Child Care Licensing Minimum Standards:                   “Just A Beginning...”

Who is the Department of Family and Protective Services and What is their purpose? 

DFPS and is there for you and your child’s protection, it is our state agency.  We respect, recognize and honor the Texas Child Care Licensing Standards.  A copy of the Minimum Standards is available to you at all times. It is our goal that every member of our staff knows them well.  Please feel free to read them anytime. Know that “minimum” standards are EXACTLY that: minimum, they do encourage us to exceed them. We are striving to far exceed the minimum standards.  Our inspections are always available for you onsite as well as on the licensing website. Below is their phone number and website:

Texas Licensing Office

(210) 337-3449

Child Abuse Hotline

1 800 252-5400;

How do we all work together for OUR children?

The purpose of the Child Care Licensing division is to inspect the operations of child care centers to assure that ALL children in our state are safe and in a healthy, nurturing environment.  We are glad they are around!   The most recent inspection visit will be posted in the central area.  Previous inspections can be found in the minimum standards binder in our family reading area.  Protecting Our Children TOGETHER, Texas House Bill 2086, Chapter 42, section 42.064 requires all child care centers to distribute to our families in order to support and practice that our facilities are gang free.

What is a gang free environment?

A gang free zone is a designated area around a specific location where prohibited gang related activity is subject to increased penalty under Texas law.  The specific locations include day care centers.  The gang free zone is within 1000 feet of your child care center. For more information about what constitutes a gang free zone, please consult sections 71.028 and 71.029 of the Texas Penal Code. 

How do parents know where the gang free zone ends? 

The area that falls within a gang free zone can vary depending on the type of location. The local municipal or county engineer may produce and update maps for the purposes of prosecution. Parents may contact their local municipality or court house for information about obtaining a copy of a map if they choose to do so. 

What is the purpose of gang free zones? 

Similar to the motivation behind establishing drug-free zones, the purpose of gang free zones is to deter certain types of criminal activity in areas where children gather by enforcing tougher penalties. 

What does this mean for my day care? 

A child care center must inform parents or guardians of children attending the center about the new gang free zone designation. This means parents or guardians need to be informed that certain gang related criminal activity or engaging in organized criminal activity within 1000 feet of your center is a violation of this law and is therefore subject to increased penalty under the state law.

When do I have to comply with the new requirements? 

The law is already in effect, so providers should begin sharing information regarding gang free zones immediately. Licensing staff will offer technical assistance to facilitate compliance. In the meantime, providers should update their operation policies and procedures to include providing the information mandated by this law to parents or guardians of the children in care.  For further information, please contact your licensing representative or your local licensing office.

**Licensing’s recommended Discipline and Guidance Policy, is very consistent with our philosophy on Positive Guidance.

Discipline and Guidance, as recommended by Child Care Licensing:

Þ 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


Þ A caregiver may only use positive methods of discipline and guidance that encourage self-esteem, self-control, and self-direction which include at least the following:

  1. Using praise, encouragement of good behavior instead of focusing only upon unacceptable behavior.

  2. Reminding a child of behavior expectations daily by using clear, positive statements.

  3. Redirection behavior using positive statements; and

  4. Using brief supervised separation, when appropriate for the child’s age and development, which is limited to no more than one minute per year of the child’s age.

  5. There must be no harsh, cruel, or unusual treatment of any child.


Þ The following types of discipline and guidance are prohibited:

  1. Corporal punishment or threats of thereof:

  2. Punishment associated with food, naps, or toilet training:

  3. Pinching, shaking, or biting a child:

  4. Hitting a child with a hand or object:

  5. Putting anything in or on a child’s mouth:

  6. Humiliating, ridiculing, rejection, 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 an inappropriately long period of time for the child’s age.