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Choose an Early Learning Program

Find an Early Learning Program

Choosing an Early Learning Program 

Selecting an early childhood setting for your child is one of the most important decisions you may have to make as a parent or caregiver. Knowing what you should expect when you are searching for care can help you make the best possible choice for you and your child.
A Guide to Selecting Quality Child Care
Texas Rising Star Program
The Texas Rising Star program is a quality-based rating system of child care providers who participate in the Texas Workforce Commission’s scholarship child care program. Learn more about the TRS program to evaluate your options.
Texas Child Care Availability
Texas Child Care Availability Portal allows parents to search for available child care near their home or work, and displays a map of licensed child care centers, licensed homes, and registered homes. The portal shows each facility’s operating hours, along with the number of open seats for each age group at the facility.

This program provides:
  • Child care listings
Use the locator tool on the website to find a child care provider in your area. After searching, you will need to contact the child care facility directly to enroll your child.

Learn About the Different Types of Child Care

The Child Care Licensing Division is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of children in the following types of care:

What is a licensed Child Care Center?
Licensed Child Care Centers may care for 13 or more children under the age of 14 for less than 24 hours in a day. Licensed centers are routinely inspected every 5 to 12 months, or more frequently if reports of abuse, neglect or violations of licensing minimum standards are received.
What is a licensed Family Home?
Licensed Family Homes may care for 7 to 12 children under the age of 14 for less than 24 hours per day in the caregiver's own home. Licensed homes are routinely inspected every 12 to 24 months, or more frequently if reports of abuse, neglect or violations of licensing minimum standards are received.
What is a Registered Family Home?
Registered Family Homes may care for no more than 6 children in the caregiver's own home. They may also care for an additional 6 school age children. The number of children allowed in the home is determined by the ages of the children. Registered homes are routinely inspected every 1 to 3 years, or more frequently if reports of abuse, neglect or violations of licensing minimum standards are received.
What is relative care?
Relative Care is defined as care provided by a relative who is at least 18 years of age and is one of the following: the child’s grandparent, the child’s great-grandparent, the child’s aunt or uncle, or the child’s sibling. Families receiving financial aid for child care through Child Care Services can choose a relative to care for their children. Relative child care providers cannot reside in the same household as the child receiving care and must become a Listed Family Home with the Child Care Licensing Division.
Eligibility Requirements for relative providers
  • The relative must be related to the child/ren by blood, marriage or court decree;
  • The relative must be 18 years of age;
  • The relative must be related in one of the following ways:
    • The child’s grandparent;
    • The child’s great-grandparent;
    • The child’s aunt or uncle; or
    • The child’s sibling (who resides in a separate residence);
  • The parent and relative provider cannot live in the same home (some exceptions apply);
  • The relative provider must become a listed provider with Child Care Licensing and sign a Provider Agreement before being paid to provide child care in the relative’s home;
  • The relative provider cannot provide care for the child/children in the child’s home unless one of the following applies:
    • The child has a disability that makes it difficult to take the child outside his/her home;
    • The child is under 18 months old;
    • The child is a child of a teen parent;
    • The parent's work schedule requires evening, overnight, or weekend child care in which taking the child outside of the child's home would be disruptive to the child;
    • Other child care provider arrangements are not available in the community.
Please contact Child Care Services at 1-800-234-9306 for relative provider packet.

Find more information about child care licensing or to review the compliance history for child care facilities in your area.


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