Guidance to Daycare Child Care Providers about Variances
Child Care Regulation (CCR) understands this is an unprecedented time for child day care providers. We are truly appreciative of the collaboration and efforts each of you are showing during this time to meet the needs of the children in your care.
We know that many child day care operations continue to operate as an essential service and you have many questions. We are trying to address as many as possible through this communication.
How does the Public Health Declaration and local orders impact my operation?
As HHSC has communicated before, Governor Abbott’s Public Health Declaration, which requires schools and some businesses to close, does not apply to child day care operations; however, local control orders issued by your local city or county officials may impact your ability to operate or impact your operation’s capacity. Please contact your local officials if you have questions about your ability to operate or any other limitations placed on your operation.
May I request changes to my operation in order to serve parents who are deemed essential workers?
Yes, you may request the following changes to your operation through your online Child Care Licensing Account or by contacting your licensing inspector:
- Adding services like night time care
- Changing your hours or the days you are operating
- Changing the ages served
- Moving to a temporary location
If you don’t know who your current licensing inspector is, you can send an email to MSC@hhsc.state.tx.us
May I request a waiver or variance for a regulation that I am unable to comply with at this time?
CCR has received many questions about the challenges providers are facing in meeting certain regulations during this time and will consider variances for any minimum standard in 26 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapters 744, 746 or 747.
Other requirements, such as background checks, are required by statute and rules in 26 TAC Chapter 745 and cannot be varied through the same variance process as minimum standards.
Please know that CCR is working diligently on creating broad solutions for regulations that cannot be varied or that are otherwise challenging for all operations to meet. As those solutions are finalized, CCR will provide additional guidance.
The most frequently asked questions relate to background checks, CPR/First Aid training, pre-service training, TB testing and immunizations, ratio, capacity, and record keeping.
Please refer to the guide below for more information about which areas you can request an individual variance for:
- Requirement in Statute or 26 TAC Chapter 745 and CANNOT request an individual variance:
- Background Checks
- Pre-Service Training
- TB tests and Immunizations
- Topics that can be requested for an individual variance:
- CPR/First Aid
- Ratio Requirements
- Record Keeping
Individual variances may be requested through your online Child Care Licensing Account. CCR staff will review each variance and provide approvals on a case by case basis. Please provide detailed information regarding how you can reduce risk to children in your operation by meeting the regulation in a different way. We ask that you only request variances for situations where an urgent need exists.
What steps should I take if I choose to close my operation?
Whether you plan to permanently or temporarily close your operation, complete the following survey to update us on your operation’s status.
CCR is working on further guidance regarding voluntary suspensions that we will send soon.
Please keep the following list of resources readily available:
- HHSC COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers
- DSHS COVID-19 Informational Page
- Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Informational Page
- Texas Department of Agriculture Coronavirus Updates
- School Meal Finder
- 211 Texas
CCR is appreciative of all the work you do in protecting the health and safety of the children in your care. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your licensing inspector with any questions.
Associate Commissioner for Child Care Regulation
Response Requested by operations impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Child Care Regulation is aware of the possible widespread Coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand the potential impact that this can bring to child care
operations in your area. Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster for all counties in Texas. This declaration will ensure that local officials
have access to any state resources that may require them to respond in case of an outbreak.
As a result, we are implementing our Emergency Management response plan and ask that you complete the following survey to update us on your operation status and condition.
Daycare Providers, please use this link to complete the survey:
24 Hour Residential Providers, please use this link to complete the survey:
Take precautions by following the CDC recommendations:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
- If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as toys and
You can also visit our Technical Assistance Library and download a copy of “What Child Care Providers Need to Know about Hand Washing“ by clicking on this link.
For up-to-date information on the COVID-19, visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) websites:
- CDC Coronavirus Webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- DSHS Coronavirus Webpage: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus
- DSHS Coronavirus Call Center: 1-877-570-9779 (Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday)
In the event any incident that renders your operation unsafe and you are unable to complete the mentioned survey, please notify your licensing inspector or contact the Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 as soon as you are able.
Will I still be paid for children’s absences?
Yes, we appreciate the services you provide for our families and assure you that you will be paid for absences during this time.
With many local ISD’s closing for additional time, will I be paid full-time or blended rates?
We understand there is a lot of confusion right now with school closures happening and we want to make this as painless as possible. We will be paying at the blended-rate during the time period for emergency closures just as we did during Spring Break.
If a family decides to self-quarantine, what do I need to submit to be paid?
Please send an email to your Financial Management Specialist letting them know which families have elected to keep their children home during this time. Encourage the family to swipe or call in absences and code as “illness.”
Do I still report absences regularly?
Yes, the policy and procedures have not changed. You will still need to report absences. Please send an email to your FMS on absences. Be assured, however, that absences will be paid.
Should I close my child care program?
This is really a business decision you should make in consultation with local health authorities. Please contact The County Health Coronavirus Hotline at 817.248.6299 for further guidance.
If I decide to temporarily close my child care business during this time, what do I need to do?
With any closing you will need to follow your licensing protocol…notify child care licensing, families and CCMS. We want to encourage to give families as much time as possible to make alternative arrangements for the time you plan to close.
Will CCA/CCMS be passing along information to providers on local decisions?
Most definitely! We want to provide you with information so you can make the best decisions for your families and your business. Feel free to contact us with any questions or refer to our websites.
Will CCMS be continuing to conduct on-site visits?
We feel at this time it is best if we discontinue any on-site visits. This will allow your facility to contain the number of visitors coming through your doors. We are certainly a phone call away so please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
How can I get in contact with my worker if CCA offices close?
Even if our offices are forced to close during this time we will continue to provide services for your family. You may reach us by calling 817.831.0374 and you will be directed to your CCMS worker. Please be patient with us during this time as many calls will be coming in with questions.