulation _ The enforcement of statutes and the development and enforcement of rules, including minimum standards. Regulation includes the licensing, certifying, registering, and listing of an operation or child-care administrator.

(33) Report _ An expression of dissatisfaction or concern about an operation, made known to PRS staff, that alleges a possible violation of minimum standards or the law and involves risk to a child/children in care.

(34) Residential child care _ As defined in §745.35 of this title (relating to What is residential child care?). [Reproduced below]

Residential child care means the care, custody, supervision, assessment, training, education, or treatment of an unrelated child or children up to the age of 18 years for 24 hours a day that occurs in a place other than the child's own home. Residential child care also includes maternity homes and child-placing agencies.

(35) State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) _ See §745.8831 and §745.8833 of this title (relating to What is a due process hearing? and What is the purpose of a due process hearing?). [Reproduced below]

A due process hearing is a formal legal proceeding before an administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings to determine whether a Licensing decision or action was appropriate.

The purpose of the due process hearing is to give a person the right to challenge certain Licensing decisions or actions in an impartial setting. The judge for the State Office of Administrative Hearings will decide if the facts that existed at the time we made a decision or took an action justify the decision or action.

(36) Sustained perpetrator _ See §745.731 of this title (relating to What are designated perpetrators and sustained perpetrators of child abuse or neglect?). [Reproduced below]

(a) A designated perpetrator is a person on the PRS central registry found by PRS to have abused or neglected a child, but who has not exhausted his right to an administrative review or due process hearing. See Subchapter M of this chapter (relating to Administrative Reviews and Due Process Hearings).

(b) A sustained perpetrator is also a person on the PRS central registry found by PRS to have abused or neglected a child, but who has already been offered his rights to an administrative review and due process hearing, and the:

(1) Designated perpetrator's rights to the administrative review and due process hearing have expired; or

(2) Finding was upheld in the due process hearing.

Appendix II: Definitions of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation from the Texas Family Code and Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745

Texas Family Code 261.401 is a new law that governs abuse and neglect investigations in facilities. This law and TAC 745.8551-.8559 are used when an investigation involves an allegation that a child was abused or neglected in a child-care facility. Texas Family Code 261.001 is the law used in investigations by Child Protective Services to determine if abuse or neglect occurred in a child's own home. Both chapters of the TFC and TAC 745.8551 -.8559 are in this appendix so that you have reference to them.

Texas Family Code §261.401. Agency Investigation

(1) "Abuse" means an intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility that causes or may cause emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the facility as further described by rule or policy.

(2) "Exploitation" means the illegal or improper use of a child or of the resources of a child for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility as further described by rule or policy.

(3) "Neglect" means a negligent act or omission by an employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices of a facility, including failure to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan of care, or individualized service plan, that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the facility as further described by rule or policy.

Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 745. 8551- .8559

§745.8551. What is the purpose of this division?

The purpose of this division is to further describe the definitions of abuse, neglect, and exploitation by persons who work under the auspices of an operation, as found in Texas Family Code, Chapter 261, Subchapter E, §261.401.

§745.8553. Who works "under the auspices of an operation"?

The following persons work under the auspices of an operation:

(1) Any employee or volunteer of the operation;

(2) Any person under contract with the operation;

(3) A director, owner, operator, or administrator of an operation;

(4) Anyone who has responsibility for the children in care;

(5) Anyone who has unsupervised access to the children in care;

(6) Anyone who regularly or routinely lives at the operation; and

(7) Any other person permitted by act or omission to have access to children in care.

§745.8555. What do the following words mean when Licensing investigates abuse, neglect, or exploitation?

(a) Emotional harm -- An observable impairment in a child's psychological growth, development, or functioning. Emotional harm is any significant change in a child's physical health or social behavior, including changes in sleeping and eating patterns. Emotional harm also includes any "substantial emotional harm." A mental health professional does not have to determine that there is emotional harm.

(b) Intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission -- An act or omission is intentional, knowing, or reckless if the person committing it:

(1) Deliberately causes or might cause physical injury or emotional harm to the child;

(2) Knows or should know that physical injury or emotional harm to the child is a likely result of the act or omission; or

(3) Consciously disregards an unjustifiable risk of physical injury or emotional harm to the child.

(c) Omission -- A failure to act.

(d) Physical injury -- Any bodily harm, including minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises. This includes any bodily harm resulting from the discipline of a child and any "substantial physical injury."

(e) Sexual conduct -- Includes any of the following:

(1) Any touching of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

(2) Exposing the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals, knowing the child is present, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person;

(3) Engaging a child in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

(4) Requesting, soliciting, or compelling a child to engage in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

(5) In the presence of a child, engaging in or displaying any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21;

(6) In the presence of a child, requesting, soliciting, or compelling another person to engage in any activity that is obscene as defined in the Penal Code, §43.21; or

(7) The illegal or improper use of a child, which may or may not include sexual contact or touching, with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

(f) Substantial emotional harm -- An observable impairment in a child's psychological growth, development, or functioning that is significant enough to require treatment by a medical or mental health professional. Evidence that the emotional harm is substantial includes the nature of the act or omission, the age of the child, and/or the persistence of the symptoms. Substantial emotional harm is presumed when the act or omission is of a sexual nature, the child acts out sexually, or the child attempts suicide. A mental health professional does not have to determine that there is substantial emotional harm.

(g) Substantial physical injury -- Bodily harm that warrants treatment by a medical professional, including dislocated, fractured, or broken bones; concussions; lacerations requiring stitches; second and third degree burns; and damage to internal organs. Evidence that physical injury is substantial includes the location and/or severity of the bodily harm and/or the age of the child.

§745.8557. What is abuse?

Abuse is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act or omission by someone working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause emotional harm or physical injury to, or the death of, a child that the operation serves. Intentional, knowing, or reckless acts and omissions include:

(1) Any act such as striking, shoving, shaking, or hitting a child, whether intended as discipline or not;

(2) Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent abuse by another person;

(3) Causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use alcohol or a controlled substance as defined by Health and Safety Code, Chapter 481 (other than a prescription drug that is prescribed to the child and used as prescribed);

(4) Using alcohol or a controlled substance in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical injury or emotional harm;

(5) Sexual conduct that constitutes the offense of indecency with a child as defined under Penal Code, §21.11, sexual assault as defined under Penal Code, §22.011, or aggravated sexual assault as defined under Penal Code, §22.021;

(6) Compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct;

(7) Failure to make reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct to a child;

(8) Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knows or should know that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene as defined by Penal Code, §43.21, or pornographic; and

(9) Causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child as defined by Penal Code, §43.25.

§745.8559. What is neglect?

Neglect is an act or omission that is a breach of a duty by a person working under the auspices of an operation that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child. The breach of a duty includes:

(1) Failure to take an action that a reasonable member of that profession, reasonable caregiver, or reasonable person should take in the same situation;

(2) Taking an action that a reasonable member of that profession, reasonable caregiver, or reasonable person should not take in the same situation;

(3) Placing a child in or failing to remove him from a situation that a reasonable member of that profession, reasonable caregiver, or reasonable person should realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities;

(4) Leaving a child in a situation where a reasonable member of that profession, reasonable caregiver, or reasonable person would expect the child to be exposed to substantial physical injury or substantial emotional harm without arranging for necessary care for the child;

(5) Failure to seek, to obtain, or to follow through with medical care for a child;

(6) Failure to provide a child with food, clothing, and shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child;

(7) Placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which a reasonable member of that profession, reasonable caregiver, or reasonable person should know exposes the child to the risk of sexual conduct;

(8) A violation of any law, rule, or minimum standard that causes substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child;

(9) Repeated (two or more) violations of any law, rule, or minimum standard, after notice and an opportunity to correct the violation, that may cause substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child;

(10) Failure to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan of service, or individualized service plan that causes substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child; and

(11) Repeated failures (two or more) to comply with an individual treatment plan, plan of service, or individualized service plan, after notice and an opportunity to correct the failure, that may cause substantial emotional harm or substantial physical injury to a child.

Excerpts from the Texas Family Code (Amended)

§261.001. Definitions

Abuse includes the following acts or omissions by a person:

(A) mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's growth, development, or psychological functioning;

(B) causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's growth, development, or psychological functioning;

(C) physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;

(D) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child;

(E) sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code, sexual assault under Section 22.011, Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021, Penal Code;

(F) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a child;

(G) compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct as defined by Section 43.01, Penal Code;

(H) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the child if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the child is obscene as defined by Section 43.21, Penal Code, or pornographic;

(I) the current use by a person of a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, in a manner or to the extent that the use results in physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child;

(J) causing, expressly permitting, or encouraging a child to use a controlled substance as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code; or

(K) causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing a sexual performance by a child as defined by Section 43.25, Penal Code.

