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Texas family child care licensing: Licensing process

This post is a part of our series on Texas family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Texas, see the following posts:

Texas Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
Training Requirements
Home Requirements

Once you have had a look at the different types of family child cares you can open in Texas, you are ready to get started on the licensing process.

First, you should check with your landlords, Neighborhood Association, and on any City Ordinances for any restrictions on your property.

Step 1: View the online Pre-Application Course & print your certificate

  • Attend a Pre-Application Course. This presentation will introduce you to the options that you have for providing in-home child care and the process of becoming a child care provider.
  • Print and save your certificate. Once you have watched the presentation, print and save the certificate. If you decide to apply to operate a Licensed or Registered Child Care Home, you will need to provide a copy of the certificate to Child Care Licensing later on in the application process.

You can also attend a live pre-application course instead of viewing the online presentation. To do this, you will first need to submit your application form and fees. Once you have done so, you may contact your local Child Care Licensing office to obtain dates for pre-application classes scheduled in your area.

If you take the online Pre-Application Course you do not need to register for a classroom orientation after submitting your application.

Step 2: Submit your online application & fees

Once you have determined the type of family child care home you wish to apply for, you’re ready to begin the application process. Here are your next steps.

  • Create your Online Account: Once you have an online account with CCL, you will be able to submit an online application for your family child care home operation. On the page where you create your account (the Create a Child Care Licensing Account page), select “No,” for the question “Do you have a permit number?”, and complete the online account registration form. Once you have successfully submitted your registration request, you will receive an email containing a link that you must click on in order to complete account activation.
    • If you do not receive the confirmation email (subject line “Complete Registration”) within 24-hours, please check your spam folders. If you still have not received the email, attempt to register again and watch for any errors when you submit your registration. If you continue to have difficulty registering, please contact your local Child Care Licensing office.
  • After you have successfully registered and activated your account, you will need to log in to your account. Once you are logged in, you will be able to complete and submit an online application (eApplication) from within your account.
  • When your eApplication has been successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation number. You will also receive instructions for submitting your fee payment and other supplemental documents. You can begin gathering supplemental information, but do not submit fee payments until licensing contacts you with your operation number, which you will need to include with your fee payment.
  • Within a few business days you should receive a call from a Child Care Licensing representative in your area to discuss the status of your application, provide you with an operation number (this will later become your permit number if you are granted a permit), and to help answer any outstanding questions that you may have.
  • You can also periodically check the status of your application by logging into your account.

Step 3: Complete inspections (only for Registration or License)

Before issuing you an initial or non-expiring permit, Licensing staff will conduct an inspection to ensure you and your operation comply with the applicable law and minimum standard rules. Licensing staff periodically inspects your operation to make sure it continues to meet minimum standards.

Remember, Listed Homes are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child care is offered that is subject to registration and reports of abuse or neglect are investigated. If an operation is providing care, it must meet all standards except those for which waivers and variances have been granted. If the operation is not providing care, it must meet those standards that do not require the presence of children. If Licensing staff observe deficiencies with the law or minimum standard rules, they will tell you about them and give you due dates by which you must make the corrections.

Step 3: Submit payment

  • Send Fee Schedule (Form 2988) and payment to the Accounting Department. Be sure to include your operation number on your payment, and make a copy for your records.
    • Listed Homes incur a $20 annual fee
    • Registered Homes incur a $35 application fee + $2/per background check
    • Licensed Homes incur a $35 application fee + $35 initial permit fee + $2/per background check

Step 4: Submit background checks

You will need to pass and submit background checks for everyone over the age of 14 living in the home.

DFPS Child Care Licensing will issue or deny the permit no later than 60 days after they accept your application.

This post is a part of our series on Texas family child care licensing. For more on licensing in Texas, see the following posts:

Texas Family Child Care Licensing: An Overview
Types of Licenses
Training Requirements
Home Requirements


Wonderschool is a network of quality in-home early childhood programs. Our mission is to ensure that every child has access to a home away from home that helps them realize their full potential. We work with experienced educators and child care providers to help them start their own child care or preschool out of their homes, whether they live in apartments, condos, or homes that they rent or own.