Texas Health and Human
4900 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751 512-424-6500
Texas Department of Family
and Protective Services
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services provides adult and child protective services, child care licensing, and prevention and early intervention services. The department provides families with information on child care in Texas, a searchable database for licensed child care centers and child care homes, and information on healthy child development and parenting strategies.
Tips for Choosing Child Care
Moving to a new city presents many challenges for families, and the task of finding quality care for children in a new location can be particularly daunting. Fortunately, finding a caregiver in your new city doesn’t have to entail a lot of guesswork. The following steps can assist you in finding the type of care arrangement that will best suit your family’s needs.
Identify Your Needs and Expectations
When it comes to choosing child care, there are a number of arrangements available, including family child care homes, child care centers, nannies and nanny shares. A child care provider’s location, facilities and academic and social programs will also factor into your decision. Make a list of your ideal caregiver qualities before you start your search.
Waiting lists for care vary widely, depending on the type of caregiver you are seeking. Start contacting your preferred caregivers several months prior to your date of need, if possible.
A provider’s license can be verified through the Texas Child Care Licensing Division by calling 325-691-8232 or visit www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care.
Conduct a Phone Screening
Your initial conversation with a provider will help determine if their services are a good fit for your family.
Make an Initial Visit
Plan your first provider visit without your child, if possible. This will allow you to ask detailed questions and assess the provider without distractions.
Ask for Program Details
The provider should be able to give you a clear, concise description of their programs, philosophy, curriculum and facilities.
Ask About Accommodations
for Special Needs (if applicable)
By law, child care programs must make reasonable accommodations for children with special needs. Discuss your child’s needs with prospective providers and ask how those needs would be handled in a provider’s specific setting.
Make a Second Visit With Your Child
Schedule your visit during business hours. Note the interaction between your child and the caregivers, as well as the interaction between your child and other children in the facility.
Close the Deal
If the provider is a good fit for your family, ask for a contract. Make sure you understand all of the provider’s policies and procedures before signing.