Neglect includes:

(A) the leaving of a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the child, and the demonstration of an intent not to return by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of the child;

(B) the following acts or omissions by a person:

(i) placing a child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the child;

(ii) failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child;

(iii) the failure to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered and refused; or

(iv) placing a child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the child; or

(C) the failure by the person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to return to the child's home without arranging for the necessary care for the child after the child has been absent from the home for any reason, including having been in residential placement or having run away.

§261.002. Central Registry.

(a) The department shall establish and maintain in Austin a central registry of reported cases of child abuse or neglect.

(b) The department may adopt rules necessary to carry out this section. The rules shall provide for cooperation with local child service agencies, including hospitals, clinics, and schools, and cooperation with other states in exchanging reports to effect a national registration system.

§261.101. Persons Required to Report; Time to Report.

(a) A person having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter.

(b) If a professional has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected, or that a child is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code, and the professional has cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Section 261.001, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after the hour the professional first suspects that the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report. In this subsection, "professional" means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children. The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers.

(c) The requirement to report under this section applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.

(d) Unless waived in writing by the person making the report, the identity of an individual making a report under this chapter is confidential and may be disclosed only:

(1) as provided by Section 261.201; or

(2) to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation of the report.

§261.102. Matters to be Reported.

A report should reflect the reporter's belief that a child has been or may be abused or neglected or has died of abuse or neglect.

§261.103. Report Made to Appropriate Agency.

A report shall be made to:

(1) any local or state law enforcement agency;

(2) the department if the alleged or suspected abuse involves a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child;

(3) the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred; or

(4) the agency designated by the court to be responsible for the protection of children.

§261.104. Contents of Report.

The person making a report shall identify, if known:

(1) the name and address of the child;

(2) the name and address of the person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child; and

(3) any other pertinent information concerning the alleged or suspected abuse or neglect.

§261.105. Referral of Report by Department or Law Enforcement.

(a) All reports received by a local or state law enforcement agency that allege abuse or neglect by a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare shall be referred immediately to the department or the designated agency.

(b) The department or designated agency shall immediately notify the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency of any report it receives, other than a report from a law enforcement agency, that concerns the suspected abuse or neglect of a child or death of a child from abuse or neglect.

(c) In addition to notifying a law enforcement agency, if the report relates to a child in a facility operated, licensed, certified, or registered by a state agency, the department shall refer the report to the agency for investigation.

(d) If the department initiates an investigation and determines that the abuse or neglect does not involve a person responsible for the child's care, custody, or welfare, the department shall refer the report to a law enforcement agency for further investigation.

§261.106. Immunities.

(a) A person acting in good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged child abuse or neglect or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

(b) Immunity from civil and criminal liability extends to an authorized volunteer of the department or a law enforcement officer who participates at the request of the department in an investigation of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect or in an action arising from an investigation if the person was acting in good faith and in the scope of the person's responsibilities.

(c) A person who reports the person's own abuse or neglect of a child or who acts in bad faith or with malicious purpose in reporting alleged child abuse or neglect is not immune from civil or criminal liability.

§261.107. False Report

A finding by a court in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship that a report made under this chapter before or during the suit was false or lacking factual foundation may be grounds for the court to modify an order providing for possession of or access to the child who was the subject of the report by restricting further access to the child by the person who made the report.

§261.109. Failure to Report; Penalty.

A person commits an offense if the person has cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect and knowingly fails to report as provided in this chapter.

Subchapter C. Confidentiality and Privileged Communication

§261.201. Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information.

(a) The following information is confidential, is not subject to public release under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may be disclosed only for purposes consistent with this code and applicable federal or state law or under rules adopted by an investigating agency:

(1) a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect made under this chapter and the identity of the person making the report; and

(2) except as otherwise provided in this section, the files, reports, records, communications, audiotapes, videotapes, and working papers used or developed in an investigation under this chapter or in providing services as a result of an investigation.

(b) A court may order the disclosure of information that is confidential under this section if:

(1) a motion has been filed with the court requesting the release of the information;

(2) a notice of hearing has been served on the investigating agency and all other interested parties; and

(3) after hearing and an in camera review of the requested information, the court determines that the disclosure of the requested information is:

(A) essential to the administration of justice; and

(B) not likely to endanger the life or safety of:

(i) a child who is the subject of the report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect;

(ii) a person who makes a report of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect; or

(iii) any other person who participates in an investigation of reported abuse or neglect.

§261.202. Privileged Communication.

In a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, evidence may not be excluded on the ground of privileged communication except in the case of communications between an attorney and client.

Subchapter D. Investigations

§261.301. Investigation of Report.

(a) With assistance from the appropriate state or local law enforcement agency, the department or designated agency shall make a prompt and thorough investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect allegedly committed by a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare. The investigation shall be conducted without regard to any pending suit affecting the parent- child relationship.

(b) A state agency shall investigate a report that alleges abuse or neglect occurred in a facility operated, licensed, certified, or registered by that agency as provided by Subchapter E.

(c) The department is not required to investigate a report that alleges child abuse or neglect by a person other than a person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare. The appropriate state or local law enforcement agency shall investigate that report if the agency determines an investigation should be conducted.

(d) The department may by rule assign priorities and prescribe investigative procedures for investigations based on the severity and immediacy of the alleged harm to the child. The primary purpose of the investigation shall be the protection of the child.

(e) As necessary to provide for the protection of the child, the department or designated agency shall determine:

(1) the nature, extent, and cause of the abuse or neglect;

(2) the identity of the person responsible for the abuse or neglect;

(3) the names and conditions of the other children in the home;

(4) an evaluation of the parents or persons responsible for the care of the child;

(5) the adequacy of the home environment;

(6) the relationship of the child to the persons responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child; and

(7) all other pertinent data.

(f) An investigation of a report to the department of serious physical or sexual abuse of a child shall be conducted jointly by an investigator from the appropriate local law enforcement agency and the department or agency responsible for conducting an investigation under Subchapter E.

(g) The inability or unwillingness of a local law enforcement agency to conduct a joint investigation under Subsection (f) does not constitute grounds to prevent or prohibit the department from performing its duties under this subtitle. The department shall document any instance in which a law enforcement agency is unable or unwilling to conduct a joint investigation under Subsection (f).

§261.302. Conduct of Investigation.

(a) The investigation may include:

(1) a visit to the child's home, unless the alleged abuse or neglect can be confirmed or clearly ruled out without a home visit; and

(2) an interview with and examination of the subject child, which may include a medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination.

(b) The interview with and examination of the child may:

(1) be conducted at any reasonable time and place, including the child's home or the child's school;

(2) include the presence of persons the department or designated agency determines are necessary; and

(3) include transporting the child for purposes relating to the interview or investigation.

(c) The investigation may include an interview with the child's parents and an interview with and medical, psychological, or psychiatric examination of any child in the home.

§261.303. Interference With Investigation.

(a) A person may not interfere with an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect conducted by the department or designated agency.

§261.306. Removal of Child From State.

If the department or designated agency has reason to believe that a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child may remove the child from the state before the investigation is completed, the department or designated agency may file an application for a temporary restraining order in a district court without regard to continuing jurisdiction of the child as provided in Chapter 155.

§261.307. Information Relating to Investigation Procedure.

As soon as possible after initiating an investigation of a parent or other person having legal custody of a child, the department shall provide to the person a brief and easily understood summary of the procedures for conducting an investigation, the person's rights, references to the statutory and regulatory provisions governing child abuse and neglect and how the person may obtain copies of those provisions, and the process the person may use to acquire access to the child if the child is removed from the home.

§262.003. Civil Liability.

A person who takes possession of a child without a court order is immune from civil liability if, at the time possession is taken, there is reasonable cause to believe there is an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child.

Appendix III: Background Checks

Texas Administrative Code, Title 40. Social Services and Assistance

Part XIX, Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services

Chapter 745, Licensing

Subchapter F, Background Checks

Division 1, Definitions

§745.601. What words must I know to understand this subchapter?

These words have the following meanings:

(1) Frequently -- More than two times in a 30-day period.

(2) Regularly -- On a scheduled basis

Division 2, Requesting Background Checks

§745.611. What are background checks?

Background checks are searches of different databases. There are three types of background checks:

(1) Criminal history checks conducted by the Department of Public Safety for crimes committed in the state of Texas;

(2) Criminal history checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for crimes committed anywhere in the United States; and

(3) Central registry checks conducted by PRS. The Central Registry is a database of people who have been found by Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, or Licensing to have abused or neglected a child.

