Tired of Looking for Child Care? Start Your Own

Tired of Looking for Child Care? Start Your Own

August 14, 2017

Trying to find good, safe, reasonably priced child care can be frustrating, but the answer may be as close as clicking on the DFPS Child Care Licensing website. That’s where you’ll find information on starting a child care facility right in your own home. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website gives easy-to-read, step-by-step instructions on starting a child care business, from in-house to a stand-alone professional child care center.

Most frustrated parents will be looking at in-home care, at least to begin with, said Leah Hymel, a child care licensing generalist with the DFPS office in Abilene, located at 3610 Vine St. That is the lowest level of child care and the least expensive to get certified for.

  • Homes can provide care for up to 12 children in a home, with no more than three being unrelated.
  • The person in charge must be at least 18 years old.
  • Anyone living in the house who is 14 years or older must submit to a background and fingerprint check.

According to the DFPS website, there are no Minimum Standard Rules for Listed Homes, and they are not inspected unless a report is received. The cost for a Listed Home permit is $25 and must be renewed annually at that cost. The next levels, Registered and Licensed, carry stricter requirements and higher fees.

Sometimes people begin at the “Listed” level and then decide to add a few more children, Hymel said, without going through the proper process. That’s where she comes in as an investigator. “People will report them,” Hymel said, and she will investigate. Hymel also scans Facebook listings for in-home day care and checks out any that sound suspicious. The majority of the calls she gets reporting suspected illegal in-home child care comes from people in small, rural communities.

An investigation by Hymel can be avoided by following the instructions on the Department of Family and Protective Services website. If it gets confusing, call Mary Landeros (325) 691-8232, in Hymel’s office. She can answer your questions. A handy feature of the DFPS website is the Application Checklist for Day Care Homes.

Content provided by: Loretta Fulton
Content editor: Mary Cooksey,
2-1-1 Texas A Call for Help