Laws on In-Home Babysitting in Texas

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Operating an in-home childcare business involves more than just babysitting. The state of Texas mandates that in-home childcare providers obtain the appropriate licensing and complete continuing education and training in the field of early childhood development. The laws on in-home childcare are in place to ensure that all childcare facilities meet state requirements on cleanliness, efficiency and excellence.

Background Checks for In-Home Child Caregivers

The state of Texas mandates that any owner or employee of an in-home childcare facility undergo a criminal background check, prior to providing services. These background checks include a comprehensive investigation into the individual's criminal history to ensure the subject of the investigation does not hold prior convictions on sex crimes, crimes of violence or acts of abuse. In addition, the state of Texas mandates that a complete background check be conducted through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to check for prior instances of child abuse or neglect to the applicant's own children -- or children once assigned to her care.

Licensing for In-Home Childcare

All in-home childcare providers must obtain a license to operate, prior to providing care. Depending on certain factors -- including the size of the home, and the number of childcare providers that will be working in the facility -- the state may issue restrictions on the license, limiting capacity or the ages of children to which the center may provide services. All in-home childcare facilities are inspected regularly, to ensure compliance and ongoing renewal of licenses as required.

Provider to Child Ratio

Under Texas law, in-home childcare providers may provide care to four to six children at once, depending on the ages of the child. Additional children may be allowed, based on the number of staff providing care in the facility and the ages of the children, as ratio is determined by the ages of the children in the center's care. These numbers do not include the children who live in the home; as the provider's biological or step-children are not considered in the ratios determined by state law.

Training and Education Minimums

In order to work in the field of childcare, Texas state law mandates that all childcare operators or employees be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or the educational equivalent. In addition to meeting minimum age and education standards, all owners and employees must complete a minimum of 15 clock hours of total training in early childhood development, guidance and discipline, curriculum planning and health and safety.