§745.613. What is the purpose of background checks?

These checks are completed to determine whether:

(1) A person has any criminal or abuse and neglect history; and

(2) His presence is a risk to the health or safety of children in care.

§745.615. On whom must I request background checks?

(a) You must request background checks for each person 14 years or older, other than clients of the operation, who will regularly or frequently be present at your operation while children are in care, including:

(1) Employees, including those you intend to hire;

(2) Any person(s), including volunteers, who are counted in the child/caregiver ratio;

(3) Person(s) applying to adopt or foster children through any licensed child-placing agency; and

(4) Any person under contract with your operation who has unsupervised contact with children in care on a regular or frequent basis.

(b) You must also request background checks for the following:

(1) The directors, owners, operators, or administrators of the operation;

(2) Non-client residents of the operation that are 14 years or older; and

(3) Applicants for a child-care administrator's license.

(c) You do not have to request a background check on professionals who have cleared a background check through another governmental regulatory entity, and you do not employ or contract with the professional.

§745.617. If my operation is located in a large building that includes other businesses or services, must I request a background check on people working in the building who are not involved in my operation?

You do not have to request a background check unless the individual is regularly or frequently present in the area of the building where the operation is located.

§745.619. For a registered family home that is also a foster home, must I request background checks on foster children who are over 14 years old?

No. Foster children are considered clients.

§745.621. Must I request background checks on board members of corporations or associations who own or govern the operation?

No, we do not require a background check unless the individual board member is also an employee or a volunteer who is counted in the child/caregiver ratio and will regularly or frequently be present at your operation while children are in care.

§745.623. How do I request a background check?

You must verify and send us the following identifying information for every person required to be checked in §745.615 of this title (relating to On whom must I request background checks?), on a signed Licensing form provided by your local Licensing staff:

(1) Name (last, first, middle), including any maiden or married names or alias;

(2) Date of birth;

(3) Sex;

(4) Social security number;

(5) Current and previous address; and

(6) Race (this information does not have to be verified).

§745.625. When do I submit a request for a background check?

You must submit a request for a background check:

(1) When you submit your application for a permit to us;

(2) When you hire a new person, but no later than two business days after the new person is hired or is present in your operation;

(3) When a non-client resident 14 years old or older lives or moves into your home or operation, or a non-client resident becomes 14 years old;

(4) When you apply to be a foster or adoptive parent; and

(5) Every 24 months after each person's name was first submitted.

§745.627. When should I request an FBI criminal history check?

You should request FBI criminal history checks on persons who live outside of Texas or about whom there is reason to believe other criminal history exists. In these situations you must submit FBI fingerprints cards.

§745.629. How do I submit an FBI fingerprint card for a background check?

We will provide you with a fingerprint card. The person who will be the subject of the FBI check must then go to his local law enforcement office or DPS office and have his fingerprints taken. Then you send the completed card to your local Licensing office.

§745.631. Must Licensing complete the background check(s) before issuing my permit?

For registered or listed family homes and independent foster homes and foster group homes, we must receive the results from the background checks before the issuance of a permit. For all other permits, we may issue a permit to an applicant before we receive the results of the background checks.

§745.633. Can a child-placing agency (CPA) verify a foster home, foster group home, or adoptive home prior to receiving the results of the background checks?

No, a CPA must receive a cleared background check from us before verifying the home.

§745.635. Can I do my own criminal history background checks?

Yes, but your background checks will not replace those we must conduct. You must still send us all the information required in §745.623 of this title (relating to How do I request a background check?).

Division 3, Criminal Convictions and Central Registry Findings of Child Abuse or Neglect

§745.651. What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation?

(a) A misdemeanor or felony under Title 5 (Offenses Against the Person), Title 6 (Offenses Against the Family), Chapter 29 (Robbery) of Title 7, Chapter 43 (Public Indecency) or §42.072 (Stalking) of Title 9, §15.031 (Criminal Solicitation of a Minor) of Title 4, §38.17 (Failure to Stop or Report Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child) of Title 8 of the Texas Penal Code (TPC), or any like offense under the law of another state or federal law;

(b) A misdemeanor or felony under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, §46.13 (Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child) or Chapter 49 (Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses) of Title 10 of the Texas Penal Code, or any like offense under the law of another state or federal law that the person committed within the past ten years;

(c) Any other felony under the Texas Penal Code or any like offense under the law of another state or federal law that the person committed within the past ten years; and

(d) Deferred adjudications covering an offense listed in subsections (a)-(c) of this section, if the person has not completed the probation successfully.

§745.653. If a criminal history check reveals a criminal conviction other than those listed in §745.651 of this title (relating to What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation?), will Licensing notify me of the results?

Yes, we will notify you, but you will not be required to take any action.

§745.655. What types of central registry findings may preclude a person from being present in an operation?

(a) Any sustained finding of child abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, neglectful supervision, or medical neglect. For more information on sustained perpetrators, see Division 5 of this subchapter (relating to Designated and Sustained Perpetrators of Child Abuse or Neglect); and

(b) Any central registry finding of child abuse or neglect (whether sustained or not), where we have determined the presence of the person in a child-care operation poses an immediate threat or danger to the health and safety of children. For more information on immediate threat, see Division 6 of this subchapter (relating to Immediate Threat or Danger to the Health or Safety of Children).

§745.657. What is the consequence of having one of these types of criminal convictions or central registry findings?

There are three possible consequences of having either a conviction listed in §745.651 of this title (relating to What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation?), or a central registry finding listed in §745.655 of this title (relating to What types of central registry findings may preclude a person from being present in an operation?):

(1) A person is permanently barred and must not be present at an operation while children are in care;

(2) A person is temporarily barred and may not be present at an operation while children are in care pending the outcome of the administrative review and due process hearing;

(3) A person must not be present at a child-care operation while children are in care, unless a risk evaluation is approved. See Division 4 of this subchapter (relating to Evaluation of Risk Because of a Criminal Conviction or a Central Registry Finding of Child Abuse or Neglect).

§745.659. What will happen if a person at my child-care operation has a criminal conviction or a central registry finding?

We will notify the child-care operation in writing:

(1) Of any criminal conviction listed under §745.651 of this title (relating to What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation?), and any central registry finding listed in §745.655(a) of this title (relating to What types of central registry findings may preclude a person from being present in an operation?), including whether:

(A) This conviction or finding permanently bars this person from being present at an operation while children are in care, or whether you may request a risk evaluation for this person; and

(B) If this person is eligible for a risk evaluation, whether this person may be present at your child-care operation while children are in care pending the outcome of the risk evaluation.

(2) Of any central registry finding listed in §745.655(b) of this title. The notification letter will inform you that this person has not at this time had any due process regarding this matter. However, if we determine that he is an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children, you must immediately remove him from contact with children. We will subsequently notify your operation of any future decisions regarding this matter, including whether the person may have contact with children.

§745.661. What must I do after Licensing notifies me that a person at my operation has one of these types of criminal convictions or central registry findings?

You must take appropriate action, which may include immediately removing this person from your child-care operation while the children are in care, and/or requesting a risk evaluation for this person. Your decision in this matter should be based upon the information provided to you, as specified in §745.659 of this title (relating to What will happen if a person at my child-care operation has a criminal conviction or a central registry finding?).

§745.663. What if the person with the criminal conviction or central registry finding believes the information obtained is incorrect?

Your responsibilities are the same as noted in §745.661 of this title (relating to What must I do after Licensing notifies me that a person at my operation has one of these types of criminal convictions or central registry findings?). However, you may contact the local Licensing staff who sent the notice letter to discuss the accuracy of the information. For criminal convictions, you may conduct an FBI fingerprint check to determine the accuracy of the conviction.

Division 4, Evaluation of Risk Because of a Criminal Conviction or a Central Registry Finding of Child Abuse or Neglect

§745.681. When may I request a risk evaluation?

You may request a risk evaluation when:

(1) We have informed you that the person with the criminal conviction or central registry finding of child abuse or neglect is eligible for a risk evaluation; and

(2) You believe the person with the criminal conviction or central registry finding (this may be yourself in some situations) does not pose a risk to the health or safety of children.

§745.683. Who is responsible for submitting a request for a risk evaluation?

(a) If the person with the criminal conviction or central registry finding is an independent foster home parent or a family home caregiver, then he must request the risk evaluation for himself;

(b) If the person with the criminal conviction or central registry finding is a child-placing agency foster parent or adoptive parent, then the child-placing agency must request the risk evaluation; and

(c) For everyone else, the governing body, director, designee, foster home parent, or family home caregiver, as appropriate, must request the risk evaluation.

