Child Care Licensing
Updates and reminders
Here comes the sun
Groundhog Day 2019: Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring—which will mean lots of sun in Texas!
Even if Phil was not correct and Texas does not enter into an early spring, we are not plagued with the winter weather faced by our friends up north. As Texas looks to spring, with summer close behind, all child care providers need to consider the appropriate steps to keep children safe in the sun.
Child care licensing (CCL) requires that your program have a policy related to use of sunscreen and insect repellant, if applicable:
§746.501. What written operational policies must I have?
(a) You must develop written operational policies and procedures that at a minimum address each of the following:
(18) Procedures for providing and applying, as needed, insect repellant and sunscreen, including what types will be used, if applicable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares these reminders: serious sunburn in childhood can increase the risk for skin cancer. Even when it is cool and cloudy, a child still needs year-round skin protection. We can do our part to keep children sun safe.
Try to avoid mid-day sun (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Ensure children are clothed properly.
Encourage wearing of hats and sunglasses.
Use sunscreen of 15 SPF or higher with UVA/UVB protection.
• Apply 30 minutes before going outside.
• Remember nose, ears, and tops of feet.
• Reapply as recommended especially if the child is playing in water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend sunscreen for infants younger than 6 months old. The best defense for infants is to avoid direct sun exposure. Plan to take infants outside and on walks in the early mornings and late afternoons and in areas of shade.
CCL recommends that you begin planning now to ensure your children are sun safe. Consider adding sun safety to your daily learning activities, reminding children of the many ways they can keep their skin safe from the sun, how to apply their own sunscreen—with supervision as age-appropriate, ensuring children keep hats and sunglasses in their cubbies or backpacks, and planning outside activities in shaded areas or minimizing exposure during the 10 to 2 o’clock timeframe.
Interested in learning the UV index for your location? Check out this link: www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1.
Vision and hearing screening
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) runs the Vision and Hearing Screening Group for Texas. Child Care Licensing (CCL) is responsible for ensuring that:
Children 4 years of age or older, who are enrolled in any licensed facility for the first time, are screened for possible vision and hearing problems.
Children enrolled in a facility who turn 4 years of age after September 1 of that year are exempt from screening until the following September.
CCL reviews children’s records at annual inspections to ensure children who fall into DSHS requirements have been screened for potential vision and hearing issues.
Did you know that licensed child care centers and licensed child care homes are required by DSHS to report the results of the vision and hearing screening?
Beginning January 15th through June 30th of each year, your program is required by DSHS to go to the website at chrstx.dshs.texas.gov.
If your center did not have any screenings for the screening year, you will still log in and report a “zero” screening report. If you have additional questions related to the vision and hearing screening reporting requirements, reach out to the Health Screening Group at email@example.com.
Additional resources for child care licensed providers can be found in the CCL TA library: www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Search_Texas_Child_Care/CCLNET/Source/TALibrary/DownloadTADoc.ashx?ID=2763.
Background check rules updated January 2019
Did you know the Centralized Background Check Unit (CBCU) has its own web page filled with resources and contacts for providers to use?
New rules related to background check requirements became effective on Jan. 13, 2019 in response to changing federal and state laws and advanced technology. The changes apply to licensed, registered, listed, and certified child care operations. Refer to January 2019 Updates to Background Checks for information about these rule changes and how they impact your operation.
To help you learn about these new options, see the four short videos online at Child Care Account Registration and Login.
If you have any questions about the new background check features in your Child Care Licensing Account, contact your operation’s CBCU inspector, the CBCU Support Line at (800) 645-7549, or the CBCU support mailbox at ContactCBCU@hhsc.state.tx.us.
If you have any questions about setting up an online account, contact your licensing inspector or the local Licensing office for assistance.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Sun safety. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/bam/safety/sun.html.
Department of State Health Services. (2019). Vision and hearing screening. Retrieved from www.dshs.texas.gov/vhs.
Health and Human Service Commission. (2018). Minimum standards for child-care centers. Retrieved from https://hhs.texas.gov/doing-business-hhs/provider-portals/protective-services-providers/child-care-licensing/minimum-standards.