Child care regulation guidance for open day care operations
On March 31, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA 14 (pdf) implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The Governor’s Executive Order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19. The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services.
Child day care operations are encouraged to remain open to serve essential service employees and children receiving protective daycare services authorized by the Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS). In an effort to match essential service employees with available child care spots, the Governor stood up a Child Care Task Force and created the Frontline Child Care Portal.
Can I continue to serve families of non-essential service employees?
No, to be in compliance with the Executive Order issued by Governor Abbott, you can provide child care services only for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services. You may use the attached Parent Letter to inform parents who have children still attending your child care operation of this change.
How can I provide child day care for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services?
If your child day care operation will remain open to serve essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services, we are able to publish your operation’s information on the new Frontline Child Care Portal by completing Initial Vacancy Notification. Please visit this link to find instructions for how to log in for the first time. If you continue to have difficulties logging on, please email MSC@hhsc.state.tx.us.
How often can I update my available spots on the Frontline Child Care portal?
Once you establish an account, you can update your open spots at any time. The system will send you reminders and will require you to update your availability at least weekly.
Do I have to confirm a parent’s essential service employee status prior to providing child day care?
Yes, you must ensure you are only providing child day care to essential service employees and to children receiving protective day care services per the Executive Order GA 14.
All parents must complete Form 7265 to indicate which approved essential service they are providing as specified by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Texas Division of Emergency Management or Form 7264 to indicate they have been authorized by DFPS to receive protective day care services.
Do I have to keep a record of the completed form for each child in my care?
Yes, you must keep a record of the completed form for each child in your care.
Can my staff bring their own children to my child day care operation while they work?
Yes, your staff that are providing child day care for essential service employees and for children receiving protective day care services can bring their own children to the child day care operation while they work.
How can I ensure the health and safety of my staff and children in care?
You must follow:
- the UPDATED CDC guidelines for Child Care Programs that Remain Open
- HHSC COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers
- HHSC COVID-19 Guidance to Daycare Child Care Providers about Variances
- DSHS COVID-19 Informational Page
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Local Health Entities
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.
Child Care Regulation 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.