§745.685. How do I submit a request for a risk evaluation?

You must obtain a risk evaluation form from your local Licensing office, complete the form, attach the appropriate documentation, and send the form back to your local Licensing office.

§745.687. What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on criminal history?

You must include the following:

(1) A completed Request for Risk Evaluation Based on Past Criminal History or Central Registry Findings form;

(2) A valid rationale of why the person does not pose a risk to the health or safety of children;

(3) A copy of the record of judicial finding or conviction;

(4) If the individual was incarcerated:

(A) A copy of local, state, or federal release order;

(B) The date the individual was released from incarceration; and

(C) If applicable, the terms and conditions of parole;

(5) If the person was given a probated sentence, information related to the terms and conditions of the probation;

(6) The nature and seriousness of the crime for which he was convicted;

(7) The extent and nature of the person's past criminal history;

(8) Age of the person when the crime was committed;

(9) The time that has elapsed since the person's last criminal activity;

(10) Evidence of rehabilitative effort;

(11) The conduct and work activities of the person;

(12) Other evidence of the person's present fitness, including letters of recommendation from the prosecuting attorney, law enforcement, and correctional officers who were involved in the case;

(13) Documentation showing that the person has maintained a record of steady employment, has supported his children, has maintained a record of good conduct, and has paid any outstanding court costs, fees, fines, and restitution related to the conviction or deferred adjudication; and

(14) If the person is an employee or volunteer or potential employee or volunteer, information about his anticipated job responsibilities, plans for supervision, and hours and days of service.

§745.689. What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on a central registry finding?

You must include the following:

(1) A completed Request for Risk Evaluation Based on Past Criminal History or Central Registry Findings form;

(2) A valid rationale that the person who has a central registry finding does not pose a risk to the health or safety of children;

(3) The final child abuse or neglect investigation report (Note: If the requester does not have a copy of the record, then the local Licensing staff should include this information in the request.);

(4) Nature and seriousness of the abuse or neglect finding(s);

(5) The extent and nature of the person's past abuse or neglect history;

(6) Age of the person at the time of the abuse or neglect;

(7) The time that has elapsed since the person's last abuse or neglect activity;

(8) Evidence that factors which impact the risk of future abuse or neglect have changed;

(9) Other evidence of the person's present fitness, including letters of recommendation from employers, caseworker, or others who have or have had contact with the person;

(10) The conduct and work activity of the person;

(11) Documentation showing that the person has maintained a record of steady employment, has supported his dependents, and has maintained a record of good conduct; and

(12) If the person is an employee or volunteer or potential employee or volunteer, information related to job responsibilities that would be performed, plans for supervision, and hours and days of service.

§745.691. Will Licensing accept incomplete requests for risk evaluation?

No. We will return your request if it does not include all of the information listed in §745.687 and §745.689 of this title (relating to What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on criminal history? and What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on a central registry finding?).

§745.693. In what circumstances can someone with a criminal history be present in a child-care operation?

(a) The following chart lists the types of criminal convictions that we monitor, whether the person with the conviction is eligible for a risk evaluation, and whether he may be present in a child-care operation while children are in care pending the outcome of the risk evaluation:

Type of Criminal Conviction
Is This Person Eligible for a Risk Evaluation?
If This Person Is Eligible for a Risk Evaluation, May the Person be Present at a Child-Care Operation While Children are in Care Pending the Outcome of the Risk Evaluation?

(1)
No, this person is permanently barred from being present at a child-care operation while children are in care.
Not applicable, because this person is not eligible for a risk evaluation.

(2)
No, for listed and registered family homes this person is permanently barred from being present in the family home while children are in care.

Yes, for all other types of child-care operations this person is eligible for a risk evaluation.
Not applicable for listed and registered family homes, because this person is not eligible for a risk evaluation.

Yes, for all other types of child-care operations, if we previously gave written approval for the person to remain at the operation with the same conviction in question.

(3)
Yes
Yes, if we previously gave written approval for the person to remain in the operation with the same conviction in question.

(4)
Yes
Yes, if we previously gave written approval for the person to remain in the operation with the same conviction in question.

(b) We will treat a deferred adjudication the same as a conviction until the probation is successfully completed.

§745.695. In what circumstances can someone with a central registry finding be present in a child-care operation?

The following chart lists the general types of central registry findings that we can release to you, whether the person with the finding is eligible for a risk evaluation, and whether he may be present in a child-care operation while children are in care pending the outcome of the risk evaluation:

Types of Findings for Child Abuse or Neglect
Is This Person Eligible for a Risk Evaluation?
If This Person Is Eligible for a Risk Evaluation, May the Person be Present at a Child-Care Operation While Children are in Care Pending the Outcome of the Risk Evaluation?

(1)
No, this person is permanently barred from being present at a child-care operation while children are in care.
Not applicable, because this person is not eligible for a risk evaluation. This person must not be present at an operation while children are in care.

(2)
No, this person is permanently barred from being present at a child-care operation while children are in care.
Not applicable, because this person is not eligible for a risk evaluation. This person must not be present at an operation while children are in care.

(3)
Yes
Yes, if we previously approved a risk evaluation for the same finding, the more recent check does not reveal new information about the finding, and the circumstances of the person's contact with children at the operation are the same as when we approved the risk evaluation.

(4)
Yes
Yes, if we previously approved a risk evaluation for the same finding, the more recent check does not reveal new information about the finding, and the circumstances of the person's contact with children at the operation are the same as when we approved the risk evaluation.

(5)
No, this person is temporarily barred from being present at a child-care operation while children are in care.
Not applicable, because this person is not eligible for a risk evaluation. This person must not be present at an operation while children are in care. Note: The removal from contact with children is not permanent until the finding is sustained. If the State Office of Administrative Hearings overturns the finding, then there will no longer be a central registry finding, and the person may be present at an operation.

§745.697. Is an approved risk evaluation permanent?

An operation does not have to request a risk evaluation for the same criminal conviction or central registry finding that a previous background check revealed if:

(1) We previously approved a risk evaluation for the same finding or criminal conviction;

(2) The more recent check does not reveal a new finding or criminal conviction; and

(3) The circumstances of the person's contact with children at the operation are the same as when we approved the risk evaluation.

§745.699. What should I do if a person in my child-care operation is currently the subject of a criminal investigation?

You must report the investigation to us once there is a criminal indictment for a felony or a criminal information for a misdemeanor.

§745.701. May a person charged with a crime be present in an operation while children are in care?

We determine on a case-by-case basis whether someone charged with a crime may be present in an operation while children are in care. The person may not be present if a conviction for the charged offense would prohibit him from being at the operation pending the outcome of a risk evaluation, or if we determine that he poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of children.

§745.703. If I have knowledge that a person has a criminal conviction or central-registry finding, can he be present in my operation while children are in care?

This person may be present in your operation while children are in care if you have requested a background check under §745.613 of this title (relating to What is the purpose of background checks?), and:

(1) The results do not indicate that he has a criminal conviction or a central-registry finding that may preclude him from being present in an operation while children are in care under §745.651 and §745.655 of this title (relating to What types of criminal convictions may preclude a person from being present in an operation? and What types of central registry findings may preclude a person from being present in an operation?); or

(2) We have approved a risk evaluation on him.

§745.705. What must I do if a person in my child-care operation is the subject of an abuse or neglect investigation?

If you have knowledge that Child Protective Services is conducting an investigation, you must report this to us immediately. The person under investigation by us or CPS may have contact with children unless we determine that he poses an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children.

§745.707. Who makes the final decision on a risk evaluation?

The Director of Licensing or his designee reviews the risk evaluation request and determines whether or not a person with a criminal conviction or central registry finding poses a risk to children in a particular operation. If a child day-care operation requests the evaluation, the designee will be a regional director. If a residential operation requests the evaluation, the designee will be a division administrator.

§745.709. What is the basis of the risk evaluation decision?

We base the risk evaluation decision upon all of the information submitted under §745.687 or §745.689 of this title (relating to What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on criminal history? and What must I include in my request for a risk evaluation based on a central registry finding?), the compliance history and regulatory status of the operation, the role and responsibility of the person in his current position, and any federal requirements for adoptive and foster parents regarding criminal convictions.

§745.711. What can I do if I disagree with the risk evaluation decision?

You have no rights to have a risk evaluation decision reviewed or appealed.

Division 5, Designated and Sustained Perpetrators of Child Abuse or Neglect

§745.731. What are designated perpetrators and sustained perpetrators of child abuse or neglect?

(a) A designated perpetrator is a person on the PRS central registry found by PRS to have abused or neglected a child, but who has not exhausted his right to an administrative review or due process hearing. See Subchapter M of this chapter (relating to Administrative Reviews and Due Process Hearings).

(b) A sustained perpetrator is also a person on the PRS central registry found by PRS to have abused or neglected a child, but who has already been offered his rights to an administrative review and due process hearing, and the:

(1) Designated perpetrator's rights to the administrative review and due process hearing have expired; or

(2) Finding was upheld in the due process hearing.

§745.733. Will Licensing release a central registry finding on a designated perpetrator or sustained perpetrator to my operation?

(a) In most situations, we will not release the central registry finding for a designated perpetrator until the designated perpetrator's rights to dispute the finding have been completed. However, there are some instances where we may release the central registry finding on a designated perpetrator before his rights to dispute the finding have been completed. We may release the central registry finding to:

(1) Your operation if we determine the presence of the designated perpetrator is an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children. In this situation we will also instruct you that this person must be immediately removed from contact with children;

(2) Individuals who have control over the designated perpetrator's access to children, if we determine the presence of the designated perpetrator is an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children;

(3) A court for the purpose of justifying a request for appropriate judicial relief; or

(4) Parents of children in care when we determine the information is necessary to meet a child's needs.

(b) We may release the central registry finding for a sustained perpetrator without any further notification from PRS to:

(1) Operations with licensing permits or an application for a permit; and

(2) Individuals who have control over the sustained perpetrator's access to children.

§745.735. What notice will Licensing send a designated perpetrator or a sustained perpetrator working at an operation?

(a) We will notify the designated perpetrator:

(1) Of the abuse or neglect finding;

(2) Whether we will release the finding to his employer prior to or after the administrative and/or due process hearing is completed; and

(3) Of his rights to an administrative review and due process hearing with instructions on how to request them.

(b) We will not notify a sustained perpetrator of the central registry finding or of any subsequent release of the finding. We notified him of his rights when we designated him as a perpetrator.

Division 6, Immediate Threat or Danger to the Health or Safety of Children

§745.751. What factors does Licensing consider when determining if a person or an operation is an immediate threat to the health or safety of children?

We consider the following:

(1) The severity of the deficiency, including abuse or neglect;

(2) The circumstances surrounding the deficiency, including abuse or neglect:

(3) The seriousness of any injuries to children;

(4) The length of time since the deficiency, including abuse or neglect, occurred;

(5) Whether the deficiency has been repeated;

(6) The compliance history of the operation;

(7) The current regulatory status of the operation;

(8) How quickly corrections to the deficiency can be made;

(9) If any corrections have already been made:

(10) The role of the person in the abuse or neglect;

(11) The current position, role, and responsibilities of the person; and

(12) The degree and/or immediacy of the threat or danger.

§745.753. How will I know whether Licensing has determined that a person or my operation poses an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children?

We will notify the person and/or the operation in the original notice of the decision or action that we are taking. The notice will indicate that we have determined the person or the operation poses an immediate threat or danger to the health or safety of children and whether the person may continue to work in their present position or the operation may continue to operate pending the outcome of the administrative review and due process hearing.

Appendix IV: Certain Criminal Offenses in the Texas Penal Code and the Health and Safety Code

Note: An offense term in the Texas Penal code or under the Texas Controlled Substance Act may change during a legislative session. Some offenses in the Titles listed in this appendix have changed over the past few years. This appendix focuses specifically on the offenses listed under PRS Rules, 40 TAC §745.651 (a) and (b). Not included are offenses under §745.651 (c) or any like offense under the law of another state or federal law that a person committed within the past ten years.

OFFENSES UNDER THE TEXAS PENAL CODE

Title 4. Inchoate Offenses

Chapter 15 Preparatory Offenses

§15.031. Criminal Solicitation of a Minor

Title 5. Offenses Against the Person

Chapter 19. Criminal Homicide

§19.02. Murder

§19.03. Capital Murder

§19.04. Manslaughter

§19.05. Criminally Negligent Homicide

Chapter 20. Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint

§20.02. Unlawful Restraint

§20.03. Kidnapping

§20.04. Aggravated Kidnapping

§20.05. Unlawful Transport

Chapter 21. Sexual Offenses

§21.06. Homosexual Conduct

§21.07. Public Lewdness

§21.08. Indecent Exposure

§21.11. Indecency With a Child

§21.15. Improper Photography or Visual Recording

Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses

§22.01. Assault

§22.011. Sexual Assault

§22.015. Coercing, Soliciting, or Inducing Gang Membership

§22.02. Aggravated Assault

§22.021. Aggravated Sexual Assault

§22.04. Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

§22.041. Abandoning or Endangering a Child

§22.05. Deadly Conduct

§22.07. Terroristic Threat

§22.08. Aiding Suicide

§22.09. Tampering With Consumer Product

§22.10. Leaving a Child in a Vehicle

§22.11. Harassment by Persons in Certain Correctional Facilities

Title 6, Chapter 25. Offenses Against the Family

§25.01. Bigamy

§25.02. Prohibited Sexual Conduct

§25.03. Interference With Child Custody

§25.031. Agreement to Abduct From Custody

§25.04. Enticing a Child

§25.05. Criminal Nonsupport

§25.06. Harboring a Runaway Child

§25.07. Violation of Protective Order or Magistrate's Order

§25.071. Violation of Protective Order Preventing Offense Caused by Bias or Prejudice.

§25.08. Sale or Purchase of Child

§25.09. Advertising for Placement of Child

Title 7. Chapter 29 Offenses Against Property

§29.02. Robbery

§29.03 Aggravated Robbery

Title 8. Offenses Against Public Administration

Chapter 38 Obstructing Governmental Operation

§38.17. Failure to Stop or Report Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Title 9. Offenses Against Public Order and Decency

Chapter 42. Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses

§42.072 Stalking

Chapter 43. Public Indecency

Subchapter A. Prostitution

§43.02. Prostitution

§43.03. Promotion of Prostitution

§43.04. Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

§43.05. Compelling Prostitution

Subchapter B. Obscenity

§43.22. Obscene Display or Distribution

§43.23. Obscenity

§43.24. Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to Minor

§43.25. Sexual Performance by a Child

§43.251. Employment Harmful to Children

§43.26. Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography

Title 10. Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals

Chapter 46. Weapons

§46.13. Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child

Chapter 49. Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses

§49.02. Public Intoxication

§49.031. Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle

§49.04. Driving While Intoxicated

§49.05. Flying While Intoxicated

§49.06. Boating While Intoxicated

§49.065. Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated

§49.07. Intoxication Assault

§49.08. Intoxication Manslaughter

§49.09. Enhanced Offenses and Penalties

OFFENSES UNDER THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

Chapter 481. Texas Controlled Substance Act

Subchapter D. Offenses and Penalties

§481.112. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1 (Penalty Groups are defined in previous sections of this subchapter)

§481.1121. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A

§481.113. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 2

§481.114. Manufacture or Delivery of Substance in Penalty Group 3 or 4

§481.115. Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 1

§481.1151. Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 1-A

§481.116. Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 2

§481.117. Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 3

§481.118. Possession of Substance in Penalty Group 4

§481.119. Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession of Miscellaneous Substances

§481.120. Delivery of Marihuana

§481.121. Possession of Marihuana

§481.122. Delivery of Controlled Substance or Marihuana to Child

§481.123. Delivery, Manufacture, or Possession of Controlled Substance Analogue

§481.124. Possession or Transport of Certain Chemicals with Intent to Manufacture Controlled Substance

§481.125. Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia

§481.126. Illegal Expenditure or Investment

§481.127. Unauthorized Disclosure of Information

§481.128. Commercial Matters

§481.129. Fraud

§481.131. Diversion of Controlled Substance Property or Plant

§481.132. Multiple Prosecutions

§481.133. Falsification of Drug Test Results

§481.134. Drug-Free Zones

§481.136. Unlawful Transfer or Receipt of Chemical Precursor

§481.137. Transfer of Precursor Substance for Unlawful Manufacture

§481.138. Unlawful Transfer or Receipt of Chemical Laboratory Apparatus

§481.139. Transfer of Chemical Laboratory Apparatus for Unlawful Manufacture

§481.140. Use of Child in Commission of Offense

Appendix V: Communicable Disease Chart for Schools and Child-Care Centers

Condition
Incubation Period
Signs and Symptoms
Exclusion from Attendance * 1
Readmission Criteria 3
Reportable Disease
Notes for Prevention and Treatment 4

AIDS

HIV

Infection
Variable
Weight loss, generalized swelling of the Iymph nodes, failure to thrive, chronic diarrhea, tender spleen and liver. Individuals with HIV infection may be asymptomatic.
No, unless child's physician determines that a severe or chronic skin eruption or lesion that cannot be covered poses a threat to others. The child's parents and physician should be advised in the case of measles, rubella, or chicken pox outbreaks in school. These may pose a health threat to the immunosuppressed child.

Yes, but schools are not required to report.
Teach importance of hand washing. When cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids, wear gloves and use a suitable disinfectant. Educate adolescents about viral transmission through sexual contact and sharing of equipment for injection.

Amebiasis
Variable, days to months
Intestinal disease may vary from asymptomatic to acute dysentery with bloody diarrhea, fever, and chills. Parasite may disseminate to other internal organs.
Yes
After treatment is initiated.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Adequate treatment is necessary to prevent/ eliminate extraintestinal disease. Teach importance of hand washing. Relatively uncommon in the United States, but can be acquired in developing countries. Spread by personal contact or through food and/or drink.

Campylobacteriosis
1 - 10 days, usually 3 - 5 days
Sudden onset of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, malaise, nausea, and vomiting.
Yes
After diarrhea and fever subside.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Teach importance of hand washing. Frequently a foodborne infection.

Chickenpox (varicella)
2 - 3 weeks, commonly 13 - 17 days
Fever and rash that may appear first on head, then spread to body. Usually two or three crops of new blisters that heal, sometimes leaving scabs.
Yes
Seven days after onset of rash; immunocompromised individuals should not return until all blisters have crusted over.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Vaccine available.

Common Cold
1 - 3 days
Runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, coughing, and sneezing.
No, unless fever is present. (see Fever)
After fever subsides.
No
Teach importance of washing and covering mouth when coughing or sneezing. Colds are caused by viruses; antibiotics are not indicated.

Conjunctivitis, bacterial or viral (Pink Eye)
Bacterial: 1 - 3 days Viral: 12 hours to 12 days
Red eyes, usually with some discharge or crusting around eyes.
Yes
See Note 2 below chart
No
Teach importance of hand washing. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.

Coxackie virus diseases (hand, foot, and mouth disease
2 - 5 days
Rash in mouth, hands (palms and fingers), and feet (soles).
No

No
Promote hand washing and universal precautions.

Cryptosporidiosis
1 - 12 days, usually 7 days
Diarrhea, which may be profuse and watery, preceded by anorexia and vomiting in children. The diarrhea is associated with abdominal pain. Malaise, fever, nausea, and vomiting occur less often. Infection may be asymptomatic.
Yes
After diarrhea subsides
Yes
Teach importance of hand washing

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
Unknown under normal circumstances
Usually asymptomatic. Congenital CMV infections may result in hearing loss, pneumonia, eye inflammation, and growth and/or mental retardation.
No
No

Teach importance of good hand washing. Avoid direct contact with urine, saliva, or other infectious secretions.

Diarrheal disease (such as salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, cryptosporidiosis, rotavirus, E. coli 0157:H7)
Varies according to causative agent: Salmonella 6 - 72 hours, usually 12 - 26 hours; Shigella 12 - 96 hours; Campylobacteriosis 3 - 5 days, range 1 - 10 days; E. coli 0157:H7 12 - 60 hours, usually 48 hours; Cryptosporidiosis unknown, range 1 - 12 days; Rotavirus 24 - 72 hours, usually 49 hours
Varies according to causative agent, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache, blood and/or mucous in stool, fever.
Yes
Exclude until diarrhea has resolved or until cleared by child's physician/health department. Antibiotic treatment may be recommended in some cases when outbreaks occur.
Depends on specific agent.
Strict hand washing of staff and children (i.e., upon arrival in morning, before preparing or serving meals, after toilet use/diaper change, before and after eating meals or snacks, before leaving facility in evening, and anytime hands become soiled with body fluids (urine, stool, saliva, blood, nasal and/or wound discharge). Use universal precautions.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection
10 hours to 6 days in most cases; for E. coli 0157:H7, usually 3-5 days
Profuse, watery diarrhea, sometimes with blood and/or mucus, and abdominal pain. Fever and vomiting may occur. Some strains (such as E. coli 0157:H7) may cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), resulting in kidney damage.
Yes
After diarrhea and fever subside
Yes, if E. coli 0157:H7 strain. Call (800) 705-8868
Teach importance of hand washing. Usually a foodborne infection.

Fever

Oral temperature of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or greater.
Yes
After feversubsides.
No


Fifth Disease (erythema infectiosum) Human Parvovirus
Variable: 4 - 20 days to development of rash
Redness of the cheeks and body. Fever does not usually occur.
No, unless fever is present.
After fever subsides.
No
Individual should be seen by a physician to rule out a diagnosis of measles or rubella.

Gastroenteritis, Viral
Variable, usually 1 - 3 days
Nausea and diarrhea. Fever does not usually occur.
Yes
After diarrhea subsides.
No
Teach importance of good hand washing.

Giardiasis
5 - 25 days or longer, usually 7 - 10 days
Gradual onset of nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. May recur several times over a period of weeks.
Yes
After diarrhea subsides.
No
Treatment is recommended. Teach importance of good hand washing. Can spread quickly in child-care facilities.

Head lice
Eggs hatch in 7 - 10 days
Itching and scratching of scalp. Pinpoint-sized white eggs (nits) that will not flick off the hair shaft.
Yes
After one medicated shampoo or lotion treatment has been given.
No
Second shampoo or lotion treatment is recommended in 7 - 10 days. Teach importance of not sharing combs, brushes, hats, and coats.

Hepatitis A
15 - 50 days, with an average of 30 days
Abrupt onset of fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, and abdominal pain; jaundice, dark urine, or diarrhea may or may not be present.
Yes
One week after onset of illness.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Vaccine available. Teach importance of hand washing. Immune globulin should be given to household contacts. If more than one case occurs in a child-care facility, immune globulin should be considered for all contacts at the facility.

Hepatitis B
2 - 6 months
Gradual onset of fever, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting, followed by jaundice. Frequently asymptomatic.
No

Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Vaccine available. Teach importance of hand washing. When cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids, wear gloves and use a suitable disinfectant. Educate adolescents about viral transmission through sexual contact and sharing of equipment for injection. Teach importance of not sharing razors or toothbrushes.

Herpes Simplex (cold sores)
First infection, 2 - 12 days
Blisters, on or near lips that open and become covered with a dark crust. Recurrences are common.
No

No
Teach importance of good hygiene. Avoid direct contact with sores.

Impetigo
Variable, usually 4 - 10 days
Blisters on skin that open and become covered with yellowish crust. Fever does not usually occur.
Yes
After treatment has begun.
No
Keep lesions covered. Teach importance of hand washing and keeping fingernails clean.

Influenza (Flu)
1 - 5 days
Rapid onset of fever, headache, sore throat, cough, chills, lack of energy, and muscle aches.
Yes
After fever subsides.
No
Vaccine available and recommended for children with certain chronic diseases. Anti-viral therapy available for patients with influenza type A.

Measles (rubeola)
7 - 14 days
Runny nose, watery eyes, fever, and cough. A blotchy red rash, which usually begins on the face, appears between the third and seventh day.
Yes
Four days after onset of rash. In an outbreak, unimmunized children should be excluded for at least two weeks after last rash onset.
Yes, immediately call (800) 252-9152.
Vaccine available.

Meningitis, bacterial
2 - 10 days
Sudden onset of high fever and headache, usually with vomiting.
Yes
See Note 2 following chart.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Prophylactic antibiotics may be recommended for family members and close contacts at a child-care facility.

Meningitis, viral
2 - 10 days
Sudden onset of fever and headache, usually with vomiting.
No, unless fever is present. (see Fever)
When fever subsides.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Teach importance of hand washing.

Meningocouccal infections (meningitis, meningococcemia)
Varies from 2 - 10 days, usually 3 - 4 days
Sudden onset of fever, intense headache, nausea and often vomiting, stiff neck, and frequently a reddish or purplish rash on the skin or mucous membranes.
Yes
See Note 2 following chart.
Yes, immediately call (800) 705-8868.
Prophylactic antibiotics may be recommended for family members and close contacts at a child-care facility. In an outbreak, vaccine may be recommended for persons likely to become exposed.

Mononucleosis, infectious
30 - 50 days
Variable. Infants and young children are generally asymptomatic. Symptoms, when present, include fever, fatigue, swollen Iymph nodes, and sore throat.
Yes
When a physician decides or after fever subsides. Some children with fatigue may not be physically able to return to school until symptoms subside.
No
Minimize contact with saliva or nasal discharges. Teach importance of hand washing.

Mumps
12 - 25 days
Swelling over jaw in front of one or both ears. Pain in cheeks made worse by chewing.
Yes
After nine days from the onset of swelling.
Yes, call (800) 252-9152.
Vaccine available.

Otitis Media (ear ache)
Variable
Fever, ear pain. May follow respiratory illness
No, unless fever is present (see Fever)
After fever subsides
No
Antibiotics are only indicated for acute otitis media.

Pertussis (whooping cough)
7 - 21 days
Low-grade fever, runny nose, and cough lasting about two weeks, followed by paroxysmal coughing spells and "whoop" on inspiration.
Yes
After completion of five days of antibiotic therapy
Yes, immediately call (800) 252-9152.
Vaccine available. Unimmunized contacts should be immunized and receive antibiotic prophylaxis.

Pharyngitis, nonstreptococcal (sore throat)
Variable
Fever, sore throat, often with large, tender lymph nodes in neck.
No, unless fever is present (see Fever)
After fever subsides
No
Nonstreptococcal pharyngitis is caused by a virus; antibiotics are not indicated.

Pinworms
Variable, may be as long as 3 - 6 weeks.
Perianal itching
No

No
Treatment recommended. Teach importance of hand washing.

Ringworm of the body
4 - 10 days
Slowly spreading, flat, scaly, ring-shaped lesions on skin.
No

No
Treatment is recommended. Keep lesions covered.

Ringworm of the scalp
10 - 21 days
Slowly spreading, balding patches on scalp with broken-off hairs.
Yes
After treatment has begun.
No
Teach importance of not sharing combs, brushes, hats, and coats.

Rubella (German measles)
14 - 23 days, usually 16 - 18 days
Cold-like symptoms. Swollen, tender glands at the back of the neck. Changeable pink rash on face and chest.
Yes
Seven days after onset of rash. In an outbreak, unimmunized children and pregnant women should be excluded for at least three weeks after last rash onset.
Yes, call (800) 252-9152 within one working day.
Vaccine available.

Salmonellosis
1 - 3 days
Sudden onset of fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting.
Yes
After diarrhea and fever subside.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Teach importance of hand washing. Frequently a foodborne infection.

Scabies
First infection: 2 - 6 weeks. Repeat infection: 1 - 4 days
Small, raised, red bumps or blisters on skin with severe itching.
Yes
After treatment has begun.
No
Teach importance of not sharing combs, brushes, hats, and coats. May have rash after treatment.

Sinus infection
Variable
Fever, headache, greenish to yellowish mucous for more than one week
No

No
Antibiotics are only indicated for long-lasting or severe sinus infections.

Shigellosis
1 - 7 days
Sudden onset of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea which may be bloody.
Yes
After diarrhea and fever subside.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868.
Teach importance of hand washing. Can spread quickly in child-care facilities.

Streptococcal sore throat and scarlet fever
1 - 3 days
Fever, sore throat, often with large, tender Iymph nodes in neck. Scarlet fever-producing strains of bacteria cause a fine, red rash that appears 1 - 3 days after onset of sore throat.
Yes
Twenty-four hours after antibiotic treatment has begun and fever subsides.
No
Teach importance of covering mouth when coughing or sneezing. Streptococcal sore throat can only be diagnosed with a laboratory test

Tuberculosis, Pulmonary
4 - 12 weeks
Gradual onset, fatigue, anorexia, fever, failure to gain weight, and cough.
Yes
After antibiotic treatment has begun, AND a physician's certificate or health permit obtained.
Yes, call (800) 705-8868 within one working day.
All classroom contacts should have TB skin tests. Antibiotic prophylaxis recommended for newly positive reactors. Call the TB control program at your local health depart-ment for contact testing.

* For conditions specified in the Texas Administrative Code.

Note 1: The major criterion for exclusion from attendance is the probability of spread from person to person. A child may have a nonexcludable illness yet require care at home or in a hospital.

Note 2: Children excluded from a school or child-care facility for a communicable disease may be readmitted by any of the following methods:

a) A written certificate from a physician;

b) A permit issued by the local health authority; and

c) Fulfilling criteria listed under "Readmission Criteria"

Note 3: A school or child-care facility administrator may require a note from a parent or physician for readmission regardless of the reason for the absence.

Note 4: Children should not be given aspirin for symptoms of any viral disease, confirmed or suspected, without consulting a physician.

How Some Childhood Infectious Diseases Are Spread

Method of Transmission

Direct Contact (with infected person's skin or body fluid)
Respiratory Transmission (passing from the lungs, throat, or nose of one person to another person through the air)
Fecal-Oral Transmission (touching feces or objects contaminated with feces then touching your mouth)
Blood Transmission

Chickenpox *

Cold sores

Conjunctivitis

Head Lice

Impetigo

Ringworm

Scabies
Chickenpox *

Common Cold

Diptheria

Fifth Disease

Bacterial Meningitis *

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

Impetigo

Influenza *

Measles *

Mumps *

Pertussis *

Pneumonia

Rubella *
Campylobacter * *

E. coli 0157 * *

Enterovirus

Giardia

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease

Hepatitis A *

Infectious Diarrhea

Pinworms

Polio *

Salmonella * *

Shigella
Cytomegalovirus

Hepatitis B *

Hepatitis C

HIV infection

* Vaccines are available for preventing these diseases

* * Often transmitted from infected animals through foods or direct contact

Appendix VI: Nutritional Examples

Milk and Dairy Products

Milk
Cheese *

Whole milk
Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan,

Reduced fat (1% or 2%)
Monterrey Jack, Provolone, Ricotta

Skim
Cottage cheese, Muenster

Buttermilk
* If processed cheese is used, the amount should be about 25% more than if natural cheese is served.

Powdered milk


Yogurt

Meat / Meat Alternatives

Poultry, beef, lamb, pork, fish, Egg, Dried peas or beans, Tofu, Vegetable protein mixed with meat, poultry, or fish, Peanut butter

Note: Do not offer to children under two because of potential allergy

Fruit

Any fresh, canned, cooked, or dried fruit

Vegetables

Any raw, canned, or cooked vegetable

If a dried pea or bean is counted as a meat alternative, another vegetable should be offered as well to count as a vegetable.

Grains

Breads

Whole grain wheat, rye, or soy

Cornbread

Enriched white bread

English muffin

French, Italian, Vienna

Tortilla (corn or flour)

Raisin

Pita

Bagels

Waffles or pancakes

Crackers: saltines, graham, rice, zwieback, Melba toast

Cereals

Cooked oatmeal, grits, or farina

Ready-to-eat wheat, corn, rice, or oat

Cooked grains

Rice

Bulgur

Pasta

Barley

Appendix VII: Texas Department of Health Immunization Division Frequently Asked Questions

www.ImmunizeTexas.com

Where can I get a copy of my child's shot record so I can enroll them in school?

If you have consented for your child's immunization records to be sent to the ImmTrac registry, call us at 800.252.9152 to get a copy of your child's record.

If you did not give consent, you will have to contact either your private physician or the health clinic where your child received the immunizations.

Where can I take my child to get vaccinations (either at a lower cost or free)?

You can check with your local city/county health department for information on where you can take your child to get immunizations, or you can call us toll free at 1.800.252.9152 or email Immunize@imm.tdh.state.tx.us, please provide your zip code, as well as the city, in your email and we'll give you the closest clinics in your area.

When should my child get their immunizations and what immunizations do they need to have?

Every year we distribute the Recommended Immunization Schedule for the calendar year. View the chart for the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule.

You can also read important information by visiting the Vaccination Information Statements chart and clicking on the type of vaccine (English and Spanish).

If a child has had chickenpox illness before he is 12 months of age, is he required to get the vaccine?

No. If a child has had chickenpox at any age, he is not required to get the vaccine because he now has protective antibodies. Documenting history of chickenpox illness must include a written statement from a physician, school nurse or the child's parent/guardian containing wording such as: "This is to verify that (name of child) had varicella disease (chickenpox) on or about (month/day/year) and does not need the varicella vaccine."

Where can I find information about Tuberculosis (TB)?

You can find more information about TB on the TDH Tuberculosis Elimination Division web page.

If I have a student from another country, either who does not have an immunization record or who cannot obtain a record, must the student restart their immunizations?

Yes, the student will have to get all immunizations that are required for that age group if a record cannot be found. Every attempt must be made to locate the record if possible.

Texas school immunization requirements allow for a religious exemption. Must a person be of a specific religion for us to accept a religious exemption? Does the state have a list of recognized religious organizations?

The state does not have a list of specific religions to accept under the religious exemption clause. The statute does not require that the family state their religion in an affidavit nor must they verbally announce their denomination.

Exclusions from compliance are allowable on an individual basis for medical contraindications, religious conflicts, and active duty with the armed forces of the United States. Children and students in these categories must submit evidence for exclusion from compliance as specified in Texas Education Code, Chapter 38 and the Human Resources Code, Chapter 42.

(2) Religious conflicts. A signed affidavit must be presented by the child's parent or guardian stating that the immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious organization of which the applicant is an adherent or member. This exemption does not apply in times of emergency or outbreak declared by the commissioner of health or local health authority.

Appendix VII: Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act

Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 36

§36.001. Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Special Senses and Communication Disorders Act.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.002. Purpose

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to establish a program to identify, at as early an age as possible, those individuals from birth through 20 years of age who have special senses and communication disorders and who need remedial vision, hearing, speech, and language services. Early detection and remediation of those disorders provide the individuals with the opportunity to reach academic and social status through adequate educational planning and training.

(b) This chapter shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions of professional license laws that pertain to professional examinations and remedial services for individuals with special senses and communication disorders.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.003. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Communication disorder" means an abnormality of functioning related to the ability to express and receive ideas.

(2) "Other benefit" means a benefit, other than a benefit under this chapter, to which an individual is entitled for payment of the costs of remedial services, and includes:

(A) benefits received under a personal insurance contract;

(B) Payments received from another person for personal injury caused by the other person's negligence or wrongdoing and

(C) payments received from any other source.

(3) "Preschool" means an educational or child-care institution that admits children who are three years of age or older but younger than five years of age.

(4) "Professional examination" means a diagnostic evaluation performed by an appropriately licensed professional or, if the professional is not required to be licensed under the laws of this state, by a certified or sanctioned individual whose area of expertise addresses the diagnostic needs of an individual identified as having a possible special senses or communication disorder.

(5) "Provider" means a person who provides remedial services to individuals who have special senses and communication disorders, and includes a physician, audiologist, speech pathologist, optometrist, psychologist, hospital, clinic, rehabilitation center, university, or medical school.

(6) "Remedial services" means professional examinations and prescribed remediation, including prosthetic devices, for individuals with special senses or communication disorders.

(7) "School" means an educational institution that admits children who are five years of age or older but younger than 21 years of age.

(8) "Screening" means a test or battery of tests administered to rapidly determine the need for a professional examination.

(9) "Special senses" means the faculties by which the conditions or properties of things are perceived, and includes vision and hearing.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.004. Screening Program for Special Senses and Communication Disorders

(a) The board by rule shall require screening of individuals who attend public or private preschools or schools to detect vision and hearing disorders and any other special senses or communication disorders specified by the board. In developing the rules, the board may consider the number of individuals to be screened and the availability of:

(1) personnel qualified to administer the required screening;

(2) appropriate screening equipment; and

(3) state and local funds for screening activities.

(b) The rules must include procedures necessary to administer screening activities.

(c) The board shall adopt a schedule for implementing the screening requirements and shall give priority to the age groups that may derive the greatest educational and social benefits from early identification of special senses and communication disorders.

(d) The rules must provide for acceptance of results of screening conducted by a licensed professional, regardless of whether that professional is under contract with the department, if:

(1) the professional's legally defined scope of practice includes the area for which the screening is conducted; and

(2) the professional uses acceptable procedures for the screening.

(e) The department may coordinate the special senses and communication disorders screening activities of school districts, private schools, state agencies, volunteer organizations, and other entities so that the efforts of each entity are complementary and not fragmented and duplicative. The department may provide technical assistance to those entities in developing screening programs and may provide educational and other material to assist local screening activities.

(f) The department may provide screening personnel, equipment, and services only if the screening requirements cannot otherwise be met.

(g) The department shall monitor the quality of screening activities provided under this chapter.

(h) This section does not prohibit a volunteer from participating in the department's screening programs.

(i) A hearing screening performed under this section is in addition to any hearing screening test performed under Chapter 47.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1347, §2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§36.005. Compliance With Screening Requirements

(a) An individual required to be screened shall undergo approved screening for vision and hearing disorders and any other special senses and communication disorders specified by the board. The individual shall comply with the requirements as soon as possible after the individual's admission to a preschool or school and within the period set by the board. The individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, may substitute professional examinations for the screening.

(b) An individual is exempt from screening if screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the individual is an adherent or a member. To qualify for the exemption, the individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, must submit to the admitting officer of the preschool or school on or before the day of admission an affidavit stating the objections to screening.

(c) The chief administrator of each preschool or school shall ensure that each individual admitted to the preschool or school complies with the screening requirements set by the board or submits an affidavit of exemption.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.006. Records; Reports

(a) The chief administrator of each preschool or school shall maintain, on a form prescribed by the department, screening records for each individual in attendance, and the records are open for inspection by the department or the local health department.

(b) The department may, directly or through local health departments, enter a preschool or school and inspect records maintained by the preschool or school relating to screening for special senses and communication disorders.

(c) An individual's screening records may be transferred among preschools and schools without the consent of the individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

(d) Each preschool or school shall submit to the department an annual report on the screening status of the individuals in attendance during the reporting year and shall include in the report any other information required by the board. The report must be on a form prescribed by the department and must be submitted according to the board's rules.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.007. Provision of Remedial Services

(a) The department may provide remedial services directly or through approved providers to eligible individuals who have certain special senses and communication disorders and who are not eligible for special education services that remediate those disorders and that are administered by the Texas Education Agency through the public schools.

(b) The board by rule shall:

(1) describe the type, amount, and duration of remedial services that the department provides;

(2) establish medical, financial, and other criteria to be applied by the department in determining an individual's eligibility for the services;

(3) establish criteria for the selection by the department of providers of remedial services; and

(4) establish procedures necessary to provide remedial services.

(c) The board may establish a schedule to determine financial eligibility.

(d) The department may not require remedial services without the consent of the individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, §6.34, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§36.008. Individuals Eligible for Remedial Services

(a) An individual is not eligible to receive the remedial services authorized by this chapter to the extent that the individual or the parent, managing conservator, or other person with a legal obligation to support the individual is eligible for some other benefit that would pay for all or part of the services.

(b) The department may waive ineligibility under Subsection (a) if the department finds that:

(1) good cause for the waiver is shown; and

(2) enforcement of the requirement would tend to defeat the purpose of this chapter or disrupt the administration or prevent the provision of remedial services to an otherwise eligible recipient.

(c) When an application for remedial services is filed or at any time that an individual is eligible for and receiving remedial services, the applicant or recipient shall inform the department of any other benefit to which the applicant, recipient, or person with a legal obligation to support the applicant or recipient may be entitled.

(d) The department may modify, suspend, or terminate the eligibility of an applicant for or recipient of remedial services after notice to the affected individual and an opportunity for a fair hearing that is conducted in accordance with the informal hearing rules adopted by the board.

(e) The board by rule shall provide criteria for actions taken under this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.009. Reimbursement

(a) The board may require an individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, to pay or reimburse the department for a part of the cost of the remedial services provided.

(b) The recipient or the parent, managing conservator, or other person with a legal obligation to support an individual who has received remedial services from the department that are covered by some other benefit shall, when the other benefit is received, reimburse the department for the cost of services provided.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.010. Recovery of Costs

(a) The department is entitled to recover an expenditure for services provided under this chapter from:

(1) a person who does not reimburse the department as required by this chapter; or

(2) a third party with a legal obligation to pay other benefits and who has notice of the department's interests in the other benefits.

(b) The commissioner may request the attorney general to bring suit in the appropriate court of Travis County on behalf of the department. A suit brought under this section need not be ancillary or dependent on any other action.

(c) In a judgment in favor of the department, the court may award attorney's fees, court costs, and interest accruing from the date on which the department provides the service to the date on which the department is reimbursed.

(d) The board by rule shall provide criteria for actions taken under this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

§36.011. Qualifications of Persons Providing Screening and Remedial Services

(a) The department may require that persons who administer special senses and communication disorders screening complete an approved training program, and the department may train those persons and approve training programs.

(b) A person who provides speech and language screening services authorized by this chapter must be:

(1) appropriately licensed; or

(2) trained and monitored by a person who is appropriately licensed.

(c) A person who is not an appropriately licensed professional may not conduct hearing screening authorized by this chapter other than screening of hearing sensitivity. The person shall refer an individual who is unable to respond reliably to that screening to an appropriately licensed professional.

(d) A person who provides a professional examination or remedial services authorized by this chapter for speech, language, or hearing disorders must be appropriately licensed.


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