Tips on choosing daycare carefully
You can find a state-regulated day care in your area and review its record by using the TxChildCareSearch.org <http://www.TxChildCareSearch.org> database on the DFPS website. You can also learn more about choosing child care at www.DontBeInTheDark.org <http://www.DontBeInTheDark.org>, where you will find a downloadable tip card and brochure.
If you're looking for day care, remember to look, learn, visit, and meet:
· Look for features that will help your child thrive. Consider the caregiver's education, experience, and training, as well as the size of the group and setting.
· Learn about licensed and registered child care at DontBeInTheDark.org <http://DontBeInTheDark.org> and TxChildCareSearch.org <http://www.TxChildCareSearch.org>. Explore day care options - searching by ZIP code, city, or county - and read the day care's inspection record.
· Visit the day care you are considering, while children are there, so that you can see activities, how caregivers act with children, and how the children like it there.
· Meet the caregiver or director. Discuss any concerns and make sure you are satisfied with their answers. Make a surprise visit later for a second look.
All regulated day care staff must undergo background checks but regulation and state oversight increase with the size of the day care.
1. Listed homes (1-3 unrelated children) must apply and pass background checks but are not inspected regularly.
2. Registered homes (maximum of 12 children at any time) must meet training requirements and pass background checks, and are inspected every 2 years.
3. Larger licensed homes and day care centers must meet health and safety requirements, get regular training, and are inspected every 5-12 months.
FY 2012 Texas Child Care Facts
· Regulated daycare centers and homes - 23,991 (866 in El Paso County)
· Capacity of regulated day care - 1,078,044 children (27,997 in El Paso County)
· Number of state inspections - 35,755
· Number of investigations of day care centers and homes - 14,114
· Permits revoked, denied or suspended - 175
· Number or DFPS background checks conducted - 214,313
· Number of FBI checked requested -